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Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
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Case Studies on Desktop Publishing

The concept of desktop publishing (DTP) synthesizes the capabilities of typesetting, graphic design, book production, and platemaking in one integrated, cost effective hardware and software configuration. It allows the computer user to combine text and image files into a single document and then design a page that looks like a page in a book or journal. The operator can select different typefaces and type sizes, can format the text in several columns, or can run text around graphic images. The page can then be sent to a laser printer for inexpensive page proofs or to a typesetting device for final printing.

DTP can help to invigorate Africa's struggling publishing houses. Editors and publishers can use DTP to convert manuscripts into final form and to locally produce textbooks and journals. Scientific communities can use DTP to publish and disseminate the results of their research.

As these authors show, the skills required to operate this software at a professional level are not always easy to learn. The difficulties of obtaining good design, typography, and layout are not at all diminished by desktop publishing software. Further, the authors found they needed more than a basic personal computer: they also needed high-resolution monitors; scanners for the input of text and images; a mouse (which makes manipulation of the text and graphics much easier); and laser printers. They also required special software for printing chemical formulae and scientific figures.

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
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Most importantly, they demonstrate that a DTP press needs to operate on the same professional basis as a regular, commercial publisher. These authors describe how they have instituted the peer review process, good accounting practices, and high standards for timeliness and quality.

The authors have used DTP to publish newsletters and journals, scholarly books and proceedings, and such materials as flyers, invitations, and announcements. Thus have they increased publishing opportunities for African scientists and created new and innovative means of disseminating scientific and technological information to a broader audience.

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
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Desktop Publishing at the University of Zimbabwe

by Dr. Xavier F. Carelse

Xavier F. Carelse lectures in the Department of Physics, University of Zimbabwe and is in charge of the Faculty of Science DTP Facility. He is a graduate of Fort Hare, South Africa, and has a special interest in the development of science and technology education in Africa. He has written two books that address problems relating to the construction and improvisation of science equipment in secondary schools in developing countries.

Background and Context of the Project

Historical Background

After a period of settler rule that had lasted about 100 years, Zimbabwe attained national independence and majority rule in 1980. Before that date only 40 percent of our children entered primary school and usually stayed at school for only three years. Today 70 percent of our children stay at school for at least 11 years and graduate after completing the General Certificate of Education at the Ordinary Level, the examinations for which are set in the United Kingdom.

Education in Zimbabwe

The increase in the secondary school population, rising over twelvefold from 74,000 in 1979 to 871,000 in 1989, is a particular indication of the heightened aspirations of our citizens since independence. In that same period the primary school enrollment rose from 819,000 to 2,103,000. The rate of transfer of children from Grade 7 to Form One is now about 76 percent.

Over the same period the national expenditure on education has risen from $200 million to $500 million. With the total population of Zimbabwe being estimated

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
×

as 12 million, 30 percent of our population are now pursuing full-time education. With 25 percent of the national budget being spent on education, Zimbabwe is becoming the country in Africa with the most highly educated population and the demand for education is still growing. Education in Zimbabwe is therefore a multi-million dollar growth industry. This captive market has served to support a variety of services which have benefited from this growth. The largest growth has been in the manufacture of school uniforms and in book sales.

Book Production in Zimbabwe

Another area of information transfer lies, of course, in the supply and availability of information in the printed form. This includes not only textbooks, but also the form of information transfer that deals with the updating of our immediately available information. This is achieved through the publication of newspapers, journals, magazines, from which the general public usually benefits. Of equal importance in the academic world is the publication of bulletins and newsletters targeting a specialist group and that disseminate information that has a direct impact on our immediate professional knowledge.

Zimbabwe has a good publishing infrastructure and is able to produce good quality books at a very low cost. With the formation of the Southern African Development Conference (SADC), Zimbabwe was chosen to be the publishing center of the group and has remained relatively unchallenged in this respect. An appreciable number of books are being written and published for schools and are usually directed at the local primary and lower secondary school syllabi and curricula, that is, up to the 11-year-old age group.

A shortage of locally produced books continues to exist at the upper secondary level with a pupil population of only about 20,000. The syllabi, at this level, are drawn up by the Cambridge Examinations Board, for which a very great number and variety of books are available overseas. But, because of recurring devaluation of the Zimbabwe currency, these are becoming increasingly expensive. In the last five years, the cost of imported textbooks have increased by a factor of 5, while the cost of locally produced books have risen by a factor of 2.5. There is, therefore, a good case for reducing our dependence on imported text-books.

The situation at university and polytechnic level is even more acute. Virtually all undergraduate textbooks are imported and the cost of all such books has increased seven or eight times in the same period. Although the University of Zimbabwe Press (UZP) has been in existence for decades, very few textbooks are produced in Zimbabwe. The publications they produce are usually extended reports of research findings in the humanities and are adopted as textbooks for specialized courses. In the science disciplines, the Department of Biochemistry has produced some books that were published by the UZP.

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
×
Information Technology in Zimbabwe

In 1990, the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) launched ZimNet, which is based on the X.25 package switching protocol. Many financial concerns, such as banks (including the Post Office Savings Bank), building societies and insurance companies, are using it on a nationwide basis. In 1991, the University of Zimbabwe acquired its first link with the Internet via the UNINET gateway in Grahamstown, South Africa and, in 1992, a second link under the host-name of MANGO, Microcomputer Access for Non-Government Organizations, was established via ESANet, the Eastern and Southern African Network. It is hoped that, before the end of 1995, the University would have acquired our own gateway to the Internet. In fact, such a gateway already exists in the commercial sector but is too expensive for most academic users.

Project Description

Origin and History

The Information Systems Project at the University of Zimbabwe has two phases. In the first phase, the Faculty of Science purchased desktop publishing equipment because we believed it would be a sound investment that, in the long run, would show benefits in two important areas: the local production of text books and the establishment of a facility for publicizing, to the public, the programs presented in the Faculty of Science. The second phase, for which funds are now being sought, concerns the creation of a campus computer network.

In 1990, Professor C.J. Chetsanga, then the Dean of Science, and now Director of the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Center, obtained a Carnegie Corporation grant with which he purchased for the Faculty the basics of a powerful desktop publishing system. The purpose of this facility is to encourage the publication of textbooks by the academic staff. The move was seen as an attempt to address some of the problems outlined above.

Dr. N. Dune, Chairman of the Department of Computer Science, who happened to be on sabbatical leave in the United States at that time, was asked to make a suggestion for a suitable basic system for our DTP facility. He submitted a list of Macintosh-based equipment. This system was deemed to be too expensive and Mr. R. Braithwaite, the proprietor of Software Engineering, Portland, Oregon, who had spent some time as a guest lecturer in the University's Department of Computer Science, was invited to recommend an alternative system. He presented us with an IBM system based on the Intel 80386 microprocessor. This provided us with DTP equipment at a remarkably low cost and this allowed us to acquire some accessories such as a tape streamer, the full-page scanner, a surge protector, mathematics and graphics software, and other facilities without exceeding our budget. (See Box 1.)

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
×

BOX 1 IBM versus Macintosh

In addition to the advantage of having a lower cost, the IBM-system was preferred because, in 1989, a decision had been made at the University to standardize all purchases of computer equipment. It was decided that the university's Computer Resource Committee should only authorize the purchase of IBM-compatible computers, including clones, and also the BBC Micro, because of the impact the latter was making on the educational market at that time. The BBC Micro was a 6502-based computer commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation for use in a computer education series for television. It had a number of input-output ports which made it unique as an educational tool. This decision was taken to avoid the proliferation of too great a variety of computers at U.Z. as great difficulty was being experienced in servicing the wide range of computers that were appearing. Thus, at the time that the DTP system was being considered, the Macintosh was not considered to be a possible option. As almost all purchases of new computers already complied with this decision, the Mac would not have been very useful to the Faculty.

General and Particular Objectives

The main purpose of the new equipment was to assist the academic staff to produce textbooks or, alternatively, to compile their lecture notes in a form which could serve as a textbook. Over the last five years, a number of lecturers have used this facility for either one or the other purpose. The present Dean of Science, a mathematician, was one of the first to produce a textbook using the Faculty of Science DTP Facility.

A second objective was to produce a newsletter to publicize some of the activities of the Faculty such as the research interests of the staff, new degree programs that were being offered, the announcement of conferences, workshops and seminars that were of general or specific interest, and many others. This was the first aspect of DTP that was implemented and that eventually served to popularize the service that the facility offered.

The DTP equipment has been in use since January 1992, when a newsletter, entitled Integrator, was launched, under an editorial board appointed by the Board of the Faculty of Science. I was invited to be member of this board because of my previous experience in computerized type-setting and publishing. A DTP operator was also appointed and designated for training.

The chief success of the program has been in the production of textbooks. Although little was accomplished in the first year—mainly because of lack of familiarity with the use of the facilities—an article that appeared in Integrator, Volume 1, No. 2, alerted the faculty to its potential. Since then, a number of publications have been produced using the equipment. Though these were compilations of lecture notes, a few are already in the process of being rewritten into textbooks.

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
×
Products, Technologies, and Services Delivered
The Hardware

The system was specified and delivered in 1991 and reflects, in a modest way, the status of personal computers at that time. The heart of the system is a 30 MHz 80386-based computer, with 8 megabytes of RAM, installed in a tower case. It has four disk drives, as follows:

  • Drive A is a 1.2 megabyte 5-inch floppy drive;
  • Drive B is a 360 kilobyte 5-inch floppy drive;
  • Drive C is a 1.4 megabyte 3-inch floppy drive; and
  • Drive D is an 80 megabyte hard drive.

We felt that two floppy drives, one high density and one double density, were needed to allow for the fact that many university departments do not have computers with high-density drives and an occasional incompatibility occurred. With the present trend towards the exclusive use of high density media, this is no longer a problem. Data security is supported with a tape unit for backing-up the contents of the hard disk. Total back-up is not usually necessary as it is seldom that user files will be stored on the hard disk. Application files can normally be reloaded if necessary.

The user input-output devices include a visual display unit (VDU) that is a 14-inch (35-cm) video graphics array (VGA) color monitor with the high resolution essential for desktop publishing. A Dexxa serial mouse and an enhanced keyboard were also included.

The semi-commercial, heavy-duty Hewlett-Packard LaserJet Series III printer prints at the rate of eight pages per minute. It is equipped with Hewlett-Packard's resolution enhancement feature which gives high quality, professionally acceptable typeset-quality printing of text and graphics. It has 5 megabyte of installed memory, built-in PostScript features but, more importantly, it also has built-in a wide range of mathematical and Greek symbols used by many scientists, especially physicists, mathematicians and engineers.

The scanning of documents and photographs is undertaken with the Chinon Model N-207 DS-3000 overhead scanner that is capable of digitizing an A4 size page of text and graphics by using a charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensor with a camera-type flat surface scanning method. It is used for scanning the photographs and line graphics used in the newsletter.

The Software

The original operating system was MS-DOS, version 4, but this has now been upgraded to version 6. The main environment is Microsoft's Windows 3.1, which is a very popular GUI (graphics user interface) and is rapidly becoming the industry standard environmental software for IBM-compatible computers.

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
×

Microsoft's Word for Windows, originally version 1.1, and now upgraded to version 2, was probably the most powerful word processor for the personal computer and dwarfed that of almost all dedicated word-processing machines. Its capabilities overlapped considerably with some of the sophisticated DTP programs and inclined us to the view that it would be more than sufficient for the purpose of producing our newsletter. This program was able to handle tables, graphics and mathematical formulae. It was a simple matter to insert these into the document file and to position them relative to the text.

A fonts software package, Adobe Type Manager, increases the range of fonts and symbols available under Windows 3. To broaden the scope of mathematical typesetting, we have several auxiliary programs such as MathEdit (described below) and Hewlett-Packard's Type Director to assist the esoteric user.

The scanner is operated through a graphics program called Paintbrush. The operation is done at various resolutions—300, 200, 150 or 75 dots per inch—and produces files with the .PCX extension. A single resolution on the printer is adopted for printing the graphic. For example, 300 dots per inch (dpi) scanned files will print out a picture that is the exact size of the original while, correspondingly, a 200 dpi scan would print out with two-thirds of the linear dimensions. We are using the latter in the newsletter. In almost all cases we have found that this resolution is suitable for our purposes and so avoids the need for shrinking the picture before printing.

Graphics files consume large amounts of storage space. Typically, a 200 mm by 150 mm photograph will, at 200 dpi resolution, produce a .PCX (a graphics file format) file of 400 kilobytes. Because of this large size, these files are normally stored on the hard disk only, although back-ups of the .PCX files are kept on 1.2 megabyte floppy disks for our archives. Word for Windows requires graphics in the tagged image file format (TIFF). The .PCX files produced by Paintbrush therefore have to be converted to .TIF files before they can be loaded into the newsletter. The above .PCX file would be converted to a .TIF file of 800 kilobytes. The latter are not normally stored on floppy disks. They are invoked when an image of the picture is to be displayed on the screen or when the document is to be printed with the picture in place.

When a TIFF graphic is inserted into a Word for Windows file, only references to the graphic are actually inserted. The Word file, containing references, such as the dimensions, clipping and scaling information of a 600 kilobyte TIFF file may therefore only occupy 20 kilobyte when saved on disk. The disk holding the TIFF file itself must be inserted in the drive if it is necessary to inspect the graphic on-screen or to print a document containing the references.

