Saturday, February 7, 2015

27. Organisation Of International Information Systems And Programmes P- 05. Information Sources, Systems and Services

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

27. Organisation Of International Information Systems And Programmes

P- 05. Information Sources, Systems and Services *

By :Dr.Renu Arora,Paper Coordinator

    1. Introduction
    2. International Information Organisations
  Collapse  3. IFLA- International Federation Of Library Associations
  Collapse  4. UNESCO 
  Collapse  5. International Labor Organization 
  Collapse  6. International Standards Organization 
    7. International Council On Archives
    8. World Health Organization
    9. World Intellectual Property Organization
    10. International Monetary Fund
    11. World Trade Organisation
    12. International Council For Science
    13. International Council For Scientific And Technical Information
    14. International Nuclear Information System
    15. The International Information System For The Agricultural Sciences And Technology
    17. MEDLINE
    18. CAS – Chemical Abstracts Service
    19. INSPEC
    20. Web Of Science
    21. Biosis Previews

1. Introduction

A large number of international organizations in various subject areas are engaged in the development of library and information services. These also include global information systems and organisations devoted to collection, processing and dissemination of information in various countries. Use of computers for location, collection, storage and processing of information has opened up the possibilities of creating online access and machine-readable databases which have led to the development of international/global information systems. This development has been harnessed further by the very concept of decentralized input of information from the member countries of a participating system, where centralized processing of information is possible through computers, while decentralized dissemination of information is again possible at the users’ end.

In this Module we will discuss some international organisations operating at international level in various disciplines.  It was after the World War II, that most of the governments realized the advantages of maintaining international relations in some spheres through the international organizations. This is due to the fact that while retrieving information, the library professionals had been facing several problems as the available information services were not adequate for most of the users. The international organisations took the task to  identify these problems in the information gap by contributing towards coordination, promotion and development of appropriate  information. These organisations include the governmental bodies, non-governmental bodies as well as some voluntary professional organisations. A major role in this regard has been that of the UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector which has contributed towards development of modern library facilities in developing and developed countries.

2. International Information Organisations

Encyclopaedia Britannica defines an International organization as ‘an institution drawing membership from at least three states, having activities in several states, and whose members are held together by a formal agreement.’ These are of two types, namely, international governmental organizations (IGOs), which have been established by intergovernmental agreements and whose members are states, and secondly, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), whose members are associations or individuals.
According to European Commission an international organization s ‘a body that promotes voluntary cooperation and coordination between or among its members.’ An international organization is therefore an organization with an international membership, scope, or presence.
There are a large number of such organisations operating at international level. Some of the major international organisations covered in this module are: IFLA, UNESCO, ICA, ILO, ISO, WHO and WIPO. The information systems and programmes listed here are the INIS, AGRIS, MEDLARS/MEDLINE, CAS, INSPEC, BIOSIS, etc. In most of these organisations or  systems, the input to the system is made available by the Member Country from where information originates, leading to reliability, timeliness and comprehensibility. The input thus collected nationally is entered in prescribed standardized format, usually a machine readable format to ensure compatibility. The resultant output is available internationally for every member country and its users.

In the following sections, some international organisations which every library and information science professional should be familiar with are discussed briefly. The details of each of the covered organisation are available in the organisation’s website.

3.0 IFLA- International Federation Of Library Associations

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.
Located in The Hague, The Netherlands, IFLA was founded in Edinburgh on 30 September 1927 during the International Congress of Libraries.  The IFLA was established as a small association of mainly national library associations and academic libraries and has now grown into the only major international organisation for library professionals. It has now  1500 Members in approximately 150 countries around the world. The Federation was one of the first international non-profit, non-governmental organizations aiming to further the cause of librarianship. Its primary function is to provide library professional throughout the world with a general forum for international contacts and exchange of ideas and experiences, principally in the field of bibliography.
IFLA's purpose is to promote international understanding, cooperation, discussion, research and development in all fields of library activity, including bibliography, information services and the education of personnel, and provide a body through which librarianship can be represented in matters of international interest.

3.1 Aims

IFLA is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization. Its  aims are to:
  • Promote high standards of provision and delivery of library and information services,
  • Encourage widespread understanding of the value of good library & information services, and
  • Represent the interests of our members throughout the world. 

3.2 Core activities

Issues common to library and information services around the world are the concern of the IFLA Core Activities. Directed by the Professional Committee, the objectives and projects of the Core Activities relate to the Federation's Programme and the priorities of the Divisions and Sections. Presently, the core activities of IFLA are:
g)    COS- Committee on Standards
The ALP has very wide scope, concentrating on the broad range of concerns specific to the developing world. The others programmes cover current, internationally important issues.

3.3 Divisions and Sections

Sections are the primary focus for the Federation's work in a particular type of library and information service, in an aspect of library and information science or in a region. All IFLA Members are entitled to register for any of the 43 Sections of their choice. Once registered, voting Members have the right to nominate specialists for the Standing Committee of the Sections for which they are registered. The Standing Committee is the key group of professionals who develop and monitor the programmes of the Sections. Sections are grouped into five Divisions.
The  Divisions of IFLA are:
(i)    Library Types
(ii)   Library Collections
(iii)  Library Services
(iv) Support of the Profession
(v)  Regional Activities

3.4 Regional Activities

Three Regional Sections (Africa, Asia and Oceania, and Latin America and the Caribbean) make up the Division of Regional Activities (Division 5). They are concerned with all aspects of library and information services in their regions. They promote IFLA activities and work closely with the IFLA Regional Offices, located in Pretoria, South Africa; Singapore and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

3.5 Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups (SIG)are set up, on a temporary and informal basis, to enable groups of Members to discuss specific professional, or social and cultural issues relating to the profession. Presently there are 15 SIGs. Discussion Groups may be established for two-years, once renewable, and must be sponsored by a Section. 

