Qatar is sharing its scientific research in an online database to promote international and regional scientific collaboration.
The Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) launched the open access database last month (5 February). It is a repository of 37 years — from 1970 to 2007 — of Qatari science and technology (S&T) research in a range of disciplines and also includes abstracts of Master's and PhD theses.
About 4,600 records of professional, academic, undergraduate and commercial research conducted partly or wholly in Qatar have been entered into the database. Each publication includes at least one author who is affiliated to a university or research organisation in Qatar.
The database was compiled by the QNRF in collaboration with the Planning Council and Qatar University through an online survey obtaining information about research papers and by direct contact with academic and government organisations, and research centres.
It will be updated by the QNRF in 2010 to include Qatari research output during 2008 and 2009.
Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, director of the QNRF and a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, told SciDev.Net that the database will promote awareness of Qatari research and be used by researchers for future scientific work.
Qatar was highlighted as an example of technology-driven excellence last year (see Arab states leading the way in 'tech-readiness').
"The impact of this valuable national S&T database must be increased by strengthening the poor Internet infrastructure within Arab universities," Magdi Tawfik Abdelhamid, a researcher at Cairo's National Research Centre, told SciDev.Net.
He adds that the database should be linked with other S&T databases and information centres to "lead to the establishment of an open access Arab S&T gateway that will be an excellent tool for facilitating knowledge transfer as well as promoting Arab scientific cooperation".