Department of Agricultural Research and Technical Services (DARTS)

  Information Services and Publications

Structure | Strategy | Databases | Publications | Technologies |

Structure

The Department of Agricultural Research and Technical Services, has been developing a network project of agricultural libraries since the 1960s. The project has had funding from the World Bank (Malawi National Agricultural Research Project -NARP), Agricultural Services Project (ASP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The British Council, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The department has a network of four libraries in the country. The main library is located at Chitedze Agricultural Research Station. The other libraries are located at Bvumbwe, Lunyangwa, and Makoka stations. The development of the library system is a continuous process which is aimed at supporting all sectors of agriculture. Consequently, resource mobilization and optimization of the available information from within and outside the network.

Strategy

The DARTS information strategy has the overal objective of developing effective information management and communication systems. This can be achieved through the awareness of researchers on the latest developments in the fields of specialty. Consequently, the scientists are better able to utilize it for use in their work. Additionally, scientists are conveniently provided with easy access and dissemination of information from and to local and international collaborators. This has been enhanced through the installation of computers and relevant software and the collection of monographs, periodicals, reprints, reports, newsletter,and unique non-convetional literature.

Databases

DARTS has independent databases in its libraries. The databases can be networked with each other. The network maintains more than 70,000 references and subscribe about 150 journals on various agricultural scientific publications. The network also maintains databases of serials, monographs, reprints, reports, proceedings of meetings and seminars, released techonologies, microfiche, thesis, and other documents.

Since 1986, the DARTS Library System has regularly received CD-ROMs of AGRICOLA, AGRIS, CARIS, and CABI. The system is able to search subject-specific cd-roms on related disciplines in agriculture and natural resources. At each branch in the system, has a full time staff that offer full reference support services, help scientists to perform literature searches, and document delivery services for end users. The network also produces alert bulletins for the scientific staff of the recent materials acquired by the departmentís library system.

Requests for materials can be made by mail, e-mail, telephone (+265-707-222) or fax . Users may receive complete documents or photocopies of articles requested from cited documents.


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