3.6 Publications

The results of the programmes developed by IFLA's professional groups are recorded and disseminated in its following publications.
  • IFLA Journal 
  • The IFLA Annual Report
  • The IFLA publication series on Bibliographic Control
  • The IFLA Professional Reports


UNESCO was established in 1946 as a specialized  agency of the United  Nations concerned with information matters. The objectives of UNESCO at the time of its established were: encouraging international intellectual cooperation, speeding up development through operational assistance to Member States, and promoting peace, human rights and international understanding. UNESCO’s earliest activities of concern to the library profession  were  to help Member States rebuild their libraries destroyed during World War II. UNESCO’s efforts to assist its Member States in the development of their documentation, library and archival services initially indicated five areas, which were:

  • Principles and Structure of Documentation, Library and Archives Services
  • Internationalization  of Documentation, Library and Archives Services
  • Professional Training
  • Book Promotion
  • The Future                             

UNESCO, since its creation  has contributed to the reinforcement of these types of services. As libraries  are essential components of any strategy aimed at improving information access, both for the public at large and for specialised groups. 

4.1 Communication and Information Sector (CI)

The development of information technologies, and in particular the Internet, has created a completely new environment in which the role of traditional information services must be thoroughly revised. The potential of networking, cooperation and digitisation modify substantially the functions of acquiring, storing and disseminating information and knowledge. Here, special attention must be paid to the least developed countries so that they do not lag behind technological advances.
With this in view, the Communication and Information Sector (CI) of UNESCO was established in its present form in 1990. Its programmes are completely based on the UNESCO’s Constitution, which are to promote the “free flow of ideas by word and image.”  It consists of:
  • Freedom of Expression and Media Development
  • Knowledge Societies Division
The CI Sector is also the secretariat for two intergovernmental programmes, namely,  the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and the Information for All Programme (IFAP). The objectives of the Sector’s programmes are:
  • Promoting the free flow of ideas and universal access to information
  • Promoting the expression of pluralism and cultural diversity in the media and world information networks
  • Promoting access for all to ICTs
In addition to the Regular Programmes, the CI Sector implements various inter-regional, regional and national projects with extra-budgetary funding mainly in Africa, the Arab States, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Sector collaborates with UN agencies, bilateral development agencies, international and regional non-governmental agencies.

4.2 Networks

The development of networks ensures equitable access to information services and contents especially in the public domain as well as facilitating the free flow of information.While  promoting the development of electronic networks, UNESCO lays emphasis on policies and strategies to develop the most appropriate methodology to meet the specific needs of the users in various countries.
Through its global and regional networks, UNESCO carries out social development, democratization and good governance in member countries. By providing access to relevant information in an interactive format and in an easily assimilated form, UNESCO fosters capacities to acquire new knowledge and skills.
Some of the information networks of UNESCO are:

APIN – Asia Pacific Information Network

INFOLAC - Information Society Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean

MEDLIB- Internet-based virtual library

RINAF - Regional Information Society Network for Africa

UNAL – UNESCO Network of Associated Libraries

ORBICOM – Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication
ACCESS-net - Association of Computer Centres for Exploiting Sustainable Synergy

4.3 Future Programmes

UNESCO has several approved programmes and activities for the future. Some of these programmes related to IC Sector are:

a)    Promoting freedom of expression and information

b)    Promoting an enabling environment for freedom of expression to foster development, democracy, and dialogue for a culture of peace and non-violence

c)    Fostering information and communication capacities for universal access to knowledge to bridge the digital divide

d)    Supporting Member States in empowering citizens through universal access to knowledge and the preservation of information, including documentary heritage

e)    To further efforts to have open access, free and open source software and open educational resources) and innovative ICTs.

f)     World’s documentary heritage protected and digitized, capacities of Member States strengthened to that effect, preservation and digitization strategies and principles adopted and archives and libraries reinforced as centres of education, and learning and information.

5.0 International Labor Organization

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. It was founded in 1919 and is the only surviving major creation of the Treaty of Versailles which brought the League of Nations into being and it became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.The main aims of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.
The ILO formulates international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labour rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work related issues. It provides technical assistance primarily in the fields of vocational training and vocational rehabilitation; employment policy; labour administration; labour law and industrial relations; working conditions; management development; cooperatives; social security; labour statistics and occupational safety and health. It promotes the development of independent employers' and workers' organizations and provides training and advisory services to those organizations. Within the UN system, the ILO has a unique tripartite structure with workers and employers participating as equal partners with governments in the work of its governing organs.

5.1 ILO Library

The ILO Library is the world's leading library on the world of work. It serves as a knowledge base of key information on work issues, sustainable livelihoods, and the work-related aspects of economic and social development, technological change and human rights.
The Library's collections include books, journals, reports, legislation and statistics covering all aspects of work and sustainable livelihoods, and the work-related aspects of economic and social development, human rights, and technological change in countries around the world. Much of the collection focuses on developing and transition countries, and a special effort is made to acquire material published in developing countries. The Library maintains the world's most significant print collection of national labour statistics and one of the most complete collections of official gazettes and labour legislation.  The Library provides access to this knowledge base through its database,  Labordoc.  In addition, research assistance and information services are also available.
The ILO Library is the core repository of ILO publications produced in Geneva and in the ILO’s offices around the world.  ILO staff in Headquarters and the field, governments, workers' and employers’ organizations and other partner institutions, outside researchers and the general public to make use of the Library as a key resource on the world of work, and as an access point for information on ILO research, ILO standards, labour law, and labour statistics. 

