The RSC has provided developing countries with free access to its journal archives, but its involvement shouldn't stop there.
The RSC has provided developing countries with free access to its journal archives, but its involvement shouldn’t stop there, said RSC chief executive, Richard Pike.
’The next logical step, having done this, is to see how we can improve knowledge transfer in selected countries,’ Pike told Chemistry World.
’From my own experience, what I’ve seen is that you need to raise the skills of a core set of people in a country to a certain threshold level, and then you start to achieve take off,’ he said. Once the knowledge base and the skills are in place, these will build on one another to establish more sophisticated frameworks for bringing in more information and applying it.
The RSC is ideally placed to engage in greater involvement internationally, said Pike.
He would like to see the RSC education model - teaching the teachers, inspiring young children - applied locally in selected developing countries.
Asked what he would say to people who argue this is not the RSC’s responsibility, he said: ’I’d say it’s a model which we’ve applied very successfully in the UK . surely there is scope for us to work with larger organisations collaboratively to provide some of the elements of this model.’
This interactive role would be in addition to the provision of journal archives and the accreditation of university degree courses. ’It’s all part of the options we’re looking at,’ said Pike. ’We’re trying to develop a coherent international strategy that we could deliver.’
Historically, most RSC members have been based in the UK, so activities have been strongly UK oriented. Membership is now approaching 20 per cent overseas, said Pike, ’So we can see a very important role for us to work overseas, and to help other people work overseas.’
Pike is keen to stress that this is what separates the RSC from commercial publishers. Along with provision of the RSC journal archives comes the experience of the RSC interest groups and divisions: ’We’ve done it here, you could say it’s a transferable process.’