Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture (ASIRA) Online Course for Low-Income Countries


ASIRA (Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture) is an online course for low-income countries delivered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Research4Life.

The goal of this online course is to provide a platform to enhance the visibility, accessibility and usability of agricultural data and science, particularly in low-income countries. It is designed specifically to serve the needs of researchers, librarians and even students who are operating in agricultural sciences, from nutrition to fisheries, in becoming familiar with academic publishing landscape, latest trends, and using scholarly information resources efficiently including legal aspects of the field. 

ASIRA course was first announced in January 2017 and performed first time from 13th February and 10th March. 


The course is provided in English and consists of three units as follows, including eight lessons. The course lasts four weeks having an assesment and evaluation at the end. Participants are expected to spend six-hour weekly on average to complete readings and engage in online course activities. 

UNIT I: Scientific Publishing Landscape

  • Lesson 1.1: The scientific publishing landscape
  • Lesson 1.2: Overview of research and publishing environment in agricultural sciences
  • Lesson 1.3: Local information and global access systems

UNIT II: Accessing scientific information resources in agriculture

  • Lesson 2.1: Identifying information sources
  • Lesson 2.2: Using information sources
  • Lesson 2.3: Information resources in agricultural sciences

UNIT III: Using search results

  • Lesson 3.1: Citing and referencing
  • Lesson 3.2: Intellectual property and copyright

ASIRA Online Course was enriched by webinars designed to give course participants broader perspective in the relevant areas. 



Anyone from:

and whose work or study is related to agricultural & related sectors, can apply to this course.


Those who pass the end-of-course exam successfully will be awarded with a Certificate of Achievement.


1st. Ed. ASIRA online course (13th February - 10th March 2017)
2nd Ed. ASIRA Online Course (10th April - 5th May 2017)
3rd Ed. ASIRA Online Course (19 June - 14 July 2017)
4th Ed. ASIRA Online Course (30th October - 19th November 2017)

Call for applications will be announced on this page. 

For your questions regarding the course, please do not hesitate to contact:

 [email protected]