5.2 Labordoc

Labordoc contains references to a wide range of print and electronic publications, including journal articles, from countries around the world, on all aspects of work and sustainable livelihoods, and the work-related aspects of economic and social developments and human rights. Labordoc provides an ever increasing number of links to online publications available on the internet.

6.0 International Standards Organization

ISO (International Organization for Standardization), located in Geneva,  is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. International Standards give state of the art specifications for products, services and good practice, helping to make industry more efficient and effective. Developed through global consensus, they help to break down barriers to international trade. Founded in 1947, ISO develops International Standards, and since then have published more than 19,500 International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business. ISO is, therefore,  a network of national standards bodies. Also it is an independent, non-governmental organization made up of members from the national standards bodies of 161 countries.  These national standards bodies take up the ISO membership and they represent standards organisation in their country. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the representing member from India.
ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help organisations  to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade. These standards are developed by the people who need them, through a consensus process. Experts from all over the world develop the standards that are required by their sector. This means they reflect a wealth of international experience and knowledge.
Access to the ISO standards is available from the ISO Store, which makes available the standards through the Standards Catalogue, Online Collection and Graphical symbols.

6.1 Standards Catalogue

As already mentioned, ISO has developed over 19,500 International Standards and all are included in the ISO Standards catalogue. There are three ways to find the standard one is looking for:
(i)    Browse by ICS (International Classification for Standards). ICS is a way of classifying standards into fields such as electrical engineering or paper technology.

(ii)   Browse by TC (technical committees). ISO standards are developed by experts from TCs focusing on all kinds of different subjects from screw threads to shipping technology. By clicking on the TC you can see all the standards published by this group of experts.

(iii)  Search the standards catalogue using a key word or the number of the standard (all ISO standards are numbered) for example ‘quality management’ or ‘9001’ to find ISO 9001. 

6.2 Online Collection

An online collection is a set of standards available online. When a library  buys an online collection, an yearly subscription to the standards is to be paid, which are available to read online via the  library in the Online Browsing Platform (OBP).
Online collections have many benefits, including:
(i)    Up to date content
(ii)   Easy navigation between standards 
Accessible anywhere

6.3 Graphical Symbols

Graphical symbols can be purchased singly (search using the Online Browsing Platform - OBP) or as part of a collection.Collections of graphical symbols are sets of symbols covering certain uses or themes. When one buys a collection, one pays for anyearly subscription to the symbols, which are available to view and download as many times as needed (in EPS and AI format) via library in the OBP.

Benefits of buying a collection of graphical symbols are:

  • Multiple symbols for a reduced price 
  • Up to date content
  • High resolution formats

6.4 Library and Information Science related Standards

ISO has developed several standards related to library and information science activities. This is to ensure compatibility in various organisations as far as library activities are concerned.  Some of the newly developed standards are:

  1. ISO 25964-2:2013, Information and documentation -- Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies -- Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies
    Edition 1 published 2013-03-04
  2. ISO 2789:2013, Information and documentation -- International library statistics
    Edition 5 published 2013-08-21
  3. ISO/TR 14873:2013, Information and documentation -- Statistics and quality issues for web archiving
    Edition 1 published 2013-11-25

7. International Council On Archives

The International Council on Archives (ICA), since 1948, is dedicated to the effective management of records and the preservation, care and use of the world's archival heritage through its representation of records and archive professionals across the globe. Archives are the documentary by-product of human activity and as such are   irreplaceable witness to past events, underpinning democracy, the identity of individuals and communities, and human rights. But they are also fragile and vulnerable. The ICA strives to protect and ensure access to archives through advocacy, setting standards, professional development, and enabling dialogue between archivists, policy makers, creators and users of archives.
The ICA is a neutral, non-governmental organisation, funded by its membership, which operates through the activities of that diverse membership with approximately 1400 members in 199 countriesThe ICA is a truly international organisation which works with decision-makers at the highest level. As well as working closely with intergovernmental bodies such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The ICA has close connections with other non-governmental organisations too.
1 Resources
Sharing knowledge is the chief motto of ICA as through sharing knowledge one learns, builds relationships and ultimately achieve more together than working individually.  The ICA believes that open access to information is fundamental for both record professionals and the communities they serve.  The ICA is the repository for a wide range of professional knowledge and experience and it seeks to make that knowledge as accessible and relevant as possible for all, from new professionals to heads of national repositories, from records creators to records users.
The Multilingual Archival Terminology is an interactive, online, database of archival terminology usage.
Online Resource Centre - All documents published before 31 December 2010 are available on free access.  After that date, publications are reserved for members of the organization, other than in a few exceptional cases.  Some  resources can, therefore, be downloaded by everyone, while others can only be accessed by members of the organization. Various articles, papers, proceeding and newsletters are also accessible online from ICA.
2 Networking
ICA has  four types of membership which  is split between institutional (central or national archival institutions, professional associations, international organizations and business archives) and individual (any professional archivist or student archivist). All members are equally valued by ICA and benefit from being part of an international network where they can learn about professional practice, exchange views and news, seek help and give archives a strong profile in the international community 

