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The widest possible dissemination of reports and other research documents is a priority for all research organizations, especially in developing countries.

Similarly, having easy access to the research reports and results of other institutions is a sine qua non for the design and conduct of high quality, cost-effective research. All too often, researchers in different countries or regions of the world are conducting research on similar topics but are unaware of what their colleagues in other countries are doing. This is particularly true in developing countries where access to libraries and scientific journals is limited.

The INSAH document data base has two objectives: The system permits one to query the publications data base to identify a subset of documents that responds to certain selection criteria. The user is not only supplied with bibliographic information on the selected documents but also has electronic access to most documents at different levels of detail and file size: table of contents, summary, conclusions and recommendations, or the entire text.

The E-Library consists of four components: (1) INSAH publications, (2) partner publications, (3) thematic libraries, and (4) a list of external internet resources. The anticipated outcome is a true network of African Research Institutions sharing the results of their research and having access to other relevant documents in their areas of interest.


INSAH has made available to the general public its entire body of scientific publications in order to permit a better capitalization of all that has been accomplished by INSAH programs. This was accomplished in 2006 when reference information on approximately 700 INSAH publications of various types was entered into the data base. Most of the documents are now available for downloading (in whole or in part) directly from the website.

The E-Library is currently being expanded to include the publications and working papers of INSAH’s national partners such as the National Agricultural Research Centers and universities. We are now adding documents from Mali’s Institut d’Economie Rurale and the Institut Polytechnique Rural de Katibougou. Documents from other national partners will be added beginning in 2008 after IER and INSAH have had adequate time to test the decentralized data entry procedures designed to facilitate expansion to INSAH partners.


INSAH is experimenting with the development of “thematic” libraries on important topics of regional interest to researchers and their development partners. These thematic libraries will include scientific publications from INSAH partners as well as relevant reports, news clips, policy syntheses, etc. from other organizations engaged in discussions of the topic. The first thematic library being developed is the Cotton Library. It is currently under development and can be accessed by selecting only the key word “cotton” in the document data base search engine; this will produce the full list of all documents concerning cotton sector research and development.

To facilitate rapid development of this thematic library, we encourage researchers and development professionals working in the cotton sector to send us relevant documents and URLs that can be added to the site.


From the E-Library home page you can access a listing of external internet resources. These are other initiatives, similar to INSAH E-Library, aiming to share scientific publications in the field of agriculture and Food Security among African researchers. One of the key resources is the Food Security and Food Policy Information Portal for Africa, which INSAH is also helping to implement.

If you know of other websites that we should add to this list, please send your suggestions to our webmaster: INSAH WEBMASTER