FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is AGORA?
AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture) is a programme developed by the Food
and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and its partners to improve access to scientific
information for agriculture sector institutions in developing countries. AGORA provides access to
over 3000 high-quality, timely, relevant agriculture and life science journals to eligible
institutions in qualifying countries.
Who administers AGORA?
AGORA is coordinated by FAO on behalf of its many public and private partners.
When was AGORA started?
Group A (Band 1) of AGORA was launched in 2003. Group B (Band 2) was launched in September
How long will AGORA continue?
The publishers are committed to working with AGORA in its current format until the end of
What do Group A and Group B mean?
The groups are two groups of countries based on four factors: Total GNI (World Bank figures),
GNI per capita (World Bank figures), United Nations Least Developed Country (LDCs) List and Human
Development Index (HDI).
How much does it cost to use AGORA?
If your institution is in a Group A country, then AGORA is free. In Group B countries, AGORA
costs US $1000 per institution per calendar year (from January through December). This cost remains
fixed no matter what point during the calendar year the institution registers.
Who are the partners?
The AGORA partners include the world's leading scientific publishers and other supporting
institutions. Around 40 publishers are contributing content to AGORA. The founding publishers are
Blackwell Publishing, CABI Publishing, Elsevier Science, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Nature
Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Springer, and John Wiley. Other partners include Cornell
University, the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers, and donor
agencies including the UK Department for International Development and the Rockefeller Foundation.
<List of Partners>
What are the requirements for becoming a partner publisher?
The main requirements for participation are that the journals be in the field of agriculture
and life sciences (broadly defined), and that they be available online in their full text version.
Please write to us at agora AT fao.org for further details on submitting your journals to
Who is eligible to register for AGORA?
FAO accepts registrations for AGORA from institutions only in Group
A and Group B countries. Eligible institutions are: universities and colleges,
research institutes, professional schools, extension centers and experiment stations, government
offices, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and national agricultural libraries. FAO
does not accept registrations from individuals, commercial companies, membership
associations, professional societies, UN agencies, regional, inter-governmental or international
institutions, or international NGOs, even if they are working in eligible countries.
How can I find out if my country is eligible to
You can consult the list of
<eligible countries> that are eligible to
participate in AGORA.
How does AGORA determine which countries are
The country lists are based on four factors: Total GNI (World Bank figures), GNI per capita
(World Bank figures), United Nations Least Developed Country (LDCs) List and Human Development
Index (HDI).three factors: GNI per capita (World Bank figures), United Nations Least Developed
Country (LDCs) List and Human Development Index (HDI). See:
Why are some countries not eligible if GNI is less
The publishers participating in AGORA have not, for the time being, extended their offer to
countries where they have significant levels of existing subscriptions.
Why are the lists of eligible countries based on
2006 GNI data?
We recognize that the GNI of countries may change from year to year, and we intend to monitor
developments with regular reviews. We will publicize any changes that are made to the current
criteria that might affect your ability to participate in AGORA.
How can I access information if I live in a
developing country that is not eligible for AGORA?
Even if you are not eligible for full access to AGORA, there are many free, full-text
references listed on our website (see the "Other free collections" section on the bottom right of
our <menu page>). The abstracts of all journals listed on the AGORA website are freely
accessible to all users. You do not need a username to access these resources. AGORA does not
provide usernames to institutions in countries that are not eligible.
How can I find out which institutions in my country
are participating in AGORA?
If you go to the registration form on our website, in the second paragraph, there is a link
to the list of all
<registered universities and
professional schools> currently using AGORA.
How can I register my institution for AGORA?
If your institution meets the eligibility criteria listed on our website, please complete the
<registration form>. Only one
registration is required per institution. We will send your institution instructions for getting
processed your completed registration form, you will be contacted and given detailed instructions
on how to access and use the system