8. World Health Organization

Founded in 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations System with 194 Member States. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
More than 7000 people from over 150 countries work for the Organization in 150 WHO offices in countries, territories and areas, six regional offices and at the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to medical doctors, public health specialists, scientists and epidemiologists, WHO staff include people trained to manage administrative, financial, and information systems, as well as experts in the fields of health statistics, economics and emergency relief.
1 WHO Library
The WHO Library is the world’s leading library on public health. It provides access to knowledge from WHO as well as from other sources of scientific literature produced around the world. WHO Library resources and expertise also provide scientific evidence and knowledge to low- and middle- income countries through a set of low-cost/high-use initiatives.
Networks and partnerships are an essential component in ensuring that our global initiatives reach a world-wide audience. Using a suite of collaborative tools, librarians and information specialists have a close understanding of country realities and needs. This helps keep focus on adequate and cost-effective information and knowledge sharing solutions
The Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS) is the digital library of WHO’s published material and technical information in full text produced since 1948. Its content is freely accessible and searchable in the six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian & Spanish).
The Global Index Medicus (GIM) provides worldwide access to biomedical and public health literature produced by and within low- and middle- income countries. The main objective is to increase the visibility and usability of this important set of resources.
The material is collated and aggregated by WHO Regional Office Libraries on a central search platform allowing retrieval of bibliographical and full text information

9. World Intellectual Property Organization

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 186 Member States. Its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. The mandate, governing bodies and procedures were set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.
Intellectual property comprises two main branches:
  • industrial property, chiefly in inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, and appellations of origin; and 
  • copyright, chiefly in literary, musical, artistic, photographic and audiovisual works.
WIPO helps  governments, businesses and society realize the benefits of IP by providing
-       a policy forum to shape balanced international IP rules for a changing world;
-       global services to protect IP across borders and to resolve disputes;
-       technical infrastructure to connect IP systems and share knowledge;
-       cooperation and capacity-building programs to enable all countries to use IP for economic, social and cultural development; and
-       a world reference source for IP information.
WIPO works in close partnership with IP offices, IGOs, NGOs, and other public and private stakeholder throughout the world to deliver its programs.
1 Reference Section
WIPO is the world's most comprehensive source of data on the intellectual property (IP) system, as well as of empirical studies, reports and factual information on IP. For users   seeking statistical, legal or technical information, this is a gateway to the unique collections of resources and reference material. All  publications and data collections of WIPO are freely available online.
a)    IP and technology databases
b)    IP laws and treaties
c)    IP classifications and standards
d)    Information Resources
2 WIPO Library
The WIPO Library in Geneva, with over 35,000 references, supports the intellectual property (IP) research. The library offers a  unique collection - from the 1883 Paris Convention founding today’s IP system - to the most recent IP journals. Documents are located through the:
  • Online catalogue (titles available in the print collection)
  • Depository libraries

10. International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. The IMF's fundamental mission is to help ensure stability in the international system. It does so in three ways:
  • keeping track of the global economy and the economies of member countries;
  • lending to countries with balance of payments difficulties; and
  • giving practical help to members.
1 IMF eLibrary
The IMF eLibrary is a comprehensive, easy-to-use source ofunrivalled research and statistics on financialand economic developments. ThiseLibrary simplifies analysis and research with direct access to the IMF’s periodicals, books, working papers and studies, and data and statistical tools. You will find information and perspective on macroeconomics, globalization, development, trade and aid, technical assistance, demographics, emerging markets, policy advice, poverty reduction, and so much more. 

The eLibrary also holds multiple-format versions of all IMF publications, including:

  • Books and analytical papers—Occasional Papers, Seminar Volumes, Departmental Papers, Country Reports, Glossaries, Staff Discussion Notes, Working Papers, and other publications.

  • Periodicals and reports, such as the World Economic OutlookGlobal Financial Stability ReportFiscal Monitor, and Regional Economic Outlook reports.

  • A full picture of IMF activities, with the Annual Report of the Executive Board, Finance & Development magazine, Independent Evaluation Office reports  

11. World Trade Organisation

Established in 1995, located at Geneva, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. There are a number of ways of looking at the World Trade Organization. It is an organization for trade opening, a forum for 159 member countries  to negotiate trade agreements, a place for them to settle trade disputes and operates a system of trade rules. Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other.
1 WTO Library
The WTO Library promotes the understanding and practice of the multilateral trading system through its collection of print and electronic resources. With nearly 40,000 monographs, more than 1,000 periodicals, and over 800 current yearbooks, the Library is the depository of GATT/WTO official documents and publications dating back to the Havana Charter, and has a comprehensive collection of national statistics from member and non-member countries. The Library serves the research interests of the WTO community. It is open to Secretariat staff, member state delegates, and any other visitor with an interest in the multilateral trading system, although materials are not loaned  to members of the public.
The WTO Library Catalogue provides bibliographical information and some full-text access to over 40,000 materials covering all aspects of the multilateral trading system. The Catalogue thus provides bibliographic information and some full-text access to books, GATT/WTO publications, articles, periodicals, pamphlets and brochures, CD-ROMs, web sites, and many other information resources.Additionally, through partnership with other teams in the WTO Information Management Service, broad access to a range of WTO information resources is also provided, including the official documents. Some access may be limited by WTO’s licensing agreements.
 Electronic access is also available from:
a)    Docs online (1995-)-This database provides access to the official documentation of theWTO, including the legal texts of the WTO agreements. This does not contain WTO publications.
b)    GATT digital library (1947-1994)- This site provides access to over 59,000 official documents of GATT, including legal texts of the GATT agreements. This does not contain GATT publications. This was created through a joint-effort by Stanford University Libraries and the WTO.
c)     UN Libraries – Facility to search the catalogues of UN and UN-agency Libraries for specialized information.

