[cross-posted from the CGIAR ICT-KM Blog]
When the custodians of years of research team up with the most popular Internet search engine in the world, you can expect something extraordinary to happen.
Imagine if you could search over 2,000 books, more than 50,000 pages from books published by the largest agricultural research consortium in the world; browse that library online and immediately download the full text of any book or order a print copy with a few clicks of a mouse … Well, imagine no more, because you can now do just that!
Over the years, the individual CGIAR Centers have amassed significant libraries that reflect the results of CGIAR agricultural research across the globe. Until recently, though, many of the scientific titles contained within these collections (books that cover research on fisheries, livestock, forestry, plant genetics, water management, food policy and the cultivation of food crops, among others) have only been accessible to a limited readership. Today, all of that has changed, and CGIAR publications are now collectively available at one of the biggest searchable online libraries.
CGBooks, a collaborative effort involving CGIAR Information Managers, Web Managers and Google staff, has effectively expanded the reach of CGIAR research, simply by making publications instantly searchable over the Internet. In addition, having the option of searching the thousands of CGIAR publications available through the CGVlibrary further increases the access to CGIAR research results.
In the beginning
In 2005, CGIAR Centers began turning over their books to Google Book Search (GBS) for scanning – a huge undertaking that was funded entirely by Google. Later, when it was suggested that the Centers come together to create an overall CGBooks search, the idea was greeted with enthusiasm. There are now thousands of titles taking the results of CGIAR research to thousands of users around the globe.