The OA environment in Azerbaijan is still very much in its nascent stage but important initiatives have been taken to endorse OA policies through the Azerbaijan Library Information Consortium (AzLIC) and Khazar University Institutional Repository (KUIR) with international support.
A State Program on ICT integration into the Education aims at extending the use of ICT in education teacher training (estimated that less than 25% of teachers have ICT knowledge and training). A second state initiative requiring government agencies to publish their details for public access is supported by the Open Society Institute (OSI) who monitor and evaluate it. OSI estimate under 50% of institutions have complied since its inception in 2004.
Khazar University Institutional Repository (KUIR) is a national digital-format repository, a member of Electronic Information for Libraries with a named country representative, procedures for review, acquisition and dissemination of research documents online moving towards a self-archival system.
An active UNDP AzNet programme supports national ICT strategies though ICT training centres; Azerbaijan Teachers Professional Development Program (ATPDP) and AzNet Youth Initiative. These, and further UNDP initiatives such as AzerWeb, a portal for NGO’s in Azerbaijan providing internet and intranet web-sites and an on-line information system to promote exchange of information between developmental and commercial sectors, contribute to enhancing the open access environment.
OSI identified these as being: lack or limited availability of IT facilities; limited web-based information in Azeri; underdevelopment of public information facilities; non-compliance with legal requirement for public organisations to establish internet information sites; funding for IT equipment, use and skills.
Electronic Information for Libraries support and promote open access initiatives in the country.
Details of Key Organizations:
Azerbaijan Library Information Consortium (AzLIC)
The consortium consists of 14 libraries: 9 academic, 3 special and 1 public to promote open access to information within Azerbaijan through training, public library development and electronic access to civic, educational and research information. Founded by Baku State University. The Consortium founded by Baku State University, Azerbaijan Medical University and Khazar University. It is a member of the EIFL international consortium.
Communication address: EIFL OA country co-ordinator: Elchin Chingiz Mammadov; e-mail: mammadov.elchin(at)yahoo.com
The Khazar University Institutional Repository (KUIR)
Khazar University institutional repository maintained to support the university's researchers, faculty members and students through holding research materials: research papers, scholarly articles, theses and dissertations. KUIR is supported by the university and by EIFL with the aim of building a national repository.
OA Mandate EIFL representation; Institutional index through OpenDOAR; journals indexed through DOAJ, SHERPA/RoMEO
Project web link: Communication address: Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan AZ1096; e-mail: contact(at)khazar.org
Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives
Open Access Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan History Portal
Overview: Azerbaijan History Portal project to showcase Azerbaijan history through visual and documentary online resources. The project was started in 2010 and is constantly evolving to include new material. This project is financed by the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan Republic, Azerfon MMC and IRELI Public Union. A regularly updated blog that links the portal to other historical projects.
Past and Future OA Related Activities:
The following activities have been contributing to OA in Ajerbaijan through Khazar University.
Khazar University Center for Education and Information Studies (CEIS), initially established in partnership with the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies with United States Information Agency funding.
Project Gutenberg, assisting in digitizing public domain Azerbaijani literature in Latin script in partnership with Akhundov National Library and Institute of Literature under National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan.
CALIMERA (Culture Applications Local Institutions Mediating Electronic Access) UNESCO Translation Project, aimed to complete a bibliography of the translations in various editions (books, journal articles, conference papers, etc.) from Azeri into other languages and from other languages into Azeri.
Khazar University Institutional Repository (KUIR), as national depository, is the main site for open access developments. Plans here include the development of single platform search (currently using DSpace) for academic theses and research with plans to develop further and to establish a self-archiving policy.
Future OA plans include establishing OA repositories at the Institution of Information Technology, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and the University of Baku.
Two major universities in Azerbaijan: Baku State University Library and Information Resource of Azerbaijan University of Languages are planning to install DSpace with their resources in different languages (Azerbaijani, English, Russian) .
Information Technologies Institute of Azerbaijan National Academy Sciences is beginning to test with e-prints software.
The Regional Library Development Program organized by US Embassy in Azerbaijan and Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Azerbaijan Republic led to some digitisation projects in city centre libraries at Ganja, Lenkoran, Khachmaz, Salyan and Kurdamir.
List of Publications
Deschamps, C Round Table: Open Access issues for developing countries Information Services & Use 23 (2003) 149–159 149.
Kuchma, I and Rosenblum, B Report on open repository development in developing and transition. Rome: EIFL.
Kupryte, R, Segbert-Elbert, M and Bernal, I The eIFL. net Initiative: Access and Management of Electronic Resources by Library Consortia in Developing and Transition Countries Serials Review Volume 31, Issue 4, December 2005, Pages 256-260.
Zaytseva, T and Hajibayova, L (2009) The establishment of an ETD in Azerbaijan at Khazar University. Paper presented at ETD 2009 12th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, University of Pittsburgh, June 10 – 13, 2009.
Zaytseva, Tatyana (2010). Open Access Initiatives in Azerbaijan @ Khazar University. Azerbaijani Studies 13 (2): 15–24.
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