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 delivered four times in 2017.

This course is no longer available. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Course design

The course was provided in English and consists of three units as follows, including eight lessons. The course lasted four weeks having an assessment and evaluation at the end. Participants were expected to spend six-hour weekly on average to complete readings and engage in online course activities. ASIRA Online Course was enriched by webinars designed to give course participants broader perspective in the relevant areas.

Unit 1: 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 2: 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 3: Using search results

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