The desktop publishing equipment includes a variety of quite sophisticated software accessories specifically directed to the needs of the academic staff of the Faculty of Science. A brief description of the facilities is enough to engage the interest and respect of a serious scientific author.

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
×
PageMaker

This package was rated by BYTE, the computer magazine, to be the best of the crop of DTP programs that appeared in 1991. It is considerably more powerful as a DTP tool than Word-for-Windows, which is, first and foremost, a word processor. PageMaker is a tool for preparing a newspaper and has facilities far beyond what we require for a newsletter.

MathEdit

As a formula-editing utility this program is heaven-sent for mathematicians. It incorporates a selection of 220 mathematical symbols and is essential for our DTP support. Word-for-Windows handles about 120 mathematical and Greek symbols, which may be enough for some but hopelessly inadequate for others. Like Word, it displays WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). This is a major advance over other type-setting programs such as PC-TEX. It produces TIFF files that can be imported into Word.

DERIVE, Version 2

Described as a Mathematical Assistant, DERIVE is used for simplifying, solving, and plotting mathematical expressions. It is capable of handling derivatives, integrals, vectors, and matrices, as well as algebraic tasks such as factorization and expansion of expressions.

Fractool

The inexpensive but powerful program generates splendid fractals that can be used for enhancing presentations.

CSS

This is a time-series program module that contains a wide range of descriptive, modeling, and forecasting methods for both time and frequency domain models. Besides incorporating transformations, modeling, and plotting program, it also includes ARIMA, the Autoregressive Moving Average Model for estimating seasonal and non-seasonal parameters for the autoregressive and moving average process and for forecasting.

Project Experience and Implementation

Through Integrator, the DTP has had an impact that was not originally envisaged. Although it is only produced at six-monthly intervals, each issue contains important information on the working and development of the Faculty of Science.

Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
×

In most developing countries, the Faculty is often underrated as being only a means of producing science teachers. The articles on careers in science and on the roles of scientists as consultants to industry, to parastatals and to the government are used to publicize the Faculty and have served to create a new image that is not often seen in other developing countries.

The Newsletter

The first Editorial Committee was appointed by the Dean, Professor Chetsanga. The Editorial Committee chose the title Integrator for the newsletter. They felt that it had a scientific nuance and, at the same time, reflected the spirit of unity within the Faculty. The formulation of the contents of the Integrator makes an interesting story:

Without specifying the type of articles required, the editorial committee invited the departments to submit one article, relevant to each, that they would like to see published in the first edition of the faculty newsletter. A somewhat disjointed collection of articles was presented to the committee. There was an article on each of the following:

  • the research interests of the chemists;
  • a new research venture by the geologists;
  • a new M.Sc. program by the biochemists;
  • a report on a recent colloquium from the biologists;
  • an essay on careers for physicists; and
  • a report on the launching of the new Department of Statistics.
  • After reading the articles, I realized that the departments had unkowingly laid down the structure of the newsletter. A newsletter is a continuing exercise with regular features as well as special one-off features. The collection of articles that we had received reflected the needs that the departments wished to express and so could be used to reflect the needs of the faculty. It was therefore appropriate that we should use this as a starting point from which to decide the nature of the articles that we would request in each regular or special feature.

    The editorial board agreed that the following regular features would be requested from each department in sequence:

  • Meet the ... A description of the research interests of individuals in a chosen department and of the consultancy services they could offer to industry or to the parastals.
  • Master of Science in ... A description of a postgraduate program offered by the featured department.
  • Careers in ... An article directed at high school pupils and describing the career opportunities existing in the featured departmnet.
  • Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
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    • Announcements. An announcement of conferences, workshops and seminars due to be held in the Faculty of Science.
    • Student Science Societies. Reports from the students on the science societies that they operate.

    Special features that any individual, not necessarily from within the Faculty, could produce include:

    • New research ventures in the Faculty;
    • New resources and developments in the Faculty;
    • Reports on conferences held in the Faculty;
    • Reports on international conferences that have a bearing on the Faculty and the University; and
    • Reports of donor agencies and sources of funds from which the Faculty could benefit.
    The DTP Software

    A general purpose WYSIWYG word processor operating in a GUI (graphic user interface) is, in our opinion, highly recommended for a small DTP facility. In addition to Word-for-Windows, most typists in Zimbabwe are familiar with WordPerfect 5.0 or 5.1. Such word processing programs may not be very useful for the production of newspapers or other materials with more than four columns, but for the purpose of producing textbooks and newsletters, it cannot be excelled by any of the more advanced DTP programs such as PageMaker or Ventura. Efforts to master PageMaker, which we had also acquired, were abandoned very early in this program. It was found that a great deal of time was required for the training of the operator and other users.

    The decision to use Word-for-Windows Version 1.1 almost exclusively for our DTP activity was found to be an excellent choice because of the following reasons:

    1. The ease of use once the general Windows environment was understood.
    2. The power and versatility of this program.
    3. The ability to handle and manipulate the graphics images produced by the scanner, without any additional software.

    We acquired it in 1993 and it has been the only program that we had used for the production of the Integrator. Other workers preferred WordPerfect Version 5.1, which was also installed, and since then WordPerfect Version 6 has appeared and seems to have become a strong rival to Word-for-Windows. Nevertheless, it is my opinion that the even newer Word-for-Windows Version 6 would prove to an excellent successor to Version 2 and I cannot envisage any foreseeable intention of moving

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    away from this word processor. In truth, there is much evidence that use of Word-for-Windows is increasing world-wide while the use of WordPerfect may have reached a plateau.

    The Layout of the Newsletter

    After a series of experimental sessions during the training of the DTP operator, the present layout was chosen as being the most presentable while keeping the cost of production down to a minimum. The newsletter consists of 16 A4 pages and is printed on A3 paper. The presentation is in three columns, except for the last page which carries the table of contents. For ease of reading 8-point Helvetica print is used but all headlines are in Times font of various sizes. The use of Microsoft Word Art, which comes packaged with Word-for-Windows Version 2 has been used extensively in Volume 3 to enhance the presentation.

    The Scanner

    In spite of its low cost, this scanner produces quite adequate copies and has served very well for the production of the first volumes of Integrator. It has also been used by lecturers and research students to reproduce graphs and diagrams for insertion into their papers. It is still serving us well but, since its purchase, many new scanners have appeared at a reasonable price and with more facilities. We believe that the time has come to upgrade the scanner. For Volume 3, published in 1994, we used an Apple flatbed scanner belonging to the University Publications Office. This scanner allowed very smooth sizing of the graphics without a change in resolution.

    The Reprographic Facility

    The Hewlett Packard Laserjet III has proved to be an excellent choice for a printer of the master copies. The fact that the printer was made easily accessible to all users may have been a mistake because it has led to considerable abuse and overuse and the expense of excessive replacement of toner cartridges. Many would have preferred that its use was strictly monitored and a nominal charge levied for use, but in retrospect there is evidence that the ''free use" policy played a principal role in the instant acceptance of the DTP Facility.

    During the first year of production of Integrator, the masters were submitted to the University of Zimbabwe Reprographic Unit. After that initial period, it was felt that the production could be streamlined if we had our own reprographic facility. In 1992 we successfully applied to Carnegie Corporation of New York for funds for a heavy duty photocopier that could be used for the relatively low bulk production of the Integrator. A Konica photocopier was purchased and this has made the faculty completely independent of the University's Reprographic Unit and so has reduced the cost of production. Volume 2, No 1, January 1993, and

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    BOX 2 Benefits of the Integrator

    The publicity that we have received through Integrator and through the M.Sc. in Applied Physics program has opened the door to a number of consultancy projects for the lecturers and has served to enhance the reputation of the department in the industrial sector.

    subsequent editions of Integrator, were produced in this way.

    Results, Impact, and Benefits of the Project

    Once the DTP facility was in place, the early launching of the Integrator was very well conceived. The very first issue contained an article on the DTP project and the equipment that was available for prospective authors. Without the Integrator, it is unlikely that DTP would have been accepted so soon by the Faculty.

    There can be no doubt that the original purpose of the DTP facility, namely, the production of compiled lecture notes and textbooks, has been realized. Compilations of lecture notes have been produced in the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Mathematics. This reflects a general trend in the University and has been confirmed by the Director of the University of Zimbabwe Press, where a plan to produce more textbooks is already under way, with three books having been approved for publication in July 1995 alone.

    The DTP facility may be used in the production of masters that can be submitted to the University Reprographic Unit for printing. The advantage of this is gained through the ability of the Reprographic Unit to use cheaper paper for their printing process and also being able to produce large quantities without imposing a strain on their equipment. They have a copy printer and other standard printing equipment. As they are able to produce color layouts, they may be invited to produce our front and rear pages in color at a later stage in our development.

    Benefits

    The increase in publicity that was generated by the Integrator for the Faculty of Science cannot be overstated. (See Box 2.) It had an effect among both students and staff. A few examples relating to the Department of Physics will suffice to illustrate this point.

    In the period 1986 to 1989, the intake into the Department of Physics dropped progressively from 132 in 1986 to 77 in 1989. This was partly due to the launching of the B. Tech. program that was heavily science-oriented and, among others, offered two new areas into which school-leavers with physics grades could be absorbed, namely, Applied Physics and Electrical Technology. The article on Careers in Physics that appeared in the first issue of Integrator created a new interest in mainstream physics and our intake has reached and stayed at about 100 students since then.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    The publication of the questionnaire on the proposed Master of Science in Applied Physics program created a new interest in physics. The response from industry and from the graduates was gratifying. In our first year (1993), we received over 30 applicants but were only able to accept 8. Although we had intended to accept candidates only in alternate years, we decided to admit 8 new students again in 1994. This Masters program required candidates to spend 6 months attached to an industrial firm in order to become acquainted with industrial practice in Zimbabwe. After this period, the students are required to work on a research project. We invite the firm to suggest a suitable project that can be completed with the firm and that will allow the student to continue working with them. In every case where the firm was approached, a project was found.

    Many of the courses that were offered in this program were newly conceived and it was difficult to find suitable textbooks. One of the first products was derived from lecture notes on Atmospheric Physics. The present Dean of Science, a mathematician, was one of the first to produce a textbook using the Faculty of Science DTP Facility. Textbooks on Microprocessor Applications and a Laboratory Manual are being planned.

    Analysis of Lessons Learned

    Training of DTP Operator

    In 1990, a typist with computer experience was appointed specifically for training as a DTP operator. At that time such typists were a rare commodity in Zimbabwe and the DTP operator acquired a rather special status. Within a year she was promoted to the level of a senior secretary and was attached to the Dean's office. Although ostensibly she was still the DTP operator for the Integrator, she found it increasingly difficult to fulfill all the tasks required of her.

    Meanwhile, with her limited assistance, I found myself almost solely responsible for the publication of the newsletter. With hindsight, it is clear to see now that there should have been more than just one person trained for operating the typesetting facility and to produce the Integrator. That I did not do so was due to the fact that I had been appointed Chairman of the Department of Physics in 1989 and had very little opportunity to run such a training program. It was, in fact, easier for me to browbeat other chairpersons into producing the soft copy and, with the assistance of the DTP operator and my own departmental typists, to devote one week of intensive work to the production of the newsletter. What is learned from this experience is that the publisher of the newsletter must be someone with clout and who has clerical help beyond what was officially designated to the editorial board. I was able to extract information and cooperation from important agencies such as the Information Office, the Reprographic Unit, the Publications Office and the Dean's Office that may have been more difficult for others to obtain.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Computers became more plentiful soon after 1993 when ESAP, the economic structural adjustment program, allowed the relatively free importation of such seemingly luxury items. More typists are now familiar with the use of computers and this has allowed more departments to benefit from the Facility. The typists can produce the manuscripts to disks and these can be quickly typeset and included in the newsletter. A training program for at least one typist per department would now be indicated. In this way the articles could have been near-"camera-ready" without much intervention by the DTP operator. The departments themselves would have benefited through the typists' improved ability to prepare highly attractive documents and manuscripts and also to assist the research programs in the preparation of camera-ready copy for professional journals.

    Training of Academic Users

    The DTP Facility proved to be quite popular with the academics who wished to produce books or compile lecture notes, and with research students who were preparing their theses or dissertations. The enhanced presentation of graphical material was particularly favored. Within this framework, these users were able to receive assistance from myself or from the DTP operator. But, on the whole, they tended to acquire the rudiments of typesetting without any difficulty. (See Box 3.)

    The Hardware

    When the search for a suitable system for DTP was first launched, there were two choices: use an IBM-compatible system or adopt the more user-friendly Macintosh systems. The most important consideration is cost. We can concede that the Macintosh is seductively user-friendly but this comes at a cost that is not only financial but also found in its restrictiveness—in most cases only software specific to the Mac may be used.

