Paulo Rebêlo 20 February 2004 Source: SciDev.Net [RECIFE] Brazilian scientists are campaigning to reduce the bureaucracy involved in bringing scientific equipment into the country. In a declaration to be presented shortly to the ministry of science and technology, more than 300 Brazilian researchers state that “countless scientists have been waiting for years to receive equipment. Customs policies produce a lot of bureaucracy just to obtain a few microlitres or a simple reagent”. The scientists call for new customs procedures that simplify and reduce the cost of bringing equipment and reagents into the country. Import taxes on scientific equipment should be abolished, and systems should be put in place to ensure that all equipment takes no more than 24 hours to pass through customs, they say. According to Stevens Kastrup Rehen of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the US-based Scripps Research Institute, delays are so severe that by the time scientists receive reagents the chemicals have often expired. “And when we get our hands on equipment, it’s already outdated,” he says. “Fees to import and store equipment aren’t cheap and, what’s worse, they are being paid with government money as part of research grants,” adds Rehen, who currently
Paulo Rebêlo and Katie Mantell 30 January 2004 Source: SciDev.Net [RECIFE] The Brazilian government has negotiated a US$5 million reduction in the fees it pays to allow many of the country’s researchers to gain free access to electronic versions of a large number of scientific journals. The government’s ‘journal website’ (Portal de Periódicos), allows researchers across the country to access the full text of thousands of international journals, magazines and databases covering a broad range of subjects. Last year, the government funding agency responsible for the website, known as CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Staff), paid a total of US$20 million in individual agreements with international publishers in order to provide access to their publications through its website. But as a result of recent negotiations, CAPES will this year pay one quarter less. In addition, CAPES has also secured an increase of almost a third in the amount of content available through the website, meaning that now 4,800 journals can be read through the system. “Science is a part of our natural human heritage,” says Roberto Bartholo from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, who led negotiations with publishers. “Every country or institution that wishes to
Paulo Rebêlo 14 January 2004 Source: SciDev.Net [RECIFE] A failure by the Brazilian government to provide much-needed new teaching and research posts in universities is preventing many researchers with doctoral degrees from finding suitable employment. This is the conclusion of a report published last month by the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC), based on statements from universities, public institutions and thousands of unemployed new PhD holders. The report, which was written by the SBPC’s regional division in Rio de Janeiro, recommends a number of moves to improve the situation. In particular it says that new efforts should be made to encourage private companies and universities to hire new PhDs. “Brazil needs a strategy to educate business people on the importance of high-skilled researchers in their companies,” says Luiz Carlos Scavarda do Carmo, coordinator of development projects at Pontifícia Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. Maria Eulália Vares, SBPC’s secretary in Rio de Janeiro, says that a particular challenge is the regional variation in the number of jobs available for those holding doctoral degrees. “Some regions tend to face more difficulties than others when it comes to providing work for new PhD holders,” she says. “This has to
Paulo Rebêlo | agosto.1999 Quantos sistemas de busca você conhece? Com certeza, muitos. Altavista, Yahoo, Infoseek, Hotbot, WebCrawler… e mais algumas dezenas que você nunca nem ouviu falar. Todos parecem usar um sistema parecido e armazenar milhares de páginas inexistentes. Fazer uma pesquisa na Web é pra lá de frustrante. Procurar um texto, notícia, ou documento sobre determinado assunto, pode tornar-se uma árdua tarefa, principalmente quando o sistema de busca exibe 20.000 registros de páginas cadastradas. Passadas horas de cliques e cliques, você não acha o que estava procurando. Pelo contrário, termina esquecendo o que tinha em mente e vai navegando por páginas sem nenhuma ligação com o assunto anterior.