12. International Council For Science

The International Council for Science (ICSU) is a non-governmental organisation, started in 1931,  with a global membership of national scientific bodies (120 Members, representing 140 countries) and International Scientific Unions (31 Members).It was set up to act as a focus for exchange of ideas, the communication of scientific information and the development of standards in methodology, nomenclature and units. Another chief objective of ICSU was to encourage international scientific activity for the benefit of mankind.

ICSU’s mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. To do this, ICSU mobilizes the knowledge and resources of the international science community to:
  • Identify and address major issues of importance to science and society,
  • Facilitate interaction amongst scientists across all disciplines and from all countries,
  • Promote the participation of all scientists—regardless of race, citizenship, language, political stance, or gender—in the international scientific endeavour, and
  • Provide independent, authoritative advice to stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific community and governments, civil society, and the private sector.
ICSU publishes ICSU Yearbook, Annual Reports and a quarterly ICSU Newsletter.

1 CODATA- Committee on Data for Science and Technology

CODATA, the Committee on Data for Science and Technology, is an interdisciplinary Scientific Committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU). It was established in 1966 as an interdisciplinary Scientific Committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU) to promote and encourage, on a world-wide basis, the compilation, evaluation and dissemination of reliable numerical data of importance to science and technology.  CODATA works to improve the quality, reliability, management and accessibility of data of importance to all fields of science and technology. Currently, its members include  national members, scientific unions, co-opted members and supporting organisations.

CODATA is a resource that provides scientists and engineers with access to international data activities for increased awareness, direct cooperation and new knowledge. CODATA is concerned with all types of data resulting from experimental measurements, observations and calculations in every field of science and technology, including the physical sciences, biology, geology, astronomy, engineering, environmental science, ecology and others. Particular emphasis is given to data management problems common to different disciplines and to data used outside the field in which they were generated.

The resources of CODATA are regular newsletters, databases, CODATA Data Science Journal and Proceedings of CODATA International Conferences. 

13. International Council For Scientific And Technical Information

The future of scientific and technical information is changing as the new technologies are reshaping the way information is processed, transferred and used, and are altering the way the various participants interact. It is vital now, more than ever before, to exchange views, share experiences, and ensure cooperation among all concerned in information flow. ICSTI, The International Council for Scientific and Technical Information, offers a unique forum for interaction between organizations that create, disseminate and use scientific and technical information. ICSTI’s mission cuts across scientific and technical disciplines, as well as international borders, to give member organizations  the benefit of a truly global community. ICSTI is a broad-based, international, not-for-profit membership organisation with over 40 members.

ICSTI  addresses change and initiates programmes and projects of direct relevance to current and future scholarly communication concerns. ICSTI also actively promotes and provides a forum for the exchange of experience, expertise and understanding, and create the opportunity for organizational networking and collaboration across the scientific and technical information (STI) communities.

14. International Nuclear Information System

International Nuclear Information System (INIS), sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna started functioning in 1970. At present, 128 countries and 24 international organizations are INIS Members. It is a cooperative, decentralized computerized abstracting and indexing system providing worldwide coverage of the literature on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It processes and merges input provided by its members and redistributes the information in machine readable form as well as in print form. INIS is the right place for those who need information on the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. From 2012, INIS, together with the IAEA Library and the Systems Development and Support Group become part of a newly formed Nuclear Information Section (NIS).
Main activities of INIS are:
  • INIS Collection Updating and Management
  • Computer Assisted Indexing
  • Preservation of Non-Conventional Nuclear Publications
  • Creation of the INIS Multilingual Thesaurus
  • Capacity Building (Training and e-Learning)
  • INIS Progress and Activity Reports
INIS processes most of the world’s scientific and technical literature that falls within its subject scope. In cooperation with Member States and international organizations, INIS updates and manages annual input of around 120,000 new records. Every input record to the INIS collection is checked by the INIS Secretariat assuring the correctness and quality of the bibliographic description and subject analysis (classification, indexing and abstracting).
INIS Members submit input, i.e., nuclear literature published in their country or by their international organization, to the INIS Secretariat in machine-readable form, via Internet (e-mail/FTP) or other media, in a standardized format conforming to the guidelines in the INIS Reference Series and ETDE/INIS Reference Series. At the end of each processing cycle a final consolidated output file is created. This final file becomes the input to further programs that create the INIS output files in the INIS exchange format (ISO-2709) and create the input for the INIS Collection Search (web-based application). A user-friendly version of the INIS Collection Search is available on the web. It offers direct on-line access to over 3.6 million bibliographic records and many full-text documents of non-conventional  literature in pdf format. INIS Database is available at
1 INIS Products and Services
INIS is the world´s leading information system on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. INIS maintains a database of over 3.3 million bibliographic references and announces the availability of scientific literature published world-wide on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It also maintains a collection of full text documents that would be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Currently the INIS database on Internet contains over 3.3 million bibliographic references. Bibliographic metadata is often supplemented by an English abstract. Full-text documents represent around 10% of the collection. This unique set of non-conventional or grey literature is also fully searchable. 
Various products and services of INIS are:
  • INIS Collection
  • INIS/ETDE Thesaurus
  • Outreach and Promotion
  • Nuclear Information and Knowledge  Newsletter
  • Capacity Building- Training and Distance learning
  • Publications- INIS/ETDE Thesaurus, INIS Reference Services
2 INIS Restructuring
From 2012,INIS has been restructured and the newly created Nuclear Information Section (NIS) consists of:
  • INIS Unit
  • IAEA Library Unit
  • Systems Development and Support Group
This restructuring and creation of NIS provides an opportunity for further enhancement of existing information products and services, and the introduction of new ones - all geared towards the goal of higher organizational efficiency and effectiveness. The Content Management Group, Database Production and Imaging Group, and Capacity Building and Liaison Group have all been combined to create one single INIS Unit.
3 INIS in India
India has been actively participating in INIS from the very beginning. The Library and Information Services Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, is the National Centre responsible for INIS activities in India. The Centre has been quite successful in collecting information on the subject, sending the same to the centralized processing unit and the receiving and passing on the output the users in the country. 

