Manuel Hildago is a computer engineer and works for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and has more than 20 years experience in information systems area. He is responsible for the maintainance and development of technical platforms and service support within SIDALC. AIMS Editorial team invited Manuel to share briefly the developments within SIDALC.

AIMS: SIDALC is a renowned network within South Americas. Could you brief describe SIDALC and the way it works?

SIDALC started in 1999 as an information system that could take advantage of the many library catalogs in the hemisphere. Such idea started to be discussed in the 1970s and it was possible until 2000 after a Kellogg Foundation Grant. Today SIDALC is an alliance of more than 178 institutions participating and sharing information services among them and their users. Through such network not only end users solver their information needs but also agricultural information specialists can discuss about their challenges and opportunities.

AIMS:  SIDALC has been in existence since 1999, What has it achieved ? What is its biggest success?

It has achieve one of the largest data base of references in agriculture, exposing mostly gray literature unique in the World. Important ag information services have improved their relevance in the region due to the international effort, improving their technologies, processes and services. Today SIDALC is a community of more than 400 ag information specialist willing to share their expertise and knowledge, but more important to provide their services for free to the scientific and education stakeholders.

AIMS:  What are the current activities? and any future plans?

Current activities deals with integrating SIDALC into one only solar index solution…meaning all resources can be searchable as one data base. Also SIDALC has become to base for discussions around other types of knowledge like open educational resources and open data.