    Although all Mac machines today are capable of running DOS-type applications, this additional capability costs extra money. It is significant that Mac users wish to use DOS applications but IBM users do not wish to use Mac applications on their machines. We were able to purchase an IBM clone for less than half the

    BOX 3 Need for a Training Program

    The consequence of the deficiency of trained persons was vividly illustrated this year when a new publication coordinator was appointed while I was on sabbatical leave. As he did not specify that copy had to be received on disk in the recommended formats, he received hard copy and had to retype everything himself. This seriously hindered the continuity of publication of the Integrator.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    price of an equivalent Macintosh. The savings enabled us to purchase accessories such as the scanner, additional supplies of toner cartridges, and a wide selection of software for scientific typesetting which we would not otherwise have been able to afford. Recently the price of Macintosh computers has come down but accessories are still expensive because of the lack of cheaper clone products. For users in poor countries low cost must take precedence over user-friendliness.

    For us, the wisdom of purchasing a Macintosh was questionable and we are pleased with the decision to use an IBM-compatible computer. Indeed, there were, at that time, dozens of IBM clones in use on the campus and only one Macintosh. Our purchase of the latter would have disadvantaged almost everyone on the campus and thus would have seriously delayed the acceptance, and undermined the usefulness, of the DTP Facility.

    When it was purchased it was, because of its specifications, the most powerful computer in the Faculty at that time and many wished to use it. Today there is a proliferation of much more powerful computers in all departments and, sadly, the 80836 computer has become nearly obsolete. If the system was purchased today, a 32-bit computer with an Intel 486i or a Pentium microprocessor would be at top of the shopping list. There are many advantages of having such powerful computers, the most important of which is the remarkable versatility of graphics and other applications software that is associated with them. Software supported by Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 now offers a degree of sophistication that demands such high quality graphics and it is well worth the investment.

    The purchase of a CD-ROM drive is also recommended because of the low-cost of the software available on it and of the high capacity and reliability of this storage medium. The average CD-ROM holds 600 megabytes of data, the equivalent of over 400 high density 3.5-inch disks. Quite impressive clip-art and fonts are now available on CD-ROM and this will greatly enhance the appearance of documents and books.

    The Need for a Network

    The day-to-day use of the DTP Facility is restricted by the fact that is only accessible to one person at a time. If we want it to be more widely used, we must incorporate networking, which today is the single most important hardware-related advantage in computer usage. This will give all DTP users access to all the desirable components of the network without the need to leave the office. This includes access to the laser printer, the clip-art, the word processor, graphic packages and the typesetting packages.

    The would-be author could stay in the office, surrounded by personal texts and references and, if connection to the Internet with World Wide Web is available, to the wealth of information that is now almost freely accessible on this medium. The DTP Facility then becomes one of the other services available on the network and using it becomes less dependent on special trips to the Faculty of Science DTP room where you may find that someone has already beaten you to the computer.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    The Laser Printer

    One of the principal attractions of the DTP Facility was the fact that the laser printer was used at no charge. There are arguments for and against such free use of an expensive piece of equipment but a levy on the use of the laser printer would have discouraged the use of the DTP equipment as a whole. Fortunately, sufficient funds were available to purchase a considerable stock of cartridges. Some savings were made by the purchase of recycled cartridges. Because of the now heavy use of the printer, it may now be advisable to impose a levy to offset the running costs.

    The administration of the Facility then becomes a task which has to be added to the other tasks of those guarding it. It was decided in 1992 that the running costs of the Facility should be shared by the departments in the Faculty and that the Dean, before allocating funds to the "Consumable" account of the departments, would withhold a levy for the use of the Facility. This was readily agreed to by the departments. The use of the Facility thus continued to be "free" to individual users.

    Upgrading the printer facility has mainly taken the form of ensuring that software drivers for the implementation of a laser printer were available for all applications. Because of the relative isolation of Zimbabwe at that time, this was not easy for some of the relatively more esoteric applications, but gradually the goal was achieved. Nevertheless after four years of heavy use, it is now time to consider replacing the printer. At the time of purchase, the Hewlett Packard LaserJet III was at the top end of the DTP accessory market. Since then there have been many improvements in the specifications of printers from which we now have to choose.

    Although laser printers are more reliable and still produce the best quality output, we now have ink-jet printers which, simply by changing the ink cartridges, produce hard copy in color. As they generally cost about half the price of laser printers, it may be advantageous to keep an ink-jet printer as a stand-by for special purposes such as the production of covers and brochures which are best done in color. Textbooks are often produced in two colors—black and a second softer color, usually dark orange or dark blue. This improves the readability of the text and has found wide acceptance in school and freshman texts. This improvement is recommended for developing countries where the medium of instruction is not necessarily the language of the home and readability is important.

    Flat Bed Scanner

    Although the Chinon DS-3000 overhead scanner was relatively unsophisticated at the time of purchase, it was, to the best of my knowledge, the only full-page scanner available on the campus. The Computer Science Department had a video frame-grabber which was jealously guarded and unavailable to staff from other departments. This relatively inexpensive scanner was useful for the insertion of photographs and hand-drawn graphics into the documents and produced bitmapped

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    files in a variety of formats. After the printer, it was the second most important accessory to the DTP system and, though still serving well, it is starting to show its age and limitations against the newer products which are now available at affordable prices.

    Today we would have purchased a flat-bed full-page scanner with an ability to shrink and expand the graphics without undermining the resolution. Perhaps, for economy, we would still select a black and white scanner, but for enhanced presentation, a color scanner would be recommended. It would serve well for the production of book covers, pamphlets, brochures, and posters. Many modern scanners are packaged with OCR (optical character recognition) software with various degrees of reliability and usefulness. The scanned image is converted by the software to a binary file which can be imported into a text editor or a word processor. This is very convenient for editing pre-printed matter.

    Upgrading the Software

    Although PageMaker was included in the original purchase and attempts were made to bring it into use, it soon became clear that it was too powerful and demanding for our purposes. Initially we did feel the need to use it but by 1992, word-processors such as Word-for-Windows and WordPerfect had already provided the power that made them more than adequate for the production of newsletters and text books. Since the establishment of the Facility, we have used only Word-for-Windows as the medium of typesetting. This has proved to be quite sufficient for our needs.

    Most of the Departments in the Faculty of Science have adopted the use of this word-processor, although many are still using WordPerfect Version 5.1 or ChiWriter Version 4.1 because of their ability to run directly under MS-DOS. The Microsoft drawing program, PaintBrush, supplied with the original setup is also popular and many use Lotus-123 for the production of graphs. There seems to be a sizable lag in the use of more sophisticated programs, such as Excel in its many versions.

    There is a need to have a continuous review of the software used for DTP. The original Word-for-Windows has been upgraded from Version 1.1 to Version 2, and includes Word Art, a package used to enhance the presentation of the Integrator. The effect of using this package may be seen by comparing the front page of Integrator Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1992, with the front page of Integrator Vol. 3, No. 2, July 1994. We are considering an upgrade to Version 6, which has even more advanced features which are useful for DTP. WordPerfect Version 6 is now also run in the Windows environment. It allows:

    • Easy switching to full screen viewing of page. This is useful when wishing to see the full effect of page presentation.
    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    • Autoformatting. This allows a set of styles associated with a template to be assigned instantly to a document. Unformatted draft copy can be converted to a new camera-ready from with a single command, instead of applying each style paragraph by paragraph.
    • The creation of unequally sized columns. This provide more flexibility in layout design and more easily allows the incorporation of different sizes of graphics.
    Reprographics by Copy Printer

    The integrated system, consisting of the 30 MHz 386 with an 80 megabyte hard drive, Chinon scanner, HP laser printer, and Konica photocopier, worked very well till this year, 1995. The extent to which the facility is being used has increased to a level that was not foreseen five years ago when it was first conceived. The shortcomings of the system are now beginning to show. The photocopier is emerging as the weak link in the chain mainly because of the heavy usage to which it is being put, especially with regards to the lecture-notes and other hand-outs. It is also being used as a stand-by when other photocopiers in the Faculty have broken down.

    Under normal circumstances, a photocopier would be expected to serve for five years and, as the Konica was one of the most reliable and resilient of the machines we had identified, we thought that this would be the case even with heavy use. This has not been true and, in the last six months, it has begun to show the strain. The officer in charge of the Faculty of Science Reprographic Room, now feels that the time has come to move one step higher and to replace the photocopier with a copy printer. He has identified a suitable machine: the Risograph Digital Printer GR 3750. The machine is available in Zimbabwe through an outlet in South Africa. We believe that the addition of this copy printer to the system would greatly enhance its effectiveness.

    Some time ago it was discovered that photocopiers need more frequent servicing when a certain type of cheap paper is used. This paper is characterized by the high degree of fluff (loose fibers) generated by the paper. These fibers clog up the gears and other moving parts of the printer. It therefore became imperative that we use only high quality bond paper for the photocopier and printer. The fact that a copy printer can use cheaper paper for publication is a further incentive for purchasing one.

    The Photographic Library

    A good newsletter must be well illustrated, preferably with a number of photographs of the faculty staff, both academic and non-academic. The service of the Reprographic Services photographer was used initially but was found to be expensive and it was difficult for him to coordinate with the movements of the subjects

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    he was to photograph. As publisher I knew quite well the type of photographs that I required for each article. So after the first year of publication, I decided to take my own photographs. During the short period that we have been in existence, we have acquired a sizable photographic library and so it is generally easy to find suitable pictures for use in the newsletter. The scanned images of the photographs are kept on disk and may be used instantly when required.

    Conclusion and Recommendations

    Conclusions and Plans for Future Development

    There is no doubt that the DTP Facility is fulfilling a need in the Faculty of Science. Its use has only been restricted by the fact that we do not have a network with multi-user capability. It has served the purpose for which it was purchased, namely, the production of compiled lecture notes and textbooks. A newsletter, Integrator, is published at six monthly intervals. Our plans for future developments include:

    • The placing of the DTP Facility at the disposal of all staff in a multi-user environment such as a network. We have already made much headway on the campus in this direction so we hope that this goal will be speedily achieved.
    • The purchase of the following:
      • a more powerful computer to host the DTP Facility;
      • a high resolution flat-bed scanner possibly with the capability of scanning in color;
      • an ink jet color printer; and
      • a copy printer with the capability of sorting and collating large volumes.
    Recommendations

    The following recommendations are made in relation to the acquisition of a new facility.

    The Newsletter

    For any group who wishes to popularize its DTP facility, a well-produced newsletter is a mandatory starting point. The readers are immediately made aware of the facilities and possibilities available to the user. You should insist that all articles for inclusion in the newsletter be submitted on disk with as little previous formatting as is consistent with clarity and readability.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    Training

    Many academics are able to master even the most complicated of the computer processes quite quickly. This is less easy for clerical staff who certainly need to attend a training program with at least 8 hours of hands-on practice. It is recommended that a workshop be run annually during the long (summer) vacation to train as many typists as possible in the use of the word-processor for typesetting.

    Personnel for the Newsletter

    The publications work force should consist of one publisher and an assistant—both possessing sound computer experience. With practice, many are able to master the art of laying out a newsletter if the intricacies of manipulating the text are understood. They should not have to type any articles except their own. They should be assisted by a good secretary who is thoroughly trained in the use of the word-processor for typesetting applications. The secretary should be able to produce accurate drafts that have been subjected to thorough spelling checks.

    Planned and Regular Upgrading of Hardware and Software

    There should be built into the proposal for a DTP Facility, plans for regularly upgrading the hardware and software. Funds should be sought for the replacement of outdated equipment and application programs well in advance of their becoming obsolete. This includes the replacement and upgrading of the word processor, graphics and clip-art, and the supplementation of the available fonts.

    Printer and Collator

    The laser printer and the copy printer, if available, would incur almost all of the running costs of the facility. It has been found that the free use of the laser printer could lead to abuse but, in terms of the purpose for which the facility was acquired, it is probably the best policy. The recurrent cost should be borne by the Faculty of Science through levies imposed by the Dean. This levy becomes an incentive for the departments to make full use of the facility. Attempts to exact levies direct from individual users will be counter-productive and complicated to administer and should be discouraged. The benefits to the students and to the Faculty as a whole should always be considered foremost.

    Color Presentations

    The use of color may be considered to be a luxury—which it probably is—but it has its advantages in terms of the quality of the work that would be produced. If funds can be found, the acquisition of a color scanner and a color printer is recommended.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    Networking

    Many universities in developing countries are working towards the establishment of a campus computer network. If this is available, the DTP Facility should be made accessible to the network users. If necessary, prohibitions could be made against users from outside the Faculty of Science, but it is preferred that some financial arrangement could be made with such users.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Desktop Publishing at the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology

    by Albina Kasango

    When she wrote this case study, Albina Kasango was the Scientific Editor at the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), where she was also the assistant editor of Tanzania S&T News. She is currently the Editor, Publications and Publicity Officer for the Economic and Social Research Foundation, an NGO that carries out research on social and economic pssues and offers policy options to the government, international organizations, and the public. She is still actively involved in desktop publishing and in producing works that contribute to scientific literacy.

    Background and Context of the Project

    Background Information on Tanzania

    Tanganyika (now Tanzania) attained its independence in 1961. It was then that the efforts of ''Mwalimu" (Teacher) Julius Kambarage Nyerere at the United Nations resulted in the granting of self rule. Before that, Tanzania had been a British Protectorate and had been under German colonial rule before the second World War. After two years of independence, on 26 April 1964, Tanganyika formed a union with Zanzibar and became what we now know as Tanzania. Accordingly, the President of Tanganyika became the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and the President of Zanzibar became the Second Vice-President and retained the Presidency of Zanzibar. The First Vice-President of Tanzania was to come from mainland Tanzania.

