An online space that was meant to store, preserve, and share research output of experts from Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) Aquaculture Department in Iloilo has turned to large digital storage of information that is accessible by millions of people globally.

Digital libraries like SEAFDEC/AQD Institutional Repository (SAIR) are data systems that store, manage, and provide access to digital content regardless of the format.

Everyone can get free downloadable online materials, journal articles, and books written by the department’s scientists and researchers. A total of 3,382 items are currently available on SAIR and the materials are said to have one million downloads in 2019 alone, Stephen Alayon the head of SEAFDEC said.

It serves as a way to promote works of SEAFDEC/AQD scientists and researchers that helps to gain higher citations due to increasing digital awareness. Since 2011, the repository has gained over 16.5 million searches and was accessed for more than five million times. Based on data, users of the service are teachers, researchers, fish farmers, and employees from different parts of the world. Alayon said that their goal this year is to reach a minimum of 20 million searches.

In terms of the library’s virtual appearance, they make sure that SAIR is organized and easy-to-use so the readers will not get overwhelmed with all the available information. 

Aside from that, users can inquire and talk to a digital librarian through the ‘ask a librarian’ website feature that connects them to Facebook messenger or e-mail.

Alayon said they wanted to make information more accessible to people like students who work on their school requirements or for anyone who is merely looking for answers regarding their aquaculture problems.

Despite having easy access to online data, Alayon still encourages students, teachers, fish farmers to visit the physical libraries like their SEAFDEC/AQD library as there are countless printed materials that are not available online due to copyright protection.  

To see the digital library, visit http://repository.seafdec.org.ph.

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