Thursday, July 12, 2007

The role of Vietnamese governmental libraries in supporting and developing emerging or alternate forms of scholarly communication

PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference
12 July 2007
2:55-3:55 SFUHC Canfor Policy Room

Hoang Kim Dung, NACESTI. Vietnam. (Unable to attend)

Le Thuy Duong, National Library of Vietnam. Vietnam

National Library of Vietnam

Le Thuy Duong's presentation offered an overview of Vietnamese libraries and scholarly publishing. Most of Vietnam's libraries are limited to students and researchers working at the sponsoring institution. The major publishers of scholarly material in Vietnam: research institutes, universities, government agencies, professional organizations, and library and information centres produce approximately 15,000 titles annually with an estimated 200 of those titles being scholarly journals.

The move to on-line resources and the OJS means that Vietnamese research is available to individuals outside of the university and around the world. However, unresolved copyright issues mean that the number of full open access articles available are very small. The database of Vietnamese Doctoral Theses, full text of 12,000 digitized theses, are currently available only within the National Library of Vietnam. The National Library intends to ask these doctoral authors for permission to provide full and open access to these documents which will be available through their website:

Duong himself is a major developer of Open Access in Vietnam with his work on the Vietnamese Journals Online (VJN Online) which is hosted by OJS and supported by INASP (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications). This journal service brings Vietnamese research to the world primarily in Vietnamese. VJN Online currently has 16 journals, 20 table of contents, 216 articles, and of these 188 full text articles available.

Developing the VJN Online is only one aspect of Duong's professional portfolio. He is currently the:
  • Vice Head of International Relations Bureau at the National Library of Vietnam
  • Secretary-General of the Congress of SE Asian Libraries
  • Manager of the Vietnamese Dewey Decimal Classification Office
The future for Duong includes working with INASP to train editors to use the entire OJS system by starting with an introduction, moving to publishing back issues on-line, procuring content, and finally uploading new issues.

Question from audience:
How has printing in English contributed to Vietnamese journals reaching a wider audience?
- The limited English capabilities of earlier Vietnamese researchers, but the current generation of scholars is more confident in reaching and impacting audiences from different countries. In the past several Vietnamese journals were printed in Russian reflecting the scholarly training in the Soviet Union.


While OA allows for a greater circulation and communication of knowledge, Duong’s presentation touched on two of the major challenges with moving to a totally OA format: copyright and language barriers. Despite these obstacles, the ability of one individual to make a marked difference in the circulation of information is shown to be possible with the work Duong does with INASP.

Vietnam possesses the capability to provide free user access to scholarly information as the journal published by the Communist Party of Vietnam, “Journal of Communism”, is provided by the government agency. Asking permission to publish doctoral theses opens up past and emerging scholarship to the world and illustrates Vietnam’s established scholarly tradition. As the OA movement continues to grow in Vietnam, building on this history of academic study and communication expresses a continuity with a rich social, cultural, lingual, and scholarly past.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

When the ability to access knowledge is limited due to government control or institutional affiliation, individuals are deprived the right to know information that they, their families, and their communities can benefit from.The use of OJS journals and software in Vietnam suggests that global technological advances can be employed to make a difference through locally developed and locally relevant solutions to the problem of access. Universities and institutions can move and are moving from a position of restricting access to documents and information to opening the circulation of knowledge across scholarly interests and geographical divides.

Links to:
The National Library of Vietnam

NACESTI (National Center for Scientific and Technological Information)
The depository library of government sponsored reports dating from the 1970s

ASEAN Infonet
Congress of the SE Asian Libraries: Open Access to ebooks on SE Asian culture. The goal of ASEAN is to digitize collections of member institutions with nearly 500 Vietnamese monographs completed. However, the copy and print functions from this site are disabled.

Vietnamese Medical Journals
Published by CIMSI
Delayed open access to full text publications between 2002 and 2005.

Science and Technology Journals

Published by VAST
Delayed open access, currently being loaded onto VJN Online

Ho Chi Minh University of National Sciences
Full access to conference proceedings and open journals.

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