Information services and products for Phytomedicine and Ethno-veterinary medicine : supporting new research niche areas in Africa
Coetsee, Tertia; Nel, Marguerite; International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML) (10th : 2009 : Brisbane, Australia); International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS) (6th : 2009 : Brisbane, Australia); International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC) 94th : 2009 : Brisbane, Australia)
Early in 2006 a new four year faculty plan was developed for the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria. The emphasis was on postgraduate training, stimulating research on unique problems and the development of national and international relationships. Five “National Research Foundation Developed Research Niche Areas” were identified of which "Phytomedicine and ethno-veterinary medicine" was one.
This programme focuses on the development of extracts from South African plants with antimicrobial or anti-parasitic activity for use in animal production.
This paper will focus on the role of the Veterinary Science Library of the University of Pretoria to promote information services to support research in this discipline. It will illustrate how the information specialist can become closely aligned with the faculty department, to support education innovation and research excellence.
In order to provide resources for current research in phytomedicine and ethno-veterinary medicine, the information collection of the Library was evaluated against other national and international university libraries’ collections.
As many of the postgraduate students are situated off campus, often outside South Africa, the focus is on electronic information products and services for easier retrieval of information, group interaction, information sharing and collaboration and the digital preservation of intellectual products of the Phytomedicine Programme. A webpage and a digitized slide collection with optimum accessibility provided by metadata, are part of information support.
The important role of the information specialist in ensuring the development of relevant information services and products to support research in a new and dynamic subject field, with significance for Africa, is illustrated.
Paper presented at the 10th International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML) 2009, incorporating the 6th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS) and the 4th International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC), Brisbane, Australia, 2009.