15. The International Information System For The Agricultural Sciences And Technology

The International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology (AGRIS) was started in 1974 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. AGRIS became fully operational in 1975 with the  first issue of AGRINDEX and was modelled on the INIS pattern  to facilitate information exchange and to bring together the world literature dealing with all aspects of agriculture. AGRIS provides worldwide bibliographic coverage of agricultural science and technology literature. The many aspects of agriculture, including forestry, animal husbandry, aquatic sciences and fisheries, and human nutrition from over 150 participating centres are covered. Literature includes unique material such as unpublished scientific and technical reports, theses, conference papers, government publications, and more. Approximately 130,000 records are added each year with key words in English, French, and Spanish.

Presently, FAO’s another programme, Current Agricultural Research Information System (CARIS) and AGRIS are operating collectively. AGRIS’ mission is to improve the accessibility of agricultural information available on the Web by maintaining and enhancing AGRIS, a bibliographic repository for repositories related to agricultural research. This is carried out by promoting the exchange of common standards and methodologies for bibliographic information and thus leading to enriching the AGRIS knowledge by linking to other relevant resources on the Web.

1 Features of AGRIS

  • AGRIS contains more than 7 million bibliographic references on agricultural research and technology &links to related data resources on the Web, like DBPedia, World Bank, Nature, FAO Fisheries and FAO Country profiles.

  • A collaborative network of more than 150 institutions from 65 countries, maintained by FAO of the UN, promoting free access to agricultural information.

  • A multilingual bibliographic database for agricultural science, backed by the AGRIS network, containing more than 7 million records largely enhanced with AGROVOC, FAO’s multilingual thesaurus covering all areas of interest to FAO, including food, nutrition, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, environment, etc.

  • A mash-up Web application that links the AGRIS knowledge to related Web resources using the Linked Open Data methodology to provide as much information as possible about a topic within the agricultural domain.

Keeping pace with the new technologies, enhanced resource accessibility is identified as one of the core objectives of the new AGRIS. In the new version, the AGRIS search engine is able to retrieve and interpret a wealth of diverse information sources including full-text documents, threads from discussion forums, blog entries, news articles, and organizational, regional, national, international information (re)sources. New version of AGRIS is also part of the CIARD (Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development) initiative, in which CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research) and FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) collaborate to create a community for efficient knowledge sharing in agricultural research and development. 

Presently, AGRIS is operating  as a  Digital Library in the subject of agriculture and  has the AGROVOC Thesaurus. 

3 Information Activities

The new AGRIS has various information activities:

a)    Open access to AGRIS digital resources

b)    AGRIS Repository

c)    AGROVOC - multilingual agriculturethesaurus

d)    Agricultural Ontology Service

e)    OpenAGRIS: the new AGRIS Linked Open Data mode


India has been actively participating in AGRIS from the very beginning. The participating AGRIS institution from India is the  Agricultural Research Information Centre, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.  On an average, 3500 bibliographic entries are submitted to AGRIS database as Indian input every year.

The Agricultural Research Information Centre, every month, receives from FAO updated machine-readable AGRIS outputs. Retrieval is then provided to agricultural scientists requiring information  in the country. A computerized SDC services is also made available to agricultural researchers of India.


INFOTERRA is an information network of the  United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established in Nairobi in 1977 for facilitating global environmental information exchange. The programmes is functionally successful  because of an efficient system that operates through national focal points designated by various governments that are members of the United Nations. As a component part of a United Nations programme, the INFOTERRA network has access to specialized databases and information sources on environment related subjects located in UNEP. The INFOTERRA network as a whole handles over 30,000 queries per year on various aspects of human and physical environment.

The INFOTERRA has 170 national focal points, 11 regional service centres, and 34 special sectoral source. The national focal point in each member state  is mostly  a national information centre dealing with environmental science and usually is located in the ministry or a government agency responsible for activities concerned with environmental protection. The primary function of each centre is to provide a national environmental information service. In the early years INFOTERRA operated only as a referral system. However, following the recommendations since 1981, INFOTERRA evolved and expanded its services to include substantive information and document delivery.

The users seeking information on  the areas related to  environment can contact the INFOTERRA network through the following: 

  • UNEP World Wide Web (WWW) site ( 
  • INFOTERRA list server; and 
  • INFOTERRA Secretariat

1 UNEP Knowledge Repository
The UNEP Knowledge Repository is the United Nations Environment Programme’s official platform for its research content and knowledge products. The repository gives open access to UNEP’s publications, technical and assessment reports, guidelines, newsletters, journal articles and other types of information material. The repository complies with interoperability standards and supports optimal content search. It aims to improve access to and the visibility of UNEP’s body of published work among governments, scientists, NGOs, the private sector, students and the public. By providing knowledge products online and in digital format, UNEP is delivering on its commitment to enhance access to environmental information and knowledge for a sustainable future.

