Growing knowledge with Research4Life in Vietnam
This interview was conducted by An Hạ, CEO of Amazing Group
Le Trong Hieu is the Librarian of the Learning Center of Can Tho University – a public institution situated on the Mekong Delta in south Vietnam. He has been working at the Library for about 15 years, supporting readers to approach academic information, updating materials and organizing promotional activities. We caught up with him to chat about his journey, and how Research4Life has impacted his work.
What is your experience with access to knowledge?
At the Library, we could see that from around 2010 open information resources started to become more and more common. We are a public university without a big budget, so it’s crucial that we use open resources and information: when I started to have access to more knowledge and information resources, then I could do my job better in the library.
What is your experience using Research4Life?
Research4Life was one among the information resources we collected on the website of the Library. We provide academic information for all research in the Mekong Delta, so if other institutes are doing scientific research, we can use Research4Life to share our resources and support them. I also use Research4Life to guide students and lecturers in doing research and searching academic information, especially through Information Literacy courses I give for new students as a compulsory training. For example, Medical majors receive training that includes Hinari, for those in Agriculture, it’s Agora.
We always suggest databases that particularly match their needs. We want to educate them about the habits of searching and reading academically. And when students can’t find specific journals or articles, I can usually find them in Research4Life.
However, if the articles aren’t in Research4Life, we have to find other resources, or ask our colleagues. For example, to solve the limited resources issue in Can Tho University, we partnered with a university in Canada which would help us find the resources. But if we need to buy articles, prices of 30/40 USD each makes it very difficult for lecturers who receive an average monthly salary of just about 500-1000 USD.
How is Research4Life meaningful to you?
Everytime I look for research from different publishers, thanks to Research4Life I can do that more easily. It helps developing countries to reach academic resources that are usually hard to approach without big budgets.
Getting the most updated information can really help countries to grow, especially now that the speed of doing research is faster.
We know it’s not a one-night success to catch up with the developed countries, so we want to take it slowly and surely in the right direction, not running without knowing where to go.
In the end, my job is serving not only students and lecturers in Can Tho University, but the surrounding community – for example innovative companies that need to research and create the most updated technology. If someone needs information for a local project, we are able to easily and practically help them access the latest references and science resources, and we end up with better research that helps with local challenges. Science is a long journey: the most important thing to me is that those who do research develop the habit of coming to our Library and make use of our services.
What suggestions would you have for improving Research4Life?
I would love for Research4Life to keep introducing us to new articles, and to the most used resources or reliable journals in each field, so we can introduce the most reliable ones to students. If scientists are aware of the most prestigious journals, they’d save time when submitting their research.
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