"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" - using a case study to identify Critical Success Factors contributing to the initiation of international collaborative projects.
Johnson, Ian M.
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This paper aims to identify factors that contribute to the successful initiation of international collaborative projects that are intended to support the development of education for librarianship and information sciences. The paper, first, discusses the widespread failure to analyse the Critical Success Factors in international collaborative projects. It proposes case study methodology to identify these factors through an analysis of the decision by the European Commission’s ALFA Programme to support REVISTAS, a study of the feasibility of digitising all the Spanish and Portuguese journals in the field of librarianship and information sciences, particularly those published in Latin America. To contextualise the proposal, it discusses the development of the ‘Information Society’ in Latin America, and the key role attributed to libraries and librarians. It then examines problems that have been noted in the development of education and practice in librarianship and information sciences in the region, and in journal publishing for the profession, the availability of indexing and abstracting services, and the utility of document delivery services. It presents an outline of the author’s initial research into the underlying challenges, and outlines the development of the international partnership that will deliver the planned outcomes of the REVISTAS project. Finally, the paper analyses the issues that have contributed to the establishment of this cooperative effort, and the limitations of this study.