    Tanzania emberked on a Socialist path to development in 1976, with President Nyerere's "Azimio la Arusha" (Arusha Declaration). This period saw the nationalization of the major means of production. Banks, post and telecommunication, and electricity-generating systems became public property.

    The early 1990s brought great changes. Following the wave of democratization around the world, the fall of the Eastern Bloc countries, and the end of the

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Cold War among the superpowers as the former Soviet Union collapsed, the political climate changed and the Tanzania people felt they too were ready to take the maturity test. The Constitution of the country was amended in 1992 to allow multi-party politics. Today there are 13 registered political parties, with General Elections due in October 1995.

    Tanzania has an estimated population of 26 million, with people coming from more than one hundred and twenty ethnic groups or tribes.

    Institutional Information

    The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) was established by Parliamentary Act No. 7 of 1986. It is a parastatal organization whose parent Ministry is the Ministry for Science, Technology and Higher Education (MSTHE). Being a service-oriented institution, it runs its activities by Government subvention, which it receives through the MSTHE.

    COSTECH deals with the popularization, promotion, and coordination of science and technology activities in the country. The Director General of COSTECH recently reiterated the principal functions of the Commission (COSTECH) as stated in the enabling Act. These are to:

    • formulate policy on the development of science and technology and recommend its implementation by the government;
    • monitor and coordinate all activities relating to scientific research and technology development of all persons or body of persons concerned with such activities;
    • acquire, store and disseminate scientific and technology information, and for that purpose hold or sponsor conferences, symposia, meetings, seminars or workshops or publish any newspaper, periodical or do any other act or thing designed to promote interest in science and technology development;
    • advise the government on:
      • priorities in scientific research;
      • the allocation and utilization of research funds according to priorities referred to above;
      • regional and international cooperation in scientific research and transfer of technology;
      • matters relating to the training and recruitment of research personnel;
      • instruction on scientific subjects in educational institutions within the United Republic;
      • the initiation, formulation and implementation of research policies and programs;
      • the establishment and maintenance of national scientific standards; and
    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    • science and technology policy.
    • provide researchers with funds for conducting research in areas given priority by the government upon the advice of the Research and Development (R&D) Advisory Committees; and
    • provide users with the information to make appropriate choices in the kind of foreign technologies suitable for importation and assimilation.

    COSTECH is governed by a Chairman (a Presidential appointee) and Commissioners who are nominated by the Minister, with the Director General in the capacity of Secretary to the Commission. The Director General is also a Presidential appointee. COSTECH has four directorates: Information and Documentation; Research Promotion and Coordination; Centre for the Development and Transfer of Technology (CDTT); and Administration and Finance.

    The CDTT provides the public with the information and expertise to make the right, pertinent, or appropriate technological choices when, say, importing machinery from abroad. The Centre, of course maintains close liaison with Trade Attachés of diplomatic missions and other relevant personnel in the country and international agencies abroad dealing with the same.

    The Directorate of Information and Documentation—where I worked—is actively involved and committed to providing information to all members of society. The Directorate of Information and Documentation COSTECH has several sub-units as described below:

    • The Documentation Centre includes a library collection in the fields of science and technology that serves an indiscriminate group of clientele from the Tanzanian public.
    • The Publications unit has the DTP facilities under its jurisdiction and produces documents for publication.
    • The Popularization Unit produces radio programs in conjunction with the parent Ministry that are in Kiswahili and serves to popularize science and technology at the grassroots level.
    • The Training and Communications Unit organizes and holds training courses for various groups of the Tanzanian community (women scientists, technologists and researchers, librarians); provides electronic mail and fax facilities to an increasing number of scientists; and also takes care of the computer maintenance at the Commission.

    Project Description

    Origin and History of DTP at COSTECH

    The Desktop Publishing (DTP) unit is a new phenomenon: COSTECH's initial plan was to have a Printing Press Unit, complete with all of the now-old technologies

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    that would have occupied an entire room. But, before we could proceed with this plan, we were swept up in the printing revolution known as desktop publishing. DTP software became available in COSTECH through the UNESCO-funded database project that aimed at producing a directory of scientists. The DTP equipment and software was "borrowed" from this project when it was not being used to input data. This marked the beginning of the DTP Unit at COSTECH.

    In 1990, COSTECH secured funds from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada to produce a directory of scientific personnel in the country. The project, called the Tanzania National Information System on Science and Technology (TANISSAT), was to be achieved with a database management system that incorporated the use of DTP software, called Pagemaker. At the same time, there was an urgent need for COSTECH to produce a newsletter on science and technology in a bid to popularize the same within the country.

    Theophilus Mlaki, the Director for Information and Documentation, was charged with this responsibility and, at first, he thought that WordPerfect 5.0 would suffice. It had all the facilities for producing camera-ready copy ready for publication. The only snag was that WP 5.0 lacked the ability to "cut and paste" photographs and other graphics (from programs other than WP)—a capability found in more sophisticated software. This facility allows the user to use photographs, emblems, or illustrations from other sources and to place them with the text. The user can rotate, size, and edit the graphics involved. So COSTECH decided to use PageMaker on the equipment that was provided by UNESCO. Of course, this was to be done only when the computer was not being used for data entry. Mr. Mlaki designed the first newsletter, selected the typefaces and fonts, and wrote most of the articles.

    Initially the DTP Unit produced one main publication: the Tanzania S&T News, a newsletter aimed at popularizing science and technology in Tanzania. Over the years, the number of publications has increased with the expansion of the Commission and the activities it performs. Five years after its inception, the DTP Unit has produced camera-ready copy for public lectures; the Proceedings of the Annual Scientific Seminars; the Act of Parliament for COSTECH; three annual reports; books of abstracts for the Medical Association of Tanzania, the International Centre for Industrial Technology and Environmental Sciences, and the National Fund for the Advancement of Science and Technology (in both English and Swahili); and other smaller publications, such as birthday cards and wedding and party invitations.

    General and Particular Objectives of DTP at COSTECH

    The function of the DTP unit at COSTECH falls squarely under the division that deals with the dissemination, popularization, and storage of scientific and technological information. Specifically, the project's objectives are to:

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    • produce articles for publication in the daily newspapers in a bid to disseminate technologies or generate interest in the need to change production processes where necessary;
    • publish proceedings of the annual scientific Seminar and thus create a means for our indigenous scientists to draw national and world attention to their findings and get the acknowledgement they need;
    • disseminate the latest news of national interest on pertinent science and technology issues to members of the scientific communities, the National Assembly, and government to enable them make pertinent choices/decisions; and
    • inform the scientific communities and the general public on the latest developments in the activities of the Commission

    Project Experience and Implementation

    When I first moved into COSTECH, I spent long hours sitting alongside Mr. Mlaki and Mr. Andrew Dachi, COSTECH's Computer Specialist and the typesetter. Together, we would work on producing what were the overdue back issues of the newsletter. Because I was not well-versed in this new line of work, I worked first as a "gopher." Mostly, I remember, I would be sent upstairs to collect the original documents that I had used to compile the articles—as I invariably did not have all the pertinent information incorporated into my text. Slowly, though, I learned the trade and was even able to typeset the 1993 issue of the Newsletter unaided—but still under Mr. Dachi's supervision.

    In 1993, COSTECH embarked on an ambitious project to popularize science and technology by holding fora where scientists, technologists, industrialists and members of the general public could meet to discuss pertinent issues in the realm of science and technology. The first of these COSTECH Scientific Public Lecture Series was given by Keto Elitabu Mshigeni, Professor of Botany at the University of Dar es Salaam who is on attachment at the University of Namibia. His talk was entitled "The Seaweed Farming Story along the Western Indian Coast: Past, Present and Future." Using its DTP facilities, COSTECH has been able to produce the camera ready version of the lecture.

    In 1993, COSTECH also secured funds from UNESCO's Intergovernmental Informatics Programme (IIP) to conduct a computer training course for Tanzanian women scientists, technologists and researchers. This was undertaken in a bid to empower women in the workplace and make them more competitive with their male counterparts. Women graduates were indeed found to possess very few computer skills. Out of the 250 course applicants, 42 percent of the women with Masters Degrees had no computer knowledge! COSTECH provided the technical aspect of the training with a few trainers coming from affiliated institutions. And of course the "Course Manuals" were prepared using the DTP facilities. One such manual is for the Advanced Computer Course.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    BOX 1 Dedication

    Typesetting other smaller documents is not hard in itself. Most difficult perhaps are the odd hours in which typesetting is not only required but becomes a priority! An emergency invariably arises just as one is about to leave for the day or, worse, for the weekend. Dedication and altruism are required for this job.

    We have also produced posters, brochures, certificates, and other documents to advertise the Tanzania Awards for Scientific and Technological Innovation Achievement (TASTA). These are given to people and institutions who make discoveries likely to promote and accelerate the social and economic progress of Tanzania.

    On 1 July 1995, the National Fund for the Advancement of Science and Technology (NFAST) was launched by the Honorable Dr. Salmin Amour, the Second Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania and President of Zanzibar. NFAST motivates inventors and innovators as well as the general public. Through NFAST, we hope that Tanzania will make a quantum leap in its ability to apply new technologies, especially in such frontier areas as biotechnology, solar/biogas energy, new materials technology, and electronics. The NFAST program, information brochure, invitation cards, and charity walk cards were produced using the DTP facilities at COSTECH.

    Perhaps our most important product (and the most time consuming!) is the Tanzania S&T News, a quarterly newsletter that is mailed to over 500 prominent individuals and institutions worldwide. In Tanzania, the mailing list includes ministers, heads of research and development institutions, and the private sector. Internationally, the newsletter is mailed to UN bodies involved in the development of science and technology, Tanzanian embassies abroad, the American Library of Congress, and others.

    Then there are the annual reports which represent the activities that have been undertaken by the Commission each year. This report includes the audited financial statements of the Commission. These are prepared up to the camera-ready version using the DTP facilities available at COSTECH.

    We also compile articles of interest to the Tanzanian science and technology situation from the annual seminars, international newspapers, or other sources and send them to the top leadership and the scientific community. Some of these articles get published by the local newspapers. We have published over 30 newspaper articles under this program.

    Finally, there are the "Greenwire" files that COSTECH produces from electronic mail messages written by an international group of experts on environmental concerns. COSTECH staff within the Directorate of Information and Documentation scan these and select some for dissemination. This ideally should be accomplished using email (with COSTECH as the node and other institutions/ bodies being the points). However, due to the fact that not many institutions and scientists are connected to email, these messages are first downloaded onto a diskette, printed out, photocopied, and then compiled into files that are mailed to

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    research and development institutions affiliated with COSTECH and other interested parties known to us.

    It may have been difficult but now I am reaping some of the fruits of that hard labor. Besides, when I did the typesetting myself, at least I was sure that I corrected all the mistakes that I noticed. There is still a need for proofreaders—there will always be some mistakes if only one person is assigned to the entire production cycle. Nevertheless, there is one publication that makes me very proud—the Tanzania S&T News of December 1993 marked my début into typesetting. (See Box 1.)

    The Results, Impacts, and Benefits of the Project

    The project has received much positive feedback. Some of the comments we have received include the following:

    A prominent member of Parliament said that the Tanzania S&T News is "extremely informative and useful."

    The Embassy of Tanzania in Stockholm wrote and said that it found the "contents interesting and varied."

    A medical doctor wrote to say how impressed he was with the quality of the articles in the newsletter.

    A university professor told me that he especially like the newsletter column on scientific tidbits.

    A secondary school teacher told us that he finds information that he can use to teach and stimulate his class.

    A number of local newspaper editors have printed some of our articles.

    I can say that it is very gratifying when you receive requests from people who want to be included on the mailing list. It is also very rewarding to hear that news of the contents in the newsletter is getting around. For example, Mr. Sam Baker, who worked for the Cooperative College in Moshi and is now a Computer Consultant at Coopers and Lybrand, made a survey on information technology with funding he received from COSTECH. As part of our usual news compilation, we included a brief review of his findings in our September 1994 issue of Tanzania S&T News. Later, we heard that he wanted a copy of that Newsletter because "people had been telling him about it." So we are certain that the news we write gets across even though we do not always get direct feedback from the readers.

    We usually send articles on a weekly basis to one of the local newspapers, including the bi-weekly Express. Interestingly, when we are running against our own deadlines and miss sending the articles, the Express Editor notes our absence and send a message to the effect of "Where is this week's article…." Obviously, if the readers did not find our articles useful and worth reading, he would not show such enthusiasm.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    More recently, we did an article on one of the prominent woman scientists who, incidentally, was later nominated to be a member of the Commission of COSTECH. As usual we sent her a single copy of the newsletter. We were happy to get her request for a few more copies.

    Authors of papers accepted for the annual scientific seminars have used our products to obtain promotions in their workplace.

    We are now certain that there are more readers who appreciate our efforts than the actual number of letters of appreciation would imply. Also since we attempt to write on issues that will interest the target group, we are optimistic that, in the long run, the long weekends spent producing the newsletters, newspaper articles, press releases proceedings and the like will produce positive results.

