University of Maryland scientist D.J. Patil and colleagues have built a digital library, making 17,422 journal titles available to Iraqi scientists.
"If Iraqi scientists and engineers are going to be able help rebuild and stabilize their country as a peaceful democracy, they have to be able to access current knowledge in their fields," said Patil, a mathematician and scientist with the university's Institute for Physical Science and Technology.
"Physically building such a library in Iraq would be prohibitively expensive, take a long time, and even if you could build it, scientists would not be able to access it easily or safely," added Patil. "We realized that building a digital library would avoid these difficulties, and we recognized that such a digital library could also serve as a model for other developing countries."
The Iraqi Virtual Science Library provides Iraqi engineers, medical personnel, scientists and students with access to full-text technical, online training and educational material, as well as funding opportunities.
The library has been made available to seven Iraqi universities, one research institution and the Ministries of Higher Education and Science & Technology.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International