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SPIE Digital Library now available to African researchers through INASP low- or no-fee program

Bellingham, Wash, USA - 10 January 2008 - Researchers in Mozambique and Madagascar are the first to be able to access the 250,000-plus journal and conference proceedings articles in the SPIE Digital Library through a program of the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). Representatives from each country reached agreements with INASP and SPIE last month.

Participation is open to INASP partner and network countries in Africa, Asia and South and Central America with low and lower-middle income economies as identified by the World Bank. When an eligible country chooses to participate, personnel at institutions and individuals identified by INASP may subscribe either for free or for a nominal cost.

The SPIE program is being offered starting in 2008, and is facilitated by the INASP's Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERI). The goal is to support capacity building in the research sector in transitional countries by strengthening access to and dissemination of information and knowledge.

"SPIE is extremely pleased to be able to provide this vital research tool to scientists, medical professionals and engineers dedicated to solving technological challenges and strengthening their countries' economies and educational and research infrastructures," said SPIE Director of Publications Eric Pepper. "The broad scope of SPIE's interdisciplinary content provides resources for improving day-to-day living conditions as well as paving the way for important medical and scientific breakthroughs."

The SPIE Digital Library includes articles from SPIE's six journals and approximately 380 conference proceedings published annually. See SPIEDigitalLibrary.org and SPIE.org/Digital Library for more information.

Eligible institutions and individuals identified by INASP include universities, libraries, not-for-profit research institutes, teaching hospitals and other similar institutions, and some health professionals, agricultural extension workers and other professionals with not-for-profit status who are working in remote areas and within research institutes without formal collections.

For more information on this program, and to see if your institution qualifies, see INASP.info.

About SPIE

SPIE is an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. Serving the interests of its more than 188,000 active constituents representing 138 different countries, SPIE acts as a catalyst for collaboration among technical disciplines for information exchange, continuing education, publishing opportunities, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. As the organizer and sponsor of approximately 26 major conferences and education programs annually in North America, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific, SPIE provides publishing, speaking, and learning opportunities on emerging technologies. For more information, visit SPIE.org.

INASP's mission is to enable a sustainable network of stakeholders that owns and drives access, use, dissemination and communication of research information. Collaborating with a wide network of partners in sister organizations, development agencies and publishers, INASP has implemented programs in more than 40 countries worldwide. These programs are designed for stakeholders engaged in all stages of the research communication cycle, with activities targeted to the needs of researchers, editors, national publishers, and librarians as well as ICT professionals.

Media Contact: Amy Nelson, SPIE Public Relations Manager

+1 360 685 5478