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JST's Training Program for Science and Technology Information Specialists in South East Asian Countries

Fumihiko KIKUCHI 1)
Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST)

1) Manager, Department of International Affairs, 14F., Kawaguchi Center Build., 4-1-8, Hon-cho, Kawaguchi-shi 332-0012; Fax: 048-226-5751; E-Mail: fukiku@tokyo.jst.go.jp The paper was delivered at the Karuizawa Inose Lodge on Wednesday October 20th, 1999.

1 JST
2 International development of JST for science and technology information dissemination activities
2.1 Bilateral organizational cooperative activities
2.2 Provision of information to the Asia-Pacific region
2.3 Participation in and financial support to symposiums or
international conferences held by international information
dissemination organizations

3 Science and technology information dissemination workshop activities in South East Asia
4 Training projects for the Asia region

1 JST

Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST) was established on October 1, 1996, as a result of a merger between the Japan Information Center of Science and Technology (JICST) and the Japan Research and Development Corporation (JRDC). JICST disseminated science and technology information and JRDC promoted basic research, new technology development and research exchange. JST took over the businesses of JICST and JRDC to develop them further. According to the Science and Technology Basic Law, JST's aim is to improve infrastructure that allows science and technology to prosper, and to promote unique state-of-the-art research and development.

JST's functions can be classified into 1) dissemination of science and technology information, 2) promotion of basic research, 3) research exchange, 4) research assistance, 5) development of new technologies, and 6) improvement of understanding of science and technology.

The total 1999 budget for all these areas is 90.6 billion yen. Within this budget, 18.3 billion yen is allocated for the dissemination of information on science and technology.

JST engages in international business mainly in its Department of International Affairs. These areas include international joint research, exchanges of science and technology researchers, and organization of symposiums, and finally the dissemination of science and technology information. JST runs four overseas offices in Paris, Washington D.C., Brussels, and Malaysia to collect information on international affairs in the scientific and technological field, and to coordinate with overseas organizations.

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2 International development of JST for science and technology information dissemination activities

Inspired by the establishment of the Science and Technology Literature Law in the United States, interest in Japanese information started increasing in Europe as well as in the United States. As a result, the International Conference on Japanese Information in Science, Technology, Education & Commerce was held with the British Library. JST quickly responded to this movement, and began to disseminate Japanese science and technology information to other countries. Furthermore, in cooperation with organizations in those countries and to aggressively promote the dissemination of Japanese information abroad, JST has been organizing the Japan Information Seminar since 1991, with five meetings in the United States, and four meetings in Europe, as well as other dissemination activities in Asian countries.

JST engages in consistent and continuous international cooperative efforts.

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2.1 Bilateral organizational cooperative activities
In inter-organization cooperative activities, JST has entered into cooperative memoranda between the following three organizations:

EThe Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (ISTIC)
ISTIC is a national comprehensive science and technology information research institute established in 1956 under the direct control of the National Science and Technology Committee, with a head office in Beijing and a branch in Chongquing. JST and ISTIC entered into a memorandum on mutual cooperation, including exchange of reference materials and personnel, inputting database entries and promoting dissemination of science and technology information. The memorandum was updated in January 1998.

EThe Information Center for Resources and Environmental Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICRESCAS)
JST and ICRESCAS (previous LADIC: Lanzhou Documentation and Information centre of the Chinese Academy) of China entered into a memorandum in 1996 on mutual cooperation including exchange of reference materials, and inputting database entries.

EThe Korea Institute of Industry & Technology Information (KINITI)
Following the joint communiq that resulted from the talks between the ministers in charge of science and technology of Japan and Korea held in Seoul, Korea in September 1968, an official cooperative relationship was established between the Japan Information Center for Science & Technology (JICST) and the Korea Scientific and Technological Centre (KORSTIC) . Although KORSTIC subsequently underwent a merger and changed its name to the Korea Institute of Industry & Technology Information (KINITI), the cooperative relationship between JST and KINITI continues to be updated every three years. The JICST and KINITI memorandum specifically stipulates mutual cooperation including exchange of reference materials, information technology training for KINITI employees, giving assistance to disseminate JST information in Korea, and provision of computer information services and systems development. KINITI is an information organization under the umbrella of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. Its history began in 1962, when it started as KORSTIC in 1962.

EThe U.S. Department of Commerce
Following the arrangement on cooperation in machine translation between the Science and Technology Agency and the Department of Commerce of the United States, the Translation Center was established by the Technology Administration at the Department of Commerce. In order to extend mutual cooperation for management of the Translation Center, both parties entered into a "service agreement between the Technology Administration, Department of Commerce, the United States of America and Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST) for cooperation in machine translation" in May 1996.

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2.2 Provision of information to the Asia-Pacific region
JST engages in activities to provide information to the Asia-Pacific region as follows.

