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Melanesian Agricultural Information System (MAIS)

Since April 2011, the National Agricultural Information System (NAIS) and the Solomon Islands National Agricultural Information System (SoNAIS) bibliographic databases merged to become the Melanesian Agricultural Information System (MAIS). MAIS provides service to people working in and for Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. All NAIS partners therefore are committed to identifying, organising, documenting and sharing their information assets, including their libraries and publications, for the benefit of their own staff and other partner institutions. The central functions to this database include

  1. cataloguing (drawing of data entry standards established for the Pacific Islands region under the Standing Committee on Agricultural Information Networking in the Pacific (SCAINIP);
  2. indexing (using the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux (CAB) Thesaurus);
  3. classifying (using Agdex Adapted for Use in the Pacific Islands); and
  4. validating - validator checks all records sent by operators to ensure that the amendments or edited data entries conform to the international bibliographic and library standards.

By this process the integrity of the database is maintained. Currently the responsibility for validating records is shared by the NARI Librarian and the CIC Librarian. The system is managed using Inmagic DB/TextWorks software. The system comprises a library catalogue of over 39,000 records of books, journal articles, trial reports and other information resources of 19 library collections in the partner institutions. MAIS also has records of over 600 titles published by 18 PNG institutions, including NARI, CIC, CCI, NBPOL, DAL, RAI and Solomon Islands Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Kastom Garden. The system comprises of five components:

  1. a co-operative library catalogue database
  2. a publications database of six publishers (DAL, NARI, CIC, FPDA, CCI & LLB)
  3. a bibliographic database of Pacific agricultural journal articles (from 1920)
  4. a database of researchers and other specialists in Papua New Guinea
  5. a database of institutions and their capabilities in Papua New Guinea

These databases can be accessed by scientists and those in search for information from the NARI Information Centres located at various agro-ecological zones of PNG and from other MAIS partners. A runtime version of MAIS on CD can be obtained from the NARI Librarian. The MAIS Databases comprise of the bibliographic information systems and the non-bibliographic information systems (RMIS). The MAIS bibliographic databases have accessible online since December 11, 2011. Assistance and server is provided by Maxus Australia Pty Ltd, Melbourne. Bibliographic databases are fully searchable and information source links are all operational with 39,009 bibliographic records.

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