Timorese access to published research

The modest explosion of published research about historical and current Timor makes me wonder how much is readily accessible to the East Timorese themselves.

Alerts on discussion lists hosted by ETAN and the Timor-Leste Studies Association are valuable pointers to newly published articles, academic theses etc. Marvellous when links are provided for free access to the items,  but frustrating for many (not just Timorese!) when they see only an abstract from an inaccessible, maybe expensive, professional journal.

Timorese access to original archival primary materials held outside Timor is currently problematic. Access to published materials ought not be so difficult to organise.

Click to view paper

A recent paper on ‘free’ access to research findings partly addresses this question, outlining a number of strategies for students & researchers in developing countries to overcome access difficulties. Published by the London-based UNESCO-related Information and Communication Technologies for Development Collective, the paper focuses on resource-poor Africa but could also be relevant in Timor-Leste (click image at left to view).

Even better?

These strategies may be fine at an individual level, but it is not difficult to envisage an even better general solution. Imagine an institution like the National University or the planned National Library in Timor-Leste establishing a unit devoted to collecting all current published research for easy access inside Timor. I imagine most foreign researchers would be more than willing to offer copies of their work to such a collection.


One Response to Timorese access to published research

  1. Cecily Gilbert says:

    A couple more free-access sources in the science/health area to add to Tim Unwin’s paper:

    Highwire Press’s Free Online Full-Text Articles resource points to freely-available articles in the sciences.

    For health journals, BioMed Central gives access to free full-text original research articles published in 190 peer-reviewed open access journals.

    The Global Health Library is a searchable database of articles in health, including material in Spanish, Portuguese as well as English. Full-text links are provided for most of the items.

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