Elsevier and Royal Tropical Institute Sign 5 Year Memorandum of Understanding to Provide ScienceDirect and Scopus to 150 Developing Country Researchers

MoU drives research usage and access with Virtual Knowledge Community

Amsterdam, August 27th, 2010 - Elsevier and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam announced on 26th of August the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing 150 researchers working in least-developed and low-income countries (for example Benin, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Togo etc.) with access to ScienceDirect and Scopus, Elsevier’s online scientific research platform and flagship abstract and citation database. Active in fields such as tropical medicine and sustainable development, the scientists are able to apply the information available in ScienceDirect and Scopus to the treatment and prevention of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; promoting rural development with improved water, sanitation and food security in addition to other areas relevant to the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Elsevier and KIT’sdepartment Information & Library Service (KIT ILS) in Amsterdam are collaborating on this unique public-private partnership to drive capacity building in information technology and management in the developing world. The new agreement will expand access for five years while sharing best practice in research and training.

As an integral part of this initiative, KIT ILS facilitates a closed Virtual Knowledge Community on information management to share best research practices and identify issues of common interest. First piloted in 2007, this joint Elsevier - KIT initiative provides the Virtual Knowledge Community members in African, Caribbean, Asian and Pacific countrieswith access to ScienceDirect’s 10 million full-text articles and Scopus’ abstract and citation database containing 18,000 peer-reviewed journals from 5,000 publishers.

“Elsevier and KIT have a long and productive relationship. The continuation of this initiative provides our partners in the South with access to a wealth of information that is directly relevant to their research. The association of the program with the Elsevier Foundation and Research4Life provides both recognition and sustainability. It is a privilege for KIT ILS to act as an intermediary in a co-operative effort that so closely matches our departmental and institutional goals,” said Hans van Hartevelt, Director of KIT Information & Library Services. Jan Donner, CEO of KIT agrees: “This is a unique project which definitely matches our institutional goals. We are very proud that we can realize this together with Elsevier as an innovative co-partner.”

“We are very happy to support the critical work that the Royal Tropical Institute is doing to drive access, usage and authorship in key developing world institutes, bringing key researchers closer to their peers and individual research communities around the world,” said David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation and Senior Vice President Global Communications, Elsevier. ”This carefully targeted initiative is part of our overall effort with Research4Life and the Elsevier Foundation, to provide clinicians, researchers and policymakers in the developing world with access to the information they need to address critical health and sustainability challenges.”

“Good news, extension of access to ScienceDirect and Scopus for five more years. I have been using ScienceDirect to obtain articles for our scientists and this is having a very positive impact on our research. For instance, our output of publications has continued to increase, thanks to access to many journal titles in ScienceDirect.” Thomas Adigun, Head Librarian, Africa Rice Center, Cotonou, Benin.

“ScienceDirect is our sole full-text, up-to-date scientific database to which we have access. Our researchers have greatly benefited from it and it has become an essential source of information for us.” Rose May Ng Kee Kwong, Librarian, MSIRI, Mauritius.


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About the Royal Tropical Institute 
The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) (www.kit.nl) in Amsterdam is an independent centre of knowledge and expertise in the areas of international and intercultural cooperation contributing to sustainable development, poverty alleviation and cultural preservation and exchange. KIT operates internationally through development projects, scientific research and training, and also provides consultancy and information services. The Institute is a not-for-profit organization that works for both the public and the private sector in collaboration with partners in the Netherlands and abroad.

About KIT ILS 
KIT ILS specializes in supplying information services to users in the Netherlands and works with partners in developing countries to build their capacity in the field of information and library services. The Library’s collection is one of the largest in Europe in the field of rural development, health and culture in the tropics and sub-tropics (see: http://www.kit.nl/eCache/FAB/1/707.html for a complete list of KIT Library resources). The department provides access to information not only through its reading room and lending service, but also through a Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) service for approx. 200 organizations in ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries, document delivery services, Internet specials on topical issues, information portals on themes such as rural innovation systems, laboratory quality strengthening and maternal health. KIT ILS has recently contracted with a major humanitarian organization for the provision of a tailor-made information service.

In addition to the Elsevier Foundation’s Innovative Libraries program which provides over $ 200,000 in annual grants supporting STM library capacity building projects, Elsevier is the founding partner and the leading contributor of STM content to Research4Life, a unique public-private partnership. Research4Life is the collective name for three unique public-private partnerships - HINARI, AGORA and OARE – which aim to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by providing the developing world with free or very low-cost access to critical scientific and social science research.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence,and ClinicalKey—and publishes over 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media contacts 
Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) 
Mr. Chang Wong
Corporate Communication
P.O. Box 95001
1090 HA Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Telephone: + 31 (0)20 568 82 96
Email: c.wong@kit.nl

Elsevier 
Ms. Ylann Schemm
Corporate Relations Manager
Telephone: +31 (0)20 485 20 25
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6 23 98 23 59
Email: y.schemm@elsevier.com or newsroom@elsevier.com