HEC provides online access to 40,000 text books
ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has provided students and faculty members of universities across the country with online access to over 40,000 text books and research journals.
Under Digital Library Programme of HEC, an open-access online portal has been established through which all journals published in Pakistan have been made available for worldwide electronic access.
The portal allows international exposure of research conducted within Pakistan, and assists in the international peer-review process of indigenous publications.
In 2006, the HEC had commissioned a case study of its Digital Library by International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) that covered the content, training, marketing, finance, monitoring and evaluation and impact of the digital library.
The main objective is to support and strengthen the learning activities of students. The students, faculty and staff now have access to e-books and all of the powerful research technologies are offered through this platform.
Over 220 leading international publishers have been identified for the access, including Oxford University Press, Taylor and Francis, Blackwell Synergy, BMJ Publishing Group, Cambridge University Press, Emerald, John Wiley and Sins, McGraw Hill Book Companies, MIT Press, Springer Publishing Company, Stanford University Press, Sybex Inc, and United Nations University Press.
The Digital Library holds a great promise as users nationwide are appreciating the programme. However, the sustainability of the programme will be dependent on researchers and professionals who have to play an active role in managing the library and optimising the use of its resources.
Pakistan has become one of the first few countries in the world in which the entire student community is being given free access to a large knowledge source.
This represents an important and a historic step by the HEC to improve the quality of education in universities, and reduce the cost burden of higher education on students. app