How it started?
During the ICSU 28th General Meeting held in Sozohu, China 16-22 October 2005, the President, Prof. M. Shamsher Ali and Secretary, Professor Naiyyum Choudhury of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences had a talk with Ms. Carol Priestly, the then Director of International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) and Ms. Sara Gwynn, Coordinator (presently Director of Programmes) of the Program for Enhancement of Research Information (PERI), of INASP regarding possibility of initiating INASP on line journal facilties in Bangladesh. This was done because of the chronic scarcity problem of hard copy journals in Bangladesh, faced by the scientists. INASP is a UK based Charity Organization funded by international organizations like UNDP, ICSU etc. Bangladesh Academy of Sciences is the focal point of the ICSU in Bangladesh A discussion on introduction of the Program in Bangladesh took place between BAS& INASP. The BAS recognized and realized the benefit of developing a network through on-lines for making journals, scientific literatures and other information available to the teachers, students, researchers and scientists of universities, research institutes, laboratories and other academic institutes of the country. With this end in view, Ms. Carol Priestly and Ms. Sara Gwynn were invited by the President, BAS to visit Bangladesh Academy of Sciences at any convenient time to discuss the possibility of introducing INASP program in Bangladesh.
Participatory BAS-INASP Workshop, 2006
A Participatory Discussion Meeting (workshop) on exploring activities and services of INASP that may be useful to possible stake-holders like policy makers, managers, teachers, students, researchers, library staff, journal publishers, journal editors was arranged on 13 May 2006 by the Academy in collaboration with INASP in the Conference Room of the Academy at NMST Bhaban, Agargaon, Dhaka-1207. Ms Carol Priestly could not make time to come Ms. Sara Gwynn, the Coordinator of PERI, INASP was the facilitator of the workshop and and representatives of public and private universities, research institutions & laboratories participated in the day long workshop. The workshop made some important recommendations to the Academy to take the initiative for the INASP programme in Bangladesh.
MoU between BAS and INASP, 2006
As a first step a MoU was signed between the BAS & INASP and Bangladesh became a member of the network. Through this network a large number of journals of world renowned publishers are made available to the Bangladesh stake-holders who can down-load all these information at their work places at any time.
Later on, all the public and private universities, research institutes, laboratories in the country were informed of this services & benefit of the network and they were invited to join the network. Consequently, a good number of universities & research organizations participated the network.
Bangladesh-INASP-PERI Consortium(BIPC), 2007
Consequently, Bangladesh INASP-PERI Consortium (BIPC) was formed with the Primary Contact Officers of the participating organizations. The BIPC is being operated by a National Coordination Committee with Dr. M A Mazed, Director, BAS, as coordinator with all Primary Contact Officers as members. An Advisory Committee was formed during a meeting when the Vice Chancellors of the public and private universities, Chairman/Director Generals/ Directors of R&D organizations were present. Prof. Dr. M Shamsher Ali, President, BAS, became Chairman of the Advisory Committee and Prof. Dr. Naiyyum Choudhury, Secretary, BAS became the Member-Secretary of the Advisory Committee for BIPC in Bangladesh. An on-line journal network under the Program for Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) started in 2006, on trial basis free of subscription. From January 2007, Bangladesh started subscribing PERI/INASP and 13 organizations paid subscription for the network for an amount of US$ 67,000. In 2008, the number of members rose to 22 and the network paid US$ 87000 to INASP. By last year, more than 30 organizations joined the network and more organizations are showing interest to join because of the immense benefit received in a cost effective way. The subscription paid to INASP by now is in the tune of US$ 1,60,000.
Under this program, three training programmes of the IT staff, librarians, and Primary Contact Officers have been offered and more are being organized with international and national resource persons.
Every year a Steering Committee Meeting is held with the Country Coordinators and the INASP officials. Last year the SC Meeting was held in Oxford, UK. The Bangladesh Academy of Sciences is hosting this years SC Meeting to be held on 11-14 May 2009. The Meeting will be held at the BRAC Centre Inn, Mohakhali. Thirty three representative from 23 Member countries will participate in the SC Meeting and discuss issues like country specific needs, sustainability, understanding users need, effective proposal writing, monitoring and evaluation etc.