    Scientific and technological awareness is slowly gaining a foothold—through the continued efforts of the Commission to keep information flowing to the leadership of Tanzania. The launching of NFAST, mentioned above, is proof of this progress. So far, 13 million Tanzanian shillings have been pledged to NFAST. Other pledges and contributions are being collected and we hope to have a total of 100 million Tanzanian shillings (US $ 166,666) by the end of December 1995.

    Analysis of Lessons Learned

    The project has taught me several lessons. First, I know it is important to have a synergistic group of people working together in DTP (as in any other working group) for the best results. This group must be dedicated to the improvement of the press as there are always long hours of concentration and hard work required to complete a publication. Being able to do this kind of work—writing, editing, proofreading, typesetting, mailing—necessitates a supportive supervisor who believes in the staff, gives it room to grow, and also guides it through the various steps.

    I have also learned that, for the best results, the basic tools and personnel are needed. For instance, if I could start the project over again, I would hire a clerk to assist in typing and addressing/mailing the newsletters so that I could concentrate on the tasks of writing good articles.

    I would also make sure that the DTP unit had the proper equipment available to it on a full-time basis. This includes a dedicated 386 or 486 computer with a laser printer and a scanner for more effective compilation of camera-ready copy and for importation of graphics.

    Finally, I would institute a proper training program for DTP staff. I think that people with backgrounds in mass communications, publishing, or linguistics might naturally have a better understanding of how a scientific press needs to operate but, as we have seen in our project, the aptitude for editing, design, and management can come from a variety of disciplines. Whatever the backgrounds, however, special training in the use of the DTP hardware and software is essential.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    Seeing that information is the determinant of which nations succeed and which do not, I think those African countries that see the importance of cooperation should do all they can to elevate their scientific and technological information (research and development) projects and activities to the highest possible level. A network of STI systems in Tanzania, Africa, and indeed the world should gradually be built through cooperative ventures (learning from each other through other case study follow-up projects).

    Jacques Delors, the former President of the European Union, has said that without confidence, no people can be united to work for a common cause. So the first objective should be to build people's confidence. And how does one do that exactly? By helping people to help themselves so that they do not "live on handouts" and by giving people a sound education and letting them make their own (rational) decisions. This may take longer to achieve but gives the best results in the long run.

    Acknowledgements

    I am very grateful to Theophilus Mlaki for all his support and guidance…and his demand for excellence! Also at COSTECH, I would like to thank Mr. Yonazi, Senior Scientific Officer and the Desk Officer in charge of TANISSAT, who has been very understanding when I use his equipment. I have worn his patience rather thin as there are so many documents to produce.

    I am also grateful to my husband and children for their understanding every time I came home late or worked on Sundays.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
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    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Environmental Publishing Network—ENVIRONET at ICIPE Science Press

    by Agnes Katama

    Agnes Katama is Manager of ICIPE Science Press and project leader of the Environmental Publishing Network (ENVIRONET)—a network linking seven institutions in the Eastern Africa Region. She is also a volunteer lecturer for women undergraduate students at the University of Nairobi, where she coordinates programs for gender-equity. Her main focus of research in book production is on market orientation within the scholarly publishing world and on the search for alternative human resource formulae to enhance cost efficiency. She is a journalist by profession. She has been appointed Coordinator of the African Forum for Children's Literacy in Science and Technology, an activity of the Rockefeller Foundation.

    Background and Context of the Project

    The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) was established in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, in 1970. It was given the twin mandate to:

    • a)  

      undertake basic research in integrated control methodologies for arthropod pest management and

    • b)  

      to strengthen, through training and collaboration, the scientific and technological capacities of developing countries.

    In 1988, ICIPE created the ICIPE Science Press (ISP), as its own, internal publishing house. I joined ISP in 1991 as the Marketing and Information Executive; I am now the Manager of ISP. In March 1992, ICIPE undertook a thorough study of the literature and realized that there was little or no coordination of the development of self-sustaining and significant scholarly publishing ventures in

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Africa. There was limited up-to-date information on establishing well-managed subscription services or on the mailing and marketing of environment-related publications.

    Also in 1992, I carried out a study for the Association of African Universities in which I investigated the merits and the demerits of the management and organization regarding the marketing of scholarly publishing activities in Western and Central Africa. I recommended the creation of a specialized sub-regional publishing network in order to meet local needs in a coherent fashion.

    Since both studies identified such pressing needs for the publication and marketing of scholarly works, the ISP decided to pool its resources with those of other institutions to create the Environmental Publishing Network (ENVIRONET).

    The purpose of ENVIRONET, which was founded in 1993, is to develop means for the more efficient dissemination of research findings. For instance, many scholarly works can be redesigned into effective university course work material. ICIPE's own authorship had traditionally covered environment-related issues and the enriching combination of publishable material from the ENVIRONET participating institutions made it possible for us to launch other publications in areas such as desertification, food security, and crop sciences. ENVIRONET also facilitated the publishing of print-worthy material from peer research institutions, the sharing of information resources, and the quest for formulae to effectively commercialize the printed results according to market rules.

    A key contributor to the design and implementation of the first phase of the project was the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada. IDRC has played a significant role in the development and strengthening of scholarly publishing throughout the African region. Recently, in partnership with the Association of African Universities, the Council for the Development of Economic and Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), and several research institutions in the region, it created opportunities for inter-institutional cooperation, the sharing of resources, and dissemination of vital information. It also provided funding to establish ENVIRONET.

    Project Description

    I am the ENVIRONET Project Leader. ENVIRONET is housed at the ICIPE Science Press offices in Nairobi. Since ISP had already proven to be a self-financing publishing operation, ENVIRONET benefited from staff expertise in this area and its location at ISP fostered cooperation between ENVIRONET and ICIPE Science Press. There is a very symbiotic relationship between ENVIRONET and ISP.

    The first phase of the project was initiated in June 1994 as an 18-month experiment. Its main objectives are to create a credible, market-oriented, and self-sustaining network for the provision of information on environmental publishing activities and to train adequate human resources in the areas of book production, management, and marketing. Specifically, the first phase of the project was established in order to:

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    • Create a network of publishers and research institutions specialized in environmental matters with an adequate institutional framework;
    • Conduct a marketing study with the aim of garnering support for innovative methods of self-sustaining scholarly publishing;
    • Develop a database comprising an author and subject roster on environmental materials published in the region. This will include the development of linkages with other organizations pursuing similar goals; and
    • Foster the capacity-building potential of participating institutions, especially in the area of training and publications marketing.

    Phase I has concentrated on establishing lasting self-sustaining methods of managing the funds available for this activity. A key concern of the project is to identify collaborating institutions and activities whose needs are similar enough to seek common methods to ensure efficient production, distribution, and marketing capabilities. Phase II, to be launched in June 1996, will focus on the establishment of a well-managed and efficient Publishing and Information Center.

    The establishment of a training program was a key accomplishment of Phase I and this program is described in more detail later in this case study. The training of ENVIRONET members benefited directly from the publishing systems and services used by ICIPE Science Press. For example, ISP uses an Apple Macintosh system for its desktop publishing (DTP). The software we use includes Aldus Pagemaker, Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator, and Excel. These are the same packages we use to train ENVIRONET members and the ones trainees will use on their own work stations, which the Network provides.

    Participating Institutions

    ENVIRONET seeks to revitalize the authorship capability among a selected number of research institutions in Eastern and Southern Africa, while stimulating a healthy diversity of environment related publications. The participating institutions are:

    IDRC

    International Development Research Centre, Nairobi

    ICIPE

    The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi

    ACSS

    African Crop Science Society, Kampala

    OSSREA

    Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern Africa, Addis Ababa

    ICRAF

    International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, Nairobi

    ELCI

    The Environmental Liaison Centre International, Nairobi

    ITFC

    The Institute for Tropical Forestry Conservation, Mbarara University, Uganda

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    BOX 1 Finding a Business Balance

    We still need to strike a fair balance between the purely business-driven considerations on the one hand and, on the other, our academic commitment to attaining the goals for which the Project was initially designed. We still need to make environmental information readily and easily available and affordable to our tertiary educative and research constituencies.

    Our main source of publishable material is the research results obtained from all collaborating, international, and regional organizations with related aims. ISP was selected to host this experiment because of its current ability to self-finance all its activities. Having achieved financial autonomy, the next logical step forward is to present an up-market strategy to wean the publishing program off the donor support needed at its inception. This will truly be the main achievement of the project. (See Box 1.)

    The self-sustainability of ISP has taken four years to design and implement. Naturally, there were the real advantages in having beautiful premises on the science campus of the University of Nairobi. Furthermore, the first Director of ICIPE, Professor Thomas Odhiambo, allowed flexibility of cost recovery mechanisms with the concerted support of the financial system of the whole institution. He encouraged me to formulate and consolidate the measures needed to allow ISP to recover costs and, ultimately, to break even.

    The sale of our expertise has been the key element of our sustainability. ISP has a policy of 10 percent returns on all consultancies—whether in cash or in time—and staff are encouraged to open out to the other institutions in the area. Indeed, our first contacts with the other members of the Network have been as a result of our help in starting up the publications unit. In the case of the African Crop Science Society, ISP published the first issues and coordinated a colorful launch of their journal in Kampala. These are assignments that are carefully budgeted and afford ISP substantial benefit.

    Another area of expertise has been the publishing of conference proceedings on behalf of institutions in the region. A powerful marketing edge has been the ability of ISP to see these important assignments to completion within the year. Recently, ISP has been commissioned to edit (myself), design (ISP team), and layout papers for a major meeting on Equity and Social Considerations Related to Climate Change. With assignments such as these, ISP has been able to move into high quality publishing for a consolidated group of institutional clients. Needless to say, the possibility of having attachment students (described below) greatly cuts down on the cost of initial start-up of the different assignments since these need considerable negotiation, supply of information, and other staff-intensive inputs.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    The marketability of the published material, as well as the services made available at the start of the Project—training, workshop coordination, high technology computer graphics, and so on—are being used to generate independent funding that can then be plowed back into publishing or related activities. Interestingly, during this 18-month launch period, we have made the best use of our new desktop publishing facilities by fulfilling donor-funded assignments from collaborating institutions or by completing direct consultancies from the donors themselves.

    Project Experience and Implementation

    The project and its implementation schedule were beset with multiple problems. The worst of these was the restructuring of ICIPE, the host institution, which lasted a full six months. During this time I had neither the necessary resources nor the time to dedicate to the project.

    To analyze the positive and the negative points of our project implementation after the first ten months, we made use of a management tool, called SWOT. SWOT helps identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats facing a project. We placed particular emphasis on the DTP training component since, to date, it is the only one that has been completed as proposed at the outset.

    We used the information received from the SWOT analysis to evaluate project's impact on the users, the host organization, and the collaborating institutions. It also brought to light the aspects of the project that were not well done or that could have been done better. It therefore gives us a basis for the further development of the project. The results of the SWOT analysis are given below.

    Strengths
    • ENVIRONET Phase 1 has established a training ground for future trainees. Four professionals have been trained and this training has served as valuable blue-print material to involve the trainable officers in important information generating institutions.
    • Local and international collaboration with scientific and environmental organizations has provided a reference base from which ENVIRONET has spread its initiative since it is getting recognition among interested and upcoming projects.
    • All staff and trainers have been encouraged and challenged through the project to engage in administrative tasks. Computer knowledge and exposure acquired by the trainees from different organizations serve as gateways to promoting skills present at the project. This in itself has boosted the credibility and name of ISP at both a local and an international level.
    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    Weaknesses
    • Training—This four-month course included elements of theory classes and practical computer training. We altered the course after the trainees had arrived and fell short in properly formalizing the time tables outlining the activities.
    • Trips and Visits—We should have foreseen the need to plan trips, social activities, and talks by various guests.
    • Evaluation—We should have conducted an ongoing activity evaluation to keep track of the quality of the entire training component. For instance, we could have sent questionnaires to trainees, the Board of Directors and trainers before, after, and during the training.
    • Finance / ICIPE Headquarters—We faced heavy bureaucratic constraints.
    • Interaction—The Project Leader, trainees, and consultants faced limited and difficult interaction and interpersonal communication due to external and internal pressures surrounding the restructuring exercise.
    • Trainees' had limited participation in and attendance at the training because their publishing projects had not been discussed and distributed in advance.
    • We should have documented complaints and disappointments to improve inter-party communication for subsequent courses.
    Opportunities
    • We could train trainers and colleagues from collaborating institutions in the use of the DTP equipment. We can train ICIPE and other research staff at the project premises through the help of a full time computer instructor. Our existing expertise in scientific writing and editing can also be shared with network members and others.
    • Due to the gradual credibility status achieved by the project, an increasing number of institutions wish to belong to and support the project.
    • Increasing the number of trainees attending each subsequent DTP course will increase the desired cost-efficiency level for each institution and will help the project participants generate their own revenue.
    • The greatest hindrance to the sale of scholarly titles is the relative lack of information, reviews, and follow-up on behalf of individual and institutional authors. We could formulate further courses on marketing, pricing, and dissemination strategies.
    • Email is promoting the status of ENVIRONET and in itself provides a base for marketing various publications. Access to the Internet is desirable and could help improve the flow of news about African scholarly activity. Of particular interest are possible author/subject indices, book reviews, and author profiles. Such guides will include the accomplishments of experts in the areas of environment and natural science and would help libraries and others keep current bibliographies of published and unpublished literature written by Africans.
    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    • Email has much potential as a method for curbing the costs associated with editing, peer review, and author changes. Electronic publishing of journals, proceedings of meetings, and bulletins is another possibility that we must explore. The results we achieve in ENVIRONET can be replicated by ISP to benefit other non-scientific institutions in the ISP Tertio program.1
    • ISP has initiated and finalized the work plans for Enviroburos which, though not a part of ENVIRONET, will be supervised by ISP as commercially running document production centers at the service of the environmental and conservation communities. To ensure financial viability, we have increased our in-take capacity by the creation of these bureaus. We are now carefully documenting the results of the pilot study and will use this to rationalize the replication of these all over the continent.
    Threats
    • The heavy dependence and linkage to the ICIPE headquarters slackens work progress. Red tape and personal office set-ups are an obstacle to flexible market-oriented responses necessary for the project's smooth running in the financial and administrative spheres.
    • Unless we undertake an organized evaluation, the Project may receive a negative image leading to a reduction in regional supporters and international collaborators.

