Building Digital Collections in the Algerian Context: Assets and Prospects

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Karen I. MacDonald
When we analyze the access behavior of Algerian users of information and documentation, we see a certain number of dysfunctions leading to a situation of imbalance between user demand on the one hand and library and document center access on the other. The delivery mechanisms of the information suppliers are slow and less e⁄cient, as we can deduce from surveys and studies, such as those of R. Carlier (1993); A. Geronimi (1993); Issolah (1992); Akrour (1999); Belhabib (1999); and Dahmane (2000).l To compensate for this inadequacy in the local information context, the CERIST Research Center on Scienti¢c and Technical Information ( is producing and maintaining several bibliographic catalogs and databases, including the following: The automated National Bibliography and National Union Catalogs (CAP, CAT, FNT), as well as the national databases of ‘‘Algerianna’’, ‘‘Algerie Science Information (ASI)’’ and ‘‘Algerian Scienti¢c Abstracts (ASA)’’. These catalogs and databases are available via the Internet through the Website. An example of a search session (in the National Bibliography) is given in Figs. 1^3: However, we are not sure if these bibliographic ¢les and catalogs are used and exploited by local users in an optimum way, especially in light of the problem of Internet connectivity. Also, we should consider if the contents of these bibliographic tools are su⁄cient to meet the new users’ needs. During the same search session there is indeed a tendency to require not only bibliographic information but the possibility of getting the full content of identi¢ed documents. Also, we must ponder the following question: Which add-value are these bibliographic tools assigning Mots Clés:
Digital Collections