In order to promote distribution of information about study results conducted by governmental organizations. JST provides about 30 APEC countries with science and technology literature in hard copy or CD-ROM format in areas such as energy, agriculture, and electronics.

EDistribution of reference documents in English translation
As a part of an international approach to disseminate information about Japan to the world, JST sends the English-version of the science and technology white paper to 86 organizations abroad.

JST also sends "STA TODAY," a PR brochure about businesses related to the Science and Technology Agency to 190 relevant organizations abroad.

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2.3 Participation in and financial support to symposiums or international conferences held by international information dissemination organizations
In fiscal 1999, JST participated in the following conferences;

1) Participation in the ICSTI General Assembly
JST participated in the General Assembly of the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) that was held in Taiwan in May. JST reported its activities and introduced case studies on recent systems development for the purpose of disseminating science and technology information.

2) International Conference on Japanese Information in Science, Technology, Education & Commerce: the international conference on disseminating Japanese information
JST participated in this international conference for the smooth dissemination of Japanese information, from the first meeting in 1987 throughout the fifth meeting in 1997. In the sixth meeting, JOHO6, held in Sweden in September 1999, JST gave a presentation on systems development for electronic journals. JST also supported the JOHO6 by partially paying the organizing costs.

3) The Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature (GL'99)
JST participated in the Program Committee of GL'99 held in Washington D.C. in October 1999. JST served as a sponsor of the Conference, as well as giving a presentation at the Conference. We introduced the Directory Database of Research and Development Activities (ReaD), containing information on Japanese research institutes and their agendas.

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3 Science and technology information dissemination workshop activities in South East Asia

In April 1997, JST opened a Malaysia office in Kuala Lumpur, for the purpose of promoting cooperation with science and technology information organizations in South East Asian countries. With this office taking the central role, the 1st Regional Workshop on S&T Information Activities in South East Asia was held with the participation of representatives from relevant organizations, jointly organized by JST and the Malaysian Science & Technology Information Centre (MASTIC). This workshop sought possibilities for cooperation with science and technology information organizations in South East Asia, for the purpose of disseminating science and technology information in this region.

The Workshop was held in June 1999 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Workshop's purpose is to establish a cooperative system among science and technology information organizations in South East Asian countries, in order to create the information infrastructure necessary for research and development in South East Asia.

The Workshop will continue to be held in the future. This first meeting in 1999 is primarily aimed at getting to know about each organization's activities.

Participants from five South East Asian countries are as follows.

Philippines: Science & Technology Information Institute (STII/DOST)
Vietnam: National Center for Scientific & Technological Information & Documentation (NACESTID)
Thailand: National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT)
Malaysia: Malaysian Science & Technology Information Centre (MASTIC)
Indonesia: Center for Scientific Documentation & Information (PDII)
Singapore: ACCESSInfo and Elsevier Science (private organizations)

Ms. Torrijos, the UNESCO Information Management Consultant, gave a keynote speech on the "Dissemination of Science and Technology Information in the Information Society." Mr. Shahar, Acting Director-General at the National Library of Malaysia gave a special speech on the "Era of Digitalization: Challenges for Libraries in Malaysia."

JST explained the flow of the Japanese policy on science and technology information in Japan and its own role in this flow, JST also introduced its electronic journals on which development has been underway since 1998, and the "comprehensive digital contents system," an effective web site retrieval system for science and technology information.

At the general session on the second day of the Workshop, agreements were reached as follows.

(1) It was agreed that it was necessary to establish a cooperative system among the organizations in charge of science and technology information in South East Asian countries. JST was required to serve the leading role in its establishment.
(2) JST Malaysia Office was requested to function as the secretariat for the cooperative system described in (1).
(3) Besides depending on other countries, each organization would request to its own government support for science and technology information activities.
(4) It was recommended that this cooperative system would be established under an international framework.
(5) Some examples of cooperation were cited, including a forum training course to improve regional information activities.
(6) The name of the cooperative program of this group is the Cooperative Program for the Exchange of Experiences, Expertise, Information in S&T in South East Asian Countries (CO-EXIST-SEA).
(7) The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are in the running to be the site for the next workshop. Subsequent discussion will continue in communications via e-mails.

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4 Training projects for the Asia region

JST intends to give training to science and technology information specialists in South East Asia, based on the situation, issues, and agreements specific to each country obtained from discussion among participants of the Regional Workshop on S&T Information Activities in South East Asia.

Situations and issues common to those countries that are to be solved are as follows:
There are two main points common to South East Asian countries:

We have two issues to address and solve:

Science and technology information tends to be disseminated in the form of electronic journals or electronic libraries. Therefore, in order to nurture personnel through training or seminars, it is necessary to focus on standardizing the data for directory databases prepared by countries in common and on developing a system related to electronic journals.

In November 1999, two trainees from each organization in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are scheduled to be invited to Japan to receive training for about ten days.

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