    The Results, Impact, and Benefits of the Project

    The main activities at ICIPE Science Press include discovering new marketing angles for scholarly publishing, training publishing staff, and creating a network of collaborators to the benefit of effective scholarly material being produced. The ENVIRONET project is just over one-year old and I will discuss some of the results in this section.

    The experimental marketing of the books to be produced within the network has not yet taken place because the member institutions do not yet have suitable titles ready. The publishing of manuscripts supplied by ISP is now under way, however. Some of the titles that have been discovered and whose authors are now being guided include manuscripts ranging from conservation and biodiversity to the keeping of commercial insects.

    For the marketing of products and services, ENVIRONET has made use of bookfairs and forums that bring together publishers as well as persons or institutions involved in the development and distribution of environment related literature.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Several institutions have made inquiries on the possibility of collaborating in this venture. I have been asked to speak at numerous symposia and conferences.

    Benefits of the Project

    The benefits of the project include:

    • a)  

      enhanced project management as a service to ICIPE as well as to several institutions with similar aims and objectives;

    • b)  

      infrastructure enhancement for the publishing division of the ISP;

    • c)  

      human resource development for both trainees and women university students on attachment;

    • d)  

      training manuals for successive courses to be hosted for the DTP of scientific manuscripts;

    • e)  

      published material; and

    • f)  

      email catalogs of grey literature to be accessed online.

    The University Students Attachment Programme (USAP)

    The USAP is in many ways an integral part of ENVIRONET because it has helped contribute to its success. This program was first established as a means of helping the ISP program break even. Since its inception, we have made the study and consolidation of USAP and other innovative, up-marketing strategies a priority aspect in management, time, and resources allocation. I will, thus, take some time to describe the details of this attachment program. We plan to help publishing houses in the region create similar programs to cut down on the prohibitive overhead costs of running a publishing house.

    The USAP is one of my ideas to make administrative work more cost-effective. Some of ISP's services are only possible because of this attachment program of university women. Yes, but why women? Women count for only one of every six of the university population. Job seeking for women can be agonizing, given the strict requirement of prior working experience. It was to respond to this need in the student community that USAP was born. (See Box 2.)

    BOX 2 Training Program for Women

    USAP is a Women Empowerment Project that I helped form in 1993 to serve the dual purpose of training on the job while reducing the number of permanent administrative staff of ISP. This program takes, for a duration rarely exceeding six months, university students who are on vacation.

    Operation

    We select university students from diverse faculties who can contribute to the general working of the press. They are then attached to the various ISP departments

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    after intensive on-the-job training by the proceeding group of USAPers. The students are involved in marketing, soliciting, distribution, production liaison, mailing, and subscription activities. We have prepared comprehensive procedural manuals to help smooth the flow of work. Students work free of any supervision, although I am available for guidance. Weekly meetings allow feedback on tasks assigned to each person.

    Professional development classes are offered to all USAPers. USAP organizes its own activities to help other students participate in professional enrichment activities. So far, the major outlet has been to annual rural promotion projects. They have proved to be very resourceful and often prepare the educational material on their own.

    USAP Benefits

    There have been many benefits of the USAP. Women in Management (WIM) and Women in Science (WIS) are two new projects geared toward the professional promotion of undergraduates. Both projects fall under the USAP umbrella. These grew out of the great diversity of training and orientation needs of the various USAPers. We saw a clear need to help students develop in their own fields of specialization. There exists an eagerness to attend extra-curricular professional sessions since these always offer increased job prospects.

    Women in Management was formed for students who hope to specialize in commerce and business administration. Women in Science is for students looking for careers in the sciences. In addition to university students, these projects also target students in middle level colleges and young professionals.

    The USAP Alumni

    Every three months, there is a new USAP group at ISP. A total of over 60 women have benefited directly from the hands-on training program, while up to 250 have benefited from off-shoot activities. Bulletins and regular get-together of the USAP Alumni are two major methods of exchanging ideas and giving new information and feedback on tasks accomplished. Also since many women obtain good jobs on completion of their undergraduate studies, there is the rewarding opportunity of listening to their expectations and desire to excel.

    Future Prospects: The USAP Resource Centre (URC)

    The establishment of a URC will be a major step forward. We are approaching donors to help equip a resource centre that will link women from countries in the region. Given that these students are already trained and are resourceful, such a center could help in the provision of support for this activity as its popularity spreads among collaborating institutions. These activities include the preparation of educational material for rural promotion projects, coordination of USAP professional

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    classes, and planning the activities of WIM and WIS. We are fast forming links with other university students in the world in order to facilitate better communication. A first stop will be Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda where a WIM program has already been simulated.

    Analysis of Lessons Learned

    I know that ICIPE itself has contributed to the success of ISP and the ENVIRONET project. Unlike many international research institutions, ICIPE has encouraged and permitted creative system design that stretches beyond ISP's traditional mandate. Experimenting with different cost-recovery mechanisms and being innovative in the use of staff has allowed ISP to attain self-sufficiency. Beyond this broad lesson, we have learned a number of specific things.

    For example, following their program, the trainees reported to the Board members. The issues they raised in their joint report were also discussed at ICIPE's own ENVIRONET training post-mortem meeting with ICIPE's senior-most staff. The resolutions taken by ICIPE as a result are discussed below.

    Training Organization

    The administration of the training clearly demonstrated shortcomings. Most of these emanated from a lack of foresight as to the viability of such an activity, when both ISP and headquarters staff were working in a low efficiency mode. As we discovered, training should never have started during the restructuring of the host institution. In the future, any training carried out will be entrusted to the training division of ICIPE, while all technical aspects will be the responsibility of ISP. ICIPE's training division will then take charge of the preliminary notification and will establish the training needs of all participants and the correct modus operandi during the program. This will lead to a closer working relationship between myself, the Head of Training at ICIPE, and the ENVIRONET Board members.

    Finances, Trainee Per Diem, and Travel

    The trainees should know, prior to the start of training, the details of their travel arrangements, allowances, and the full nature of their program, including time off, recreation, other travel opportunities, and so on. We are in the process of circulating such rules and regulations to the Board for its approval.

    Organization

    The restructuring of ICIPE has moved ICIPE Science Press and all of its various projects from the management to the research arm of the institution. This will ensure that the project's own research content, objectives, and goals are being

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    evaluated as a research assignment and that they continue to fit within the broader picture of ICIPE's research mandate and interests.

    ENVIRONET - Training Objectives

    The training program was overly ambitious and there existed a clear mismatch between targeted achievement and real attainment. Smooth communication was either difficult or less effective than desired. The resulting working atmosphere was sometimes tense both between the institution and the project, as well as among the project management and trainees.

    Advocacy

    A number of institutions and professionals in the relevant fields have shown interest in participating in the project and in learning more about plans for expanded collaboration and professional capacity building. Furthermore, the professionals trained in the project will need additional monitoring, support, and networking. A simple one sheet newsletter is being sent out to all interested parties and collaborating institutions of the project. Emphasis on clarity of reporting is paramount to establishing links as the project faces the challenges of fund-raising for its successive phases.

    Electronic Publishing

    Electronic publishing is now the focus of my efforts as well as those of the collaborating institutions. The links have now been set up. ENVIRONET will have a dedicated telephone line and switchboard independent from the ISP main lines. Email facilities are now available for trainees' needs. We have designed a home page on the Internet via The University of Edinburgh and we have installed systems for online publishing and documentation transfer. Start-up funding is a real problem since the initial hooking up is the most costly in terms of design and equipment.

    Evaluation

    The project has been evaluated by an expert selected by IDRC with specific terms of reference, as is critical within the framework of sustainability of the proposed activities.

    Author's Roster

    An important component of the research in ENVIRONET is the compilation of a marketing pool. This will consist of a database of two types:

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    1. Books in press and in print. In conjunction with the Library of Congress, the African Publishers Network (APNET), and others, this project will study ways to harmonize information on authors and titles to meet a North-South online demand. This research is vital and could be a great service to the region since most existing databases are not online. I have started discussions with interested parties so as to harmonize input from the beginning. I estimate that we will start this project in about three months.
    2. Grey literature. ENVIRONET's mandate is to publicize existing grey literature by the continent's specialized authors. Availability of information about market, slant, and constituency are the mainstay of the project and we are seeking funds for serious research of this sort.
    Publications

    ENVIRONET is to publish or cover the cost (including the marketing) of five publications. Although originally to be prepared by the trainees while in the training program, only two of the institutions had ready material. Also it was not possible to complete these given the lack of time. Authors for the five manuscripts are now being guided. The possibility of their marketing via the online system is a critical aspect of the research component.

    ENVIRONET Phase II

    ENVIRONET will have to compete for scarce funding for its successive stages and group financing of activities will be the foreseeable scenario. Despite the difficult launch period during the restructuring of the host institution, there is considerable interest within the region in the activities and the objectives of the project. A number of institutions have asked to be affiliated with it particularly given the specificity of its training. This clearly presents financial challenges. Through considerable donor contact, I am now coordinating fund-raising for the second phase.

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    ENVIRONET Phase I now comes to a close to pave the way for ENVIRONET Phase II. In Phase II we hope to seek funding for the expansion of the Information and Publishing Center. Through the center, ISP will be able to source work from various organizations in the region and publish it for them. We will continue to publish material included within the broad paradigm of environmental studies analysis.

    The mainstay of the project will continue to be the satisfaction of information related demands in the region. Via the ENVIRONET Information Center, ISP will continue to assist in the marketing of scholarly publications and to study the factors

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    that continue to determine real publication development for the university and other tertiary readers.

    Querying the information center will be possible via the email facilities of the user nodes, even though providing connectivity and access is probably the single most expensive activity that the project has identified. Quick access to existing information on particular areas of interest could be a marketable service to offer the Northern scholar at a differential costing and pricing. The profit will then fall as a subsidy for the Southern researcher.

    Training will be another important aspect of the second phase. A critical mass of information providers will be built upon the already existing loose network of the ENVIRONET family of institutions. By the end of 1997, 20 prime research and development organizations will benefit from this training and will thus become information disseminators in their own right.

    The ENVIRONET hub will try to speed up the publication process. What is now apparent is that the scholarly world will not publish in Africa unless there evolves a real commitment to sharing the cost of the manuscript processing. We are proposing that authors be able to submit manuscripts via the network to ISP where general editors help assemble the document. Thus the usually frustrating review process could be facilitated by putting the reviewers online with ISP. Authors will only need to go to a network point to approve manuscripts. Likewise the service of forwarding manuscripts to foreign journals could be handled for a gradually growing constituency.

    The USAP project, now officially featured in ICIPE's Annual Reports, has no doubt presented exciting findings in the world of information packaging in the region. We will properly quantify their role and the service they can market to collaborating institutions. The importance of reducing overhead is critical to the survival of a scholarly publishing press. To add to the exposure these students will derive from their association with ISP, first as undergraduates and later as colleagues in collaborating institutions, we now propose to set up exchange programs where these women will gain personally from interaction with work places and information packaging concerns in the more developed parts of the world. These attachments will be coordinated by ENVIRONET to ensure that undergraduates acquire relevant work experience to the region's needs. This project is worthy of enhancing and its experience used as a pilot for gender equity concerns, particularly regarding the concern of a greater female representation in science and technology.

    ISP has often seen the need to expand its collection points within the region. Thus we came up with the idea of the Enviroburos. The concept, which had to be nurtured and promoted among the non-commercial environment that typifies the scholarly publishing world, is now evolving. These will be market-oriented information packaging units in strategic cities in the region. Their marketing and procedures will derive from ISP's own rich experience in beating the cost-efficiency crunch. They will be put under the care of the members of the ENVIRONET

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Board. They will serve moreover as further arms for the publishing of worthy grey literature.

    Today, we can consider the creation of an audiovisual laboratory because the costs are falling so rapidly. Publishing in Africa must keep abreast of technological advances elsewhere. We propose to create a pool of resources available for the use of the collaborating institutions to enable the documentation of research findings and events by video. A facility of this nature could easily reside in ISP given its ample premises within the university campus. Also the running of such a project is justifiable and easier to fund when the positive impact will be felt by so many users.

