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electronic library

Changes under way

Capes incorporates ProBE and FAPESP studies alterations to the program

LAURABEATRIZThe Electronic Library Program (ProBE), sponsored by FAPESP, will be incorporated by the portal Portal Periódicos, implemented by the Coordination for the Perfecting of Higher Level Personnel (Capes), and will start to work nationwide, in March next year. As of this date, all the five public universities and teaching and research institutions in the state of São Paulo that run post-graduate courses and are part of the ProBE consortium will be able to access the over 2000 titles published by Elsevier Science, Web of Science, Academic Press and HighWire Press, that the program now makes available, through Capes’s gateway.

FAPESP and the other 36 institutions from São Paulo that joined the program in August last year are seeking a solution to allow these entities – which do not meet the criteria for being served by Capes – to continue to have access to Elsevier’s 840 titles and to the Web of Science database, after March 2002. “The institutes in the consortium intend to renew the consortium, so as to keep the titles and even expand them, and FAPESP is studying a way for them to take part” explains Rosali Fávero Krzyzanowski, ProBE’s coordinator.

New rules
The change in the way the program is managed has already been foreseen since it was implemented in 1999. ProBE was originally organized in the form of a consortium that gathered FAPESP, São Paulo’s five public universities, the University of São Paulo, the State University of Campinas, the São Paulo State University, the Federal University of São Paulo and the Federal University of São Carlos -, the Latin American and Caribbean Center of Information in Health Sciences (Bireme/OPS/WHO), and another 14 research institutes. Last year, another 36 institutions joined the program, like, for example, the Institutes of Biology and of Agronomy of Campinas, the Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research, amongst others.

According to the original model, FAPESP would offer the infrastructure in hardware – through the ANSP Network (Academic Network at São Paulo) – and software from the electronic library, and would finance the acquisition of electronic titles over a three-year period. At the end of this period, the institutions in the consortium would take on the annual costs of the program. “This could be managed by the consortium itself, with contributions from the parties”, explains Rosali.

In Rosali’s assessment, ProBE has fully complied with its objective of offering access, in an agile and updated manner, to the complete texts of international scientific magazines for the scientific, academic and administrative communities of São Paulo. “ProBE has created a new culture for accessing scientific information, it has cut out duplicated subscriptions, and expanded the universe of users.” she says. The number of texts downloads is as high as 100,000 a month. “From Elsevier alone, there are 70,000.” she reckons.

The expectation now is to keep this information available for the group of consortium members. The negotiations for this are underway. One of the possibilities that is being negotiated, according to Rosali, is for Capes to authorize the institutions that do not offer post-graduate courses to continue to access the titles of Elsevier and the Web of Science, through the portal, with the support of FAPESP. “Another option is for FAPESP to keep the titles that have already been acquired from the two publishers, in such a way as to make them a mirror of the collections accessed on-line at Portal Periódicos.” adds ProBE’s coordinator. In this case, access will be managed by the Electronic Library Program.