2003, Rome -- Students, researchers and academics in
some of the world's poorest countries will gain free or
low-cost access to a wealth of scientific literature under a new
initiative announced today by FAO and a range of public and
private sector partners.
The AGORA (Access
to Global Online Research in Agriculture) initiative will
provide access to more than 400 key journals in food, nutrition,
agriculture and related biological, environmental and social
The demand for scientific
literature in developing countries has gone unfulfilled for many
years. Gaining access to current scientific information has
become a daily struggle for thousands of students, researchers
While students are unable
to access the literature and acquire the knowledge they need,
researchers and academics are confronted with mounting
difficulties in publishing their findings in peer-reviewed
journals, updating their teaching curricula and identifying
"The AGORA initiative is
a promising example of the International Alliance Against Hunger
in action," according to Anton Mangstl, Director of
FAO's Library and Documentation Systems Division.
International Alliance Against Hunger is
the theme of this year's World Food Day - 16 October -
which marks the anniversary of FAO.
"By bringing together bilateral agencies, UN
agencies, private foundations and international scientific
publishers, AGORA demonstrates that the public and private
sectors can work together to build greater momentum towards
building a world without hunger," Mr. Mangstl said.
of AGORA are : Blackwell Publishing ; CABI Publishing ;
Elsevier ; Kluwer Academic Publishers ; Lippincott, Williams
& Wilkins; Nature Publishing Group ; Oxford University Press
; Springer Verlag ; and John Wiley and Sons.
Funding and support is also provided by Cornell
University Mann Library, Rockefeller Foundation, the United
Kingdom Department for International Development and the United
States Agency for International Development.
Eric Swanson, Senior Vice-President of John Wiley and
Sons, Inc, and Chair of the International Association of
Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers said:
"There can be few things more satisfying to a
scientific publisher than to contribute to a practical program
to make valuable information easily available in places where it
will be used to improve health, nutrition and education of the
look forward to working with FAO, academic institutions and the
computing and telecommunications industries to make this
important initiative live up to its full potential,"
Mr. Swanson also said.
committed to strengthening capacity for knowledge generation and
dissemination as a contribution to achievement of the goals of
the International Alliance Against Hunger and as a follow-up to
the World Food Summit," Mr. Mangstl stated.
The AGORA website has been developed in close
cooperation between FAO and Cornell University, with funding
provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, based on tools and
systems developed by WHO for a similar service in health called
FAO Media Relations Officer
(+39) 06 570