    ENVIRONET proposes to provide to a wide public the results of the indexing of grey literature. The publishing of all material on CD-ROM is now an eventuality that ISP would like to spearhead. Of particular interest is the archiving of information on discs. This, though clearly important, will require careful planning by a number of interested donors and partners, since the task calls for substantial funding.

    The launch of the project has had its own teething problems and the challenge ahead entails parallel commitment from all. As regional initiatives progress, the task is now at hand to safely conduct ENVIRONET past its infancy into the dynamics of growth.

    Note

    1.  

    Tertio is a series that ISP launched in 1993 for non-scientific and technical readers—it includes mostly social science monographs. One Tertio publication, entitled Africa Development's Last Frontier, by Sadig Rasheed, will have a considerable impact for the inter-disciplinary scholarly publishing system continent-wide. One main title is being published under the Tertio program every year.

    Acknowledgements

    As Project Leader, I would particularly wish to thank the four trainees in the pioneer course, who mastered publication development skills offered by ENVIRONET. Their final report will go a long way to help chart out a more efficient plan for the successive training/orientation sessions the project may host in the future. Special commendation from the senior management of ICIPE goes to the IDRC Programme Officer, Dr. Habib Sy. Through his active and knowing guidance the project has now become an experiment the positive results of which are awaited by a significant number of future collaborators and information facilitators the world over.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Innovations in Desktop Publishing at the African Academy of Sciences, 1989–1992

    by Dr. Alex R. Tindimubona

    Alex Tindimubona is now Chairman of ASTEX—the African Science and Technology Exchange—based in Kampala, Uganda. From 1989 to 1992, he was program officer and associate editor at the African Academy of Sciences in Nairobi. There, he was involved in introducing desktop publishing in support of scientific communication. At ASTEX, he continues to promote science and technology for development and is now working on the networking of African scientists. Dr. Tindimubona has a PhD in quantum chemistry and previously taught at the University of Nairobi .

    Background and Context of the Project

    This case study describes the introduction of desktop publishing (DTP) at the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), which was a pioneer in using such technology for scholarly publishing in Africa. The AAS is a continent-wide, non-governmental organization of senior scientists, science managers, and policy experts dedicated to the promotion of science and technology for development in Africa. It is the brainchild of 22 leading African scientists who met in Trieste, Italy in July 1985 at the Third World Academy of Sciences. A task force under the chairmanship of Professor Thomas R. Odhiambo of Kenya presented the constitution of the AAS within six months. In December 1985, it was ratified at a second meeting in Trieste and the Academy was born with 33 Founding Fellows. It began operation at its headquarters at the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, in June 1986.

    The AAS is an honorific society that promotes excellence in science and technology by recognizing outstanding individual accomplishments through election to the membership (Fellowship) of the Academy. Admitting new Fellows at the rate of about ten per year, the membership now stands at just over 100. It has also developed a series of prizes to reward excellence, the most notable being the AAS/Ciba-Geigy Prize for Agricultural Biosciences.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    BOX 1 External Leadership of African Science

    Until the founding of the AAS, the leadership for organization and management of science in Africa lay in externally-based institutions such as the United Nations family (UNESCO, UNECA, UNIDO, etc.) or in the former colonial powers, which worked through African government bureaucracies, such as the French ORSTOM; the British Commonwealth Science Council; or the United States Agency for International Development. Thus, final decisions were taken in Paris, London, or Washington, D.C. African scientists had not yet organized themselves into a community that could articulate its potential and needs, or its usefulness to society. Science was still marginalized.

    From the beginning, the AAS decided to be an active, practical organization whose members would address the daunting problems of the continent. For the AAS was formed at a time of deep crisis for Africa: the continent faced major famines, external debts, declining economies, social conflicts, and a growing questioning of the political leadership. (See Box 1.)

    The AAS vowed to take the lead in reversing Africa's decline through science-led development. It decided to tackle the problems that transcend national and ideological boundaries: drought, desertification, and food deficit. Finally, its members rallied around the theme of ''bridging the gap between the scientists, industrialists, and policy makers in Africa." The AAS chose a core program covering four areas:

    • Mobilization and strengthening of the African scientific community;
    • Publication and dissemination of scientific materials;
    • Research, development, and public policy; and
    • Capacity building in science and technology.

    Early on, the AAS realized that publications would be a major instrument for building the African scientific community, for making it aware of itself and its mission, and for interaction with its constituency. This constituency was very well defined: it included the scientific community itself, the policy makers, the entrepreneurs, and the general public. The publication program thus started as soon as the first staff member, Professor Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, came on board in July 1987 as Head of Programs. Using outside typesetters, he immediately started publishing Whydah, the quarterly newsletter of the AAS and working on the first book, Hope Born Out of Despair. He also helped develop the publication strategy of AAS: they would publish a newsletter, a journal, books and monographs, as well as other products. The publishing arm of the AAS was called Academy Science Publishers, or ASP.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Project Description

    The ASP initially took on desktop publishing to underpin the publication of the AAS's Discovery and Innovation (D&I), which was a quarterly, approximately 100 page per issue, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary journal of research and policy discourse. The feasibility study performed prior to establishing the journal involved over 80 scholars, scientists, and professional consultants from Africa, Europe, and America and unearthed many problems facing publishing in Africa. The study found that of the 70,000 or so journals published worldwide, only about 150 were from Africa. Many of these were of dubious quality, frequency, and duration. The main problems were prioritized as lack of resources, but more significantly, there were managerial problems, such as the:

    • Low professional capacity in editing, typesetting, printing, marketing, and distribution; and
    • Management of the intellectual processes: peer review, content-quality assurance, timeliness; and inclusion in the world's secondary (abstracting, indexing, and citation) literature.

    Many African scientists were worried about publishing their best work in an "obscure journal" whose results might not be seen by their peers. This might possibly result in duplication of research or, worse, competitors might claim they got the results first. There were also doubts in some foreign quarters as to whether Africa was doing enough high-calibre science to support such an advanced journal. The leadership of the AAS, who had much experience on the African scene, insisted that the time was ripe for such a journal. All in all, the study came up with conflicting predictions that could only be tested in the field through praxis.

    It is a tribute to the resilience, persistence, vision, and managerial acumen of the leadership of the AAS that the journal not only started, but has survived and has become a regular, well recognized beacon of scholarly publishing in Africa. The tribute equally goes to the donors of the journal, particularly the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science. But thirdly, and significantly, the tribute must be shared by a technological innovation—desktop publishing—which is at the base of the success of this journal and indeed of the AAS's entire program of publication and dissemination of scientific materials.

    In May 1988, Professor Turner T. Isoun arrived from Nigeria to take his post as the Editor of Discovery and Innovation, plus other AAS publications. On assuming duty, he immediately took steps to ensure the acquisition of good quality manuscripts for consideration for publication in the journal. He developed and sent out announcements of the new journal, instructions to contributors, and personal invitations to contribute articles to key scientists inside and outside Africa (including all Fellows of AAS). He was rewarded with an encouraging response to

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    his campaign. Over 100 scientists indicated a willingness to contribute articles and, by the time he produced the first issue in March 1989, he already had over 60 papers undergoing the peer review process—enough to fill the first four issues of D&I.

    Project Experience and Implementation

    The feasibility study had recommended the introduction of desktop publishing for the journal. Accordingly, the AAS acquired a Macintosh IIci computer, with a laser printer and back-up dot matrix printer. It had advanced word processing (Microsoft Word) and DTP (Aldus Pagemaker) software. The AAS already had three IBM-compatible personal computers with dot-matrix printers that were used mainly for word processing. A database management program (Dbase III) was used for the project on Profiles and Databank of African Scientists and Scientific Institutions . The AAS newsletter, Whydah, had been published since 1987, using outside typesetting service. Three books and other several other products of the AAS had also been published using outside services.

    The new equipment was ready when the next editorial staff member joined in October 1988. Gillian Ngola had broad experience in publishing and quickly became proficient on the equipment, mainly using her familiarity with the printing terminology that had been incorporated into the DTP software (e.g., fonts and point sizes, bromides, camera-ready copy, etc.). Arriving in January 1989, as an Assistant Program Officer, I brought my experience as a physical scientist familiar with computers, science writing, and publication generally. I began to troubleshoot simple problems, conduct in-house training on computer literacy, undertake technical editing of scientific articles, and plan for expansion on the DTP path. I actively participated in the thrill and agony of putting together the first issue of D&I. When it finally came out in its purple splendor in March 1989, we celebrated!

    Two major issues were identified and dealt with at that time. One was the whole area of typesetting mathematical expressions, which was extremely tedious with the conventional programs then available. It was eventually solved to some extent with the Expressionist software, a shareware program supplied by Miriam Balaban of Israel. The second was a more fundamental one, dealing with refereeing of papers through a peer review process. The system of peer review designed for D&I was extremely innovative, rigorous, and uncompromising regarding what would be accepted for publication. It was based on the principle of pure peer review as applied by the best journals of the world.

    As 1989 ended, it was clear that D&I was succeeding beyond the expectations of its initiators. We had managed to bring out four issues of high quality material, every issue on time (in the month shown on the cover). We had received some 314 manuscripts and had processed enough of these to keep two issues ahead in terms of articles ready for production. Also, we had received 236 paid subscriptions.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Innovations related to computers were becoming very useful, for instance:

    • some authors were submitting their articles on diskette, thus obviating error-prone re-entering of text;
    • we had the manuscript tracking system computerized; and
    • we had introduced and mastered a mathematical typesetting software (Expressionist) that improved our handling of physical science papers.

    After one year of operation, we could better understand and deal with our business environment. The information technology environment within which DTP grew at the AAS was auspicious in some respects, but terrible in others, though each of these facets had to be recognized and managed by doing. Nairobi, and particularly the ICIPE campus at which the AAS was housed until 1992, was full of microcomputers, but not DTP. A good proportion of the secretaries could operate a word processor but had not been trained in the more complicated aspects of page layout or importing graphic files. Technical support was available but insufficient, especially when it came time to dealing with hardware problems.

    In terms of scientific content for our publications, the supply was good, as nearly all scientific and technical disciplines were well represented in Nairobi—in professional societies, universities, libraries, government agencies, research institutions, international organizations, and NGOs. The AAS, through its project on Profiles and Databank of African Scientists and Scientific Institutions, the Fellowship of the Academy, and the Network of African Scientific Organizations (NASO), was already in touch with much expertise Africa-wide and indeed world-wide. (See Box 2.) ICIPE itself represented a multidisciplinary scientific and technological milieu. Its scientific programs and activities kept the AAS replete with new visitors, contacts, information, and advice. Nairobi was (and still is) the hub of trade, communication, and commerce for Eastern and Central Africa and attracts much equipment and trade information. Telecommunication within Nairobi and outside is easy, but not cheap. Thus the ASP Editor had no major problem originating publications ready for the printers. He could mobilize peer-review and technical editing, and consult other experts and libraries for scientific and technical

    BOX 2 Complementary Projects

    The peer review process reinforced the AAS's desire to develop a deep and broad knowledge of the African scientific community. This is why the Profiles and Databank of African Scientists and Scientific Institutions project was so useful. Often the D&I Editor came to my office and said: "Alex, could you look in your database and find me an expert to review this paper—preferably not from the following country(s)." Most of the time I would succeed, and also take the opportunity to add the authors to the database, if they qualified.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    publishing minutiae (e.g., the current convention for depicting vectors and matrices in print).

    The printing industry in Nairobi responded well and turned out to be up to the task of printing a sophisticated publication like Discovery and Innovation—at reasonable prices and with acceptable timing. Although most printing had previously been taken outside (mostly to London), this was traced to the colonial legacy of Kenya and the perceived editorial shortcomings of African editors. Thus, it was actually editorial expertise that was sought. Once that editorial confidence was built—and the ASP/DTP did a lot to build it in Nairobi—there was no looking back. In other words, while the environment affected AAS, AAS did much to affect the STI environment too!

    The one clear negative aspect of the STI environment for the international scholarly publisher in Kenya was the prohibitively expensive international postage demanded by the government-run Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC). High prices forced the AAS to ship its publications, in bulk, to a cheaper distributor in the United Kingdom or Amsterdam. While saving us money this also led to horrible delays in fulfillment of subscriptions and orders. Telephone and fax, also managed by the KPTC, were at least four times higher than in neighboring Uganda. The other barrier in Kenya was the lack of full liberalization of foreign exchange markets (unlike Uganda) and high duty on computer equipment.

    Departure of Professor Isoun

    The first major challenge to the DTP program at the African Academy of Science came in early 1990 when Professor Isoun returned to Nigeria. He retained his post as non-resident Editor and the office in Nairobi was reorganized. I was appointed Associate Editor and was to assist him in ensuring the editorial quality, scientific content, and general sustainability of the journal. Specifically, I was to deal with:

    • the editorial acceptance process: referee selection and manuscript traffic monitoring;
    • technical editing for scientific content, especially in the physical sciences; and
    • overall program development for AAS publications.

