Scientists in some of the world's poorest countries will gain free or very low cost access to journals which together would cost an estimated $200,000 a year in subscriptions. The Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) portal, debuted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in October, will provide 69 countries with a per capita annual income of $1000 or less access to more than 400 key journals on agriculture and related fields.

"There has been a longstanding problem in developing countries, where the libraries in most of the institutions such as universities and research centers have very little in the way of library materials," said AGORA Project Manager Mary Ochs. "There have been programs over the years, attempts to ship materials to these libraries—textbooks and journals—but it was never really possible. It was too expensive and just didn't work."

The AGORA project's goal is to...

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