Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bloomberg news: Myhrvold: Invention Is the Mother of Economic Growth

One reason “dismal science” aptly describes economics is that it so often winds up in a zero-sum trade-off of diminishing returns. That gets depressing when the global economy is in a sorry state, as it is now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GOAP: UNESCO's Global Open Access Portal

I am currently interested in all things related to Science 2.0. This morning I found in EFITA Newsletter 546 a link to UNESCO's open access portal:

Global Open Access Portal (GOAP) by Unesco
Here a list of OA thematic archives. There are archives in the agriculture domain: SIDALC ; AgEcon ; infoteca-e ; Organic e-prints

What did I find at this site that may be of interest to agricultural economists?

In the Social Science category, section "Economics", there are RePEc   and  AgEcon. In section "Social Science (General) we find some unfamiliar acronyms: CLACSOFLACSO and CLASE
CLASCO is the Latin America and Caribbean social science virtual library which provides access to (i) a reading room with some 11,000 ful-text social science documents, (ii) 84 full-text magazines; (iii) a dead link to a research projects data base, (iv) another dead link to a database of social science researchers' profiles, (v) a link to multi-media link site with no entries, and a huge link list. The primary language of CLASCO is Spanish.

FLASCO, the Latin America Faculty of Social Sciences-MetaLibrary, is a search engine that "allows integrated open access to full-text resources available in FLACSO´s digital libraries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico." FLASCO is said to "harvest and allow integrated searching in social science collections from Latin America.  Presently it harvests collections from FLACSO Ecuador, FLACSO Andes, CLACSO, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (Argentina), Universidad Nacional de Rosario (Argentina), Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Argentina)." [Source_01]

CLASE (Citas Latinoamericanas en Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades/Social Sciences and Humanities) is a  bibliographic database of journals from 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The database was developed  by the Autonomous National University of México. CLASE allows search within journals by title, author,  year, subject and keywords. Full-text articles are from journals of: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras,  Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. Use of the database is free of charge.

GAOP provides links to the Social Science Research Network, the Social Science Open Access Repository, and  to the Institute for Population and Social Research: Digital Repository. The links to SSRN and the German SSOAR sites worked but I waited quite some time for the Institute for Polpulation and Social Research site to load; it didn't.

In the category "Multidisciplinary" I found the link LSE Research Online which leads to the online repository of the London School of Economics, an institution whose research I would not categorize as "multidisciplinary". 
Under "Agriculture", GOAP lists SIDALCAgEconinfoteca-e, and Organic e-prints.
SIDALC  is the Servicio de Información y Documentación Agropecuario de las Américas (Agriculture Information and Documentation Service of the Americas) . The agricultural web-library  "offers open access to 162,369 full texts from 12 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela)" [Source_02]. 43 institutions from 12 countries of Latin America participate in SIDALC.

 The infoteca-e website was not available in the afternoon of Dec 27th, 2011.
Organic e-prints "is an international open access archive for papers and projects related to research in organic food and farming. The archive contains full-text papers in electronic form together with bibliographic information, abstracts and other metadata. It also offers information on organisations, projects and facilities in the context of organic farming research" [Source_03]. The site is supported by organic farming organisation from Danmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
Overall, GOAP has not much to offer to most agricultural economists. The exception may be ag economists with an interest in the LAC region.