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The Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation in Armenia has granted the Fundamental Scientific Library of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with a one year grant to develop an Open Access based scholarly communication system for the national academic community.
The Fundamental Scientific Library of the National Academy of Sciences is the main and largest repository of scholarly publication in the Republic of Armenia. The National Academy of Sciences houses 29 research institutions and is an overall leading producer of scientific content. Eighteen NAS libraries are members of the eIFL-supported Electronic Consortium of Armenia ELCA, (http://www.elca.am), whose main objective is to ensure and enhance access to online scientific journals to libraries, universities, research and other non-commercial organizations. However the National Academy of Sciences publishes 13 peer-reviewed journals with an international reputation, partners in different EU and US funded research projects, and a supercomputing GRID infrastructure is operating, academic institutions are not yet well prepared for the challenges of the knowledge society and scientists are not familiar with the modern trends on scholarly communication.
The Open Society Institute has been supporting the implementation of digital technologies in Armenia in the last years and this new project will seek to raise awareness and encourage alternative solutions to the traditional system of scholarly communication based on peer reviewed academic journals by commercial publishers. The grant period will run through the whole 2008 and will look into Open Access publishing procedures, institutional repositories and self-archiving toolsets for the local research community. In addition, the project will publish 12 issues of an electronic journal mainly focused on Mathematics and Physics. Tigran Zargaryan, director of the Fundamental Scientific Library of the National Academy of Sciences, will coordinate the project.