    I did this along with my duties as Assistant Program Officer in charge of several other projects. (See Box 3.) Mrs. Ngola, in turn, took on more responsibility for managing the journal's technical editing, production, publication, and marketing. We were lucky in October 1989 to hire, as a graduate secretary, Mrs. Nancy Amulyoto, who grew to be invaluable in running the manuscript tracking system and generally running the office. She was the de facto Assistant to the

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    BOX 3 Profiles of African Scientists

    I was asked to publish Profiles of African Scientists, from my computerized databank. I was initially appalled because I thought it a retrogressive step to go from electronic to paper-based data. Later, it dawned on me that most of the world was still "paper-bound" and could not access our data anyway. But computers would still help, via DTP. There followed one of my most nightmarish exercises—converting my IBM Dbase files into Microsoft Word files ready for DTP on a Macintosh! We published the book, complete with photographs, in March 1990. It had about 400 entries. The book was an immediate hit, and generated a lot of interest and heated discussions, particularly by those who had been left out. The photos were included because, apparently, there were some people who still doubted that there actually are African scientists. This book put those doubts to rest. The second edition, revised and expanded, was published in March 1991, with over 600 entries.

    Editor while Mrs. Ngola became, in essence, the Production Editor.

    The Peer Review Process at the AAS

    I want to provide some detailed information about the peer review system that we used at ASP. If a journal is to be taken seriously by the international scientific community, it must follow a rigorous peer review process. The system established for the peer review of Discovery and Innovation was among the first in Africa.

    After preliminary assessment of a paper by the editor, we mailed copies to two or three independent referees. We first removed any information about the author—name, country of origin, and current institution—so that the reviewer would not be unduly influenced by such particulars. We looked for reviewers who were not from the same country as the authors. In order to continuously recalibrate our standards, we also chose reviewers from outside Africa. Depending on referees' comments, the editor would:

    • 1)  

      accept for publication;

    • 2)  

      send referees' comments (anonymously) back to author for revision/response;

    • 3)  

      send copy to other referee(s) for further opinion; or

    • 4)  

      reject and return the manuscript to author.

    The revised manuscript could be accepted or sent back to referees. Clearly the peer review process often resulted in extended cycles of interaction between authors and referees, mediated by the editor. Though expensive and time-consuming

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    (given Africa's poor postal communications), we found this process extremely important in safeguarding the quality, credibility, and integrity of the journal.

    Never during the first four years of publishing D&I did the AAS receive any feedback challenging the intellectual content of the journal. Indeed, potentially embarrassing submissions were caught before damaging our reputation. Some of the exchanges generated a lot of heat. We also learned that the matter of confidentiality is often a managerial formality to protect the concerned parties: active experts worth their salt can usually guess the identity of the author or at least the institution from which a given paper originated. As long as this formality is respected by all, however, the process can obviate any suspicions of bias, plagiarism, blockage, and unfair competition in the scientific community.

    Another unique feature of the D&I peer review system was that it was purely voluntary. We correctly believed that if our journal was excellent, then reviewers would find it an honor to be associated with it and contribute to its success.

    As 1990 ended, it was clear that D&I was well established. We had fully mastered the intricacies of originating and producing a high quality, peer reviewed journal on African soil. However, D&I was now pushing the human resources to the limit, particularly at the post-production, business end: marketing, distribution, subscription fulfillment, and so on. This became the focus of our struggle: to convince our donors to support the hiring of a marketing officer. This was finally accomplished in June 1992. With this position filled, the AAS controlled all the basic functions of DTP, and ASP became, at last, a full (but still small) DTP-based publishing house.

    Other Publications

    As soon as ASP proved the viability of DTP for scholarly publishing in Africa with the release of D&I in March 1989, the managers of AAS were emboldened to widen the DTP scope to include books, monographs, and reports. The editorial office already had four manuscripts on hand, coming out of other AAS programs or through outside collaboration. These quickly became pioneer DTP books under the ASP imprint. Their titles were:

    • Science for Development in Africa;
    • Soil and Water Management in Africa;
    • Directory of Scholarly Journals Published in Africa; and
    • Regional Integration in Africa: an Unfinished Agenda.

    By November 1989, we had produced the African Academy of Sciences' Strategic Plan 1989–1992, much acclaimed for its design excellence and quality production in green, cream and gold, which became a major selling point among the AAS's donors and clientele. Production of equally well-designed Annual Reports became a tradition at this time.

    In 1992, another milestone was passed when Whydah, the AAS newsletter,

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    was finally produced in-house by DTP. This was a major achievement, because it was accomplished through internal capacity building, without expanding the staff. Our Administrative Secretary, Miss Margaret Anaminyi, taught herself DTP basically by watching and doing over the years, until she challenged us to let her do it all. Her pioneering effort allowed us to produce the newsletter more efficiently. She also spread the skills and confidence she gained to the other staff members and other AAS projects. This caused a quantum leap in the efficiency of our secretariat and the quality of our products as we became almost 100 percent computer-literate.

    As 1992 ended, problems remained at the post-production, business end but these were being addressed by the new marketing officer. The biggest problem threatening the DTP operation was that many of its pioneering staff began to leave for a variety of reasons. After Professor Isoun left in mid-1990, we managed to cover for his absence through sheer energy and hard work. But when, at the end of 1991, Professor Nyong'o left to join the multiparty politics of Kenya, the pressure became unbearable. At the same time, I was making plans to return home to Uganda and decided to stay only one more year as Head of Programs and Associate Editor. Under this pressure, we still managed to produce all of our serials on time every time in 1992, but the book publishing slowed down.

    In the meantime, it appears that the impetus for dynamic use of DTP has been picked up by the ICIPE Science Press, which is covered by Ms. Agnes Katama's case study (included in this volume). Her study shows the development of the market-oriented, potentially sustainable strategy that we were planning at the AAS but had not yet begun to develop and implement.

    Results, Impacts, and Benefits of the Project

    By the end of 1992, DTP was well established at the AAS. The result was that all programs could confidently produce camera-ready copy: books, journals, newsletters, brochures, and reports on time and to consistently high levels of quality. Our flagship publication, D&I, had broken all records by coming out regularly, on time, for four volumes (16 issues).

    Its high quality content, favorably reviewed in Nature, helped us break through a thick barrier into the international science citation system. It was abstracted and indexed in the secondary literature by Chemical Abstracts and Current Contents. It was also carried in the catalogue of the African Book Collective in London, signalling its entry into worldwide promotion, marketing, and distribution. The number of papers submitted had risen to 780. Discovery and Innovation was quickly establishing itself as the principal forum for scholarly and policy discourse in Africa.

    ASP books and periodicals were displayed at international conferences and book fairs worldwide, and could be found in many libraries. Our books were hitting the market at a prolific rate, with 11 titles in our catalogue, plus thousands of brochures, pamphlets, flyers, catalogs, indexes, and promotional materials. Academy

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    Science Publishers became one of the fastest growing scholarly publishing houses on the African scene. A new AAS staff member confessed that he had been misled before joining, by the number of publications reaching his institution, into thinking that AAS was a large organization with a hundred employees. He found about ten. We worked hard, and we worked smart, mostly through DTP. (See Box 4.)

    The AAS is pinning great hopes on ASP to become the main pillar of its quest for self-reliance and reduced donor dependence.

    Impacts of DTP rapidly spread throughout the organization. The dot-matrix printer was abandoned suddenly for the laser when our Director started refusing to sign non-laser printed letters. Suddenly, everyone wanted a Macintosh with laser printer. Timeliness, quality, and financial prudence became AAS management goals. DTP could ensure delivery of the required results most of the time.

    AAS's pioneering spirit created a mini freelance industry in DTP, mainly composed of expatriates who were unemployed because of Kenya's strict employment regulations. They set up DTP facilities in their houses and serviced the high-pressure demands of the AAS, through their spouses and friends. Miriam Isoun worked in this way to publish Science for Development in Africa, taking a great weight off Gill Ngola's shoulders; she also stepped in for an issue or two of D&I when Mrs. Ngola was away. Laura Tindimubona designed almost all the books, the Strategic Plan, and Annual Reports. She used DTP to publish Inventions of African Scientists, which was printed by ICIPE Science Press in 1992. These entrepreneurs were soon joined by others, including ICIPE secretaries and graduate students at the University of Nairobi. And so DTP spread in Nairobi.

    Here are some other examples of the impact of the desktop publishing program at the AAS:

    • One industrialist saw a new food formulation reported in an AAS publication and started a new production line in his factory;
    • An article from D&I was repackaged for the popular media and got carried by several news agencies in Africa;
    • I won the 1992 UNESCO Swraj paul award for work on development of a science culture in Africa, an article first published as a guest editorial in D&I in 1990;

    BOX 4 Impact of ASP

    A colleague visited a foreign organization based in Nairobi with the mandate of collecting and disseminating African literature. He asked them whether they had any books on science in Africa. They said, "Sure." So he said: "Can I see some so as to acquire them for the AAS library?" They brought out the books they had, and lo and behold, they were all from the AAS.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×
    • My analysis of the characteristics of the African scientific community, published in the Profiles book, led to a better understanding of the same and helped in design of new AAS programs, such as the Education of Girls and Women; and
    • Experts who received papers to referee for D&I ended up submitting papers or getting involved in other AAS projects.

    Finally, I believe that D&I and other AAS publications went a long way in building the African scientific community, and perhaps, ultimately, an African science. Any journal is an expression of the scientific community that surrounds it. The famous "internationally recognized" journals that the African scientists were clamoring to publish in, e.g., Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), are actually quite parochial in their core, because they have to be relevant to the needs and aspirations of American chemistry. For these reasons, African papers reporting on African problems would not be easily deemed relevant to such journals. D&I, if it could overcome the problems it faced, could be such a mouthpiece, and yet be internationally recognized. This program in turn has had a great impact in making the AAS a highly visible authoritative leader of science in Africa.

    Analysis of Lessons Learned

    The main lesson we learned is that DTP should not be confused with simply typesetting or design on a computer—which is what most laymen think. It should be understood as publishing, first and foremost: this means managing the entire process or chain by which raw manuscripts are transformed and delivered to the consumer in the most appropriate fashion. This entails managing the origination, printing, marketing, and distribution—and ideally doing all of this profitably and in a self-sustaining way. The computer can play a role anywhere along this chain.

    Seen in this way, DTP as most people see it, is only a small part of the entire process. In our time, the AAS certainly mastered the origination process and we depended heavily on the mature printing industry of Nairobi, but we had yet to come to grips with the post-production or business end. There is still lots of room for innovation and capacity building in these areas in Africa. Otherwise, why do we still have so few reliable, sustainable scholarly journals in Africa? The key aspect we mastered was the technology of DTP—at a time when few others had much experience with its application.

    Another key to our rapid expansion in this period is traceable not only to the internal training of secretaries but to the more fundamental trick of strategic recruitment of a cadre of several young university-trained graduate secretaries. They had the basic knowledge, skills, and aptitude to scale the heights demanded by the high standards set by the AAS in all its work. Tribute must be paid to this cadre for

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
    ×

    many of the achievements of DTP at ASP. Most of them have since grown professionally to even higher levels and many are training their other colleagues.

    Marketing and distribution of scholarly materials in Africa is still tough, and more training and capacity building is needed in this area. But the imminent creation of an African market, since South Africa became free, evidenced by more free movement and the vibrant Book Fairs at Nairobi and Harare, may all improve matters in the near future.

    In scholarly publishing, it pays to have a good, marketable product to work on. The AAS itself, its mission of excellence, its Fellows, and programs could be sold to a good extent, inside and, more particularly, outside Africa. We had no problem getting materials to work on. But spotting and working on these took interest, vision, talent, and devotion.

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    This report has highlighted the experiences of an emerging scientific organization whose dynamism and leadership was spearheaded by DTP. In the period 1989–1992, we initiated and firmly established DTP at the African Academy of Sciences through a series of creative innovations. The AAS can now embark on the post-publication activities such as promotion, marketing, and distribution. The results today (1995) give cause for looking at the future with confidence.

    At the end of the reported period, ASP was also looking to consolidate and expand its scholarly publishing business. Consolidation means putting in place all the basic parts (people, funds, and equipment) of the publication chain, so as to make it market-driven and self-sustaining. This process has continued. The ASP can expand into tertiary level textbooks and other scholarly materials, while maintaining the journal and newsletter. This door remains open for ASP, since the market is still underserved. Other prospects lay in strengthening the role of the Fellows and their ownership of the Academy.

    The commitment of the donors, especially the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science, was crucial at a time when we had to build up the credibility to attract a revenue base from subscriptions and advertisements. They had the vision and patience to nurture, over a long period, what was clearly a promising idea, while keeping the pressure high for quick maturity and independence. The challenge was how to support the basic parts of the process so that donor withdrawal would not lead to collapse and thus wasted effort. Clearly, more quantitative and diverse funding and promotion are needed to sustain scholarly publishing and we look to any innovations in this regard. The challenge to Africa's supporters remains.

    Suggested Citation:"CASE STUDIES ON DESKTOP PUBLISHING." National Research Council. 1996. Bridge Builders: African Experiences With Information and Communication Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5260.
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    This volume tells 16 remarkable stories--first person accounts of how information and communication technologies have been successfully introduced into institutions for the benefit of scientists and engineers in sub-Saharan Africa. These case studies focus on the lessons learned in designing and implementing projects dealing with scientific and technological information and examine the impact.

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