2  INFOTERRA in India

India, being a member of the United Nations has been actively participating in the INFOTERRA Programme. ENVIS, the Environmental Information System, due to its comprehensive network has been designed as the National Focal Point (NFP) for INFOTERRA from India. In order to strengthen the information activities of the NFP,  ENVIS was designated as the Regional Service Centre (RSC) of INFOTERRA of UNEP in 1985 for the South Asia Sub-Region countries. 


MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, or MEDLARS Online) is a bibliographic database of life sciences and biomedical information. It includes bibliographic information for articles from academic journals covering medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and health care. It was established in 1964 as MEDLARS(Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System), a computerized storage and retrieval  system at the US’s National Library of Medicine (NLM) to provide for bibliographic access to the NLM’s large biomedical literature collection. MEDLINE also covers much of the literature in biology and biochemistry, as well as fields such as molecular evolution. Compiled by the  National Library of Medicine (NLM) of United States, MEDLINE is freely available on the Internet and is searchable via PubMed and NLM's National Center for Biotechnology Information's Entrez system.
MEDLINE  database  contains over 19 million references to journal articles in life sciences with a concentration on biomedicine. A distinctive feature of MEDLINE is that the records are indexed with NLM Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). MEDLINE is also the primary component of PubMed, part of the Entrez series of databases provided by the NLM National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The time coverage of the database is 1946 to the present, with some older material. MEDLINE, therefore, functions as an important resource for biomedical researchers. More than 5,500 biomedical journals are indexed in MEDLINE.
1 PubMed
PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health maintains the database as part of the Entrez system of information retrieval.
From 1971 to 1997, MEDLINE online access to the MEDLARS computerized database had been primarily through institutional facilities like medical libraries. PubMed, first released in January 1996, ushered in the era of private, free, and home-computerized MEDLINE searching. The PubMed system was offered free to the public in June, 1997, when MEDLINE searches via the web were demonstrated. 

18. CAS – Chemical Abstracts Service

Page Contents3 CASSI

Established in 1907, the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) is a non-profit organization of the American Chemical Society (ACS),  located in Columbus, Ohio. CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, is the world’s authority for chemical information and is the only organization in the world whose objective is to find, collect and organize all publicly disclosed substance information. A team of scientists worldwide controls the quality of its databases, which are recognized as the most comprehensive and authoritative by chemical and pharmaceutical companies, universities, government organizations and patent offices around the world. By combining these databases with advanced search and analysis technologies (SciFinder and STN), CAS delivers the most current, complete, secure and interlinked digital information environment for scientific discovery.

Chemical Abstracts is a periodical index that provides summaries and indexes of disclosures in recently published scientific documents. Approximately 8,000 journals,technical reportsdissertationsconference proceedings, and new books, in any of 50 languages, are monitored yearly, as are patent specifications from 27 countries and two international organizations. Chemical Abstracts ceased print publication on January 1, 2010.

1 CAS Databases
The two principal databases that support the different products are:
a) CA plus
CAplus consists of bibliographic information and abstracts for all articles in chemical journals worldwide, and chemistry-related articles from all scientific journals, patents, and other scientific publications.
b)  Registry
Registry contains information on more than 71 million organic and inorganic substances, and more than 64 million protein and DNA sequences. The sequence information comes from CAS and GenBank, produced by the National Institutes of Health. The chemical information is produced by CAS, and is prepared by the CAS Registry System, which identifies each compound with a specific CAS registry number, index name, and graphic representation of its chemical structure. The assignment of chemical names is done according to the chemical nomenclature rules for CA index names, which is slightly different from the internationally standard IUPAC names, according to the rules of IUPA
2 CAS Products

CAS offers online, Web-based and desktop access to databases covering science, engineering, technology, patents, business information and much more. These products are designed to accommodate a wide range of information needs, for users who are infrequent searchers or who only need a few quick answers or a professional searcher who requires a more powerful and comprehensive set of search tools. The various CAS products are:

  • CAS Client Services
  • CAS CD-ROM Product
  • International CODEN Service
  • Free CAS Web-based Products

CAS databases are available via two principal database systems:

a)    STN
STN (Scientific & Technical Information Network) International is operated jointly by CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe, and is intended primarily for information professionals, using acommand language interface. In addition to CAS databases, STN also provides access to many other databases, similar to Dialog.

b)  SciFinder

SciFinder is a database of chemical and bibliographic information. Originally a clientapplication, a web version was released in 2008.  It has a graphics interface, and can be searched for chemical structures. The client version is for chemists in commercial organizations. Versions for both the Windows and Macintosh exist. SciFinder Scholar is for universities and other academic institutions and lacks some supplementary features for multi-database searching.


CASSI stands for Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index. This formerly print-only database is now a free online resource to look up and confirm publication information. CASSI provides titles and abbreviations, CODENISSNpublisher, and date of first issue (history) for a selected journal. Also included is its language of text and language of summaries. The range is from 1907 to the present, including both serial and non-serial scientific and technical publications. The database is updated annually every December.


INSPEC, started in 1967, is presently published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), United Kingdom. It is presently one of the  leading bibliographic information services available  in English-language and provides access to the world's scientific and technical literature in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, computers and computing, and information technology. INSPEC  coverage is extensive in the fields of physics and computer, control, and mechanical engineering. Its subject coverage includes astronomy, electronics, communications, ergonomics, computers & computing, computer science, control engineering, electrical engineering, information technology, and physics. The INSPEC database is an invaluable information resource for all scientists and engineers, that contains 14 million abstracts and specialised indexing to the world's quality research literature in the fields of physics and engineering.Access to INSPEC is currently by the Internet through Inspec Direct and various resellers.

1 Print counterparts

INSPEC has several print counterparts that include:
  • Computer and Control Abstracts
  • Electrical and Electronics Abstracts
  • Physics Abstracts
  • Science Abstracts
  • Electrical engineering Abstracts* Electronics Abstracts
  • Control theory Abstracts
  • Information technology Abstracts
  • Physics Indexes
  • Electrical engineering Indexes
  • Electronics Indexes
  • Control theory Indexes
  • Information technology Indexes
2 INSPEC Search Aids

The various INSPEC search aids are:

  • INSPEC Classification
  • INSPEC Thesaurus – electronic and print version
  • INSPEC List of Journals
  • INSPEC List of Journals XML

3 INSPEC Services

INSPEC assists engineers, scientists and others in their research, to locate relevant journal articles, conference papers and other documents. In addition, the database may be used for:

  • Current Awareness
  • New Product Information
  • Technological Forecasting
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Patent-Related Searching

INSPEC information is available in a wide range of products in Electronic format, as  current awareness services including online products. The related products and services are the IET’s  Library and Archives making available – Library service, Search Service, Document delivery service, Electronic Materials Information Service and Reference Service.

20. Web Of Science

Web of Science (WoS) is an online subscription-based scientific citation indexing service maintained by Thomson Reuters that provides a comprehensive citation search. It gives access to multiple databases that reference cross-disciplinary research, which allows for in-depth exploration of specialized sub-fields within an academic or scientific discipline.  The coverage includes - the sciencessocial sciencesarts, and humanities, and goes across disciplines.  Web of Science Core Collection provides researchers, administrators, faculty and students with quick and powerful access to the world’s leading citation databases. Authoritative, multidisciplinary contents cover over 12,000 highest impact journals worldwide including open access journals and over 150,000 conference proceedings. Journals with current and retrospective coverage dating back to 1900  in science, social sciences and humanities can be searched. It helps to overcome information overload and focuses on essential data across more than 250 disciplines.  

This most comprehensive research platform offers Multidisciplinary content, Integrated content search, Pattern and trend analysis and Citation visualization. The service is intended for academic researchers, information professionals research and development professionals. Whether looking at data, books, journals, proceedings or patents, Web of Science provides a single destination to access the most reliable, integrated, multidisciplinary research. Quality, curated content delivered alongside information on emerging trends, subject specific content and analysis tools make it easy for students, faculty, researchers, analysts, and program managers to pinpoint the most relevant research to inform their work.

1 Components

Web of Science has the following components based on which information for various researchers is made available.

a)    Biological Abstracts
b)    BIOSIS Citation Index
c)    BIOSIS Preview
d)    CAB Abstracts
e)    CAB Global Health
f)     Chinese Science Citation Database
g)    Current Contents Connect
h)    Data Citation Index
i)      Derwent Innovations Index
j)      Food Science and Technology Abstracts
k)    INSPEC
l)      MEDLINE
m)  SciELO Citation Index
n)    Web of Science Core Collection
  • o)    Zoological Records

2 Related Products

a)    Science Citation Index
b)    Social Science Citation Index
c)    Arts and Humanities Citation Index
d)    Current Contents Connect

21. Biosis Previews

BIOSIS Previews is an English-language, bibliographic database service, with abstracts and citation indexing. It is part of Thomson ReutersWeb of Knowledge suite. Content that was originally integrated from the BIOSIScompany before the merger in 2004 is now part of the Web of Knowledge. BIOSIS Previews indexes data from 1926 to the present.
BIOSIS Previews is part of the Life Sciences in the Web of Knowledge. Its coverage encompasses the life sciences literature and biomedical sciences literature, with global coverage on a wide range of subject areas. This is accomplished with access to indexed journal content from Biological Abstracts, and supplemental, indexed, non-journal content from Biological Abstracts/Reports, Reviews, Meetings or (BA/RRM) or (Biological Abstracts/RRM) and the major publications of BIOSIS. This coverage includes literature in pre-clinical and experimental research, methods and instrumentation, animal studies, environmental and consumer issues, and other areas.
BIOSIS   databases are the most complete resource for finding life sciences information quickly and efficiently. Documents are selected from thousands of sources worldwide, indexed and abstracted into citations which describe their content, and maintain databases for searching citations.


Information is a vital resource for users and information specialists. The national organizations, international organizations and professional bodies are engaged in providing services and products which help in closing the information gap. Another problem is that the Western nations have always been information rich and the developing countries are information poor. The modern technologies, especially the computer and the telecommunication technologies have bridged this information gap to a great extent. For this, several international organizations have come forward to help close this wide gap by their programmes and activities.

There are many international organizations, systems and centres contributing towards promotion, coordination and development of library and information services for assisting the users. In this unit, we have covered global information systems like INIS, AGRIS and INFORTERRA that provide cooperative systems and services and work on the principle of decentralized input, centralized processing and decentralized output.

United Nations agencies, professional organizations like IFLA, ICSU, etc. have helped a lot in this regard. They are professional bodies that provide a forum for exchange of ideas and experience. Specialized global information systems like the CAS and MEDLARS provide computerized products, services and activities that ensure taking care of the information needs of the user community.

The growing demand for information and increasing use of present facilities and services indicates the need and importance of such national, international and special information organizations within our information infrastructure.The inputs from various member countries have enabled most of the international organisations and agencies to be successful.  In this module, an overview of
international information organisations, systems and facilities in various subject areas has been given. Some of the organisations listed in this module have been covered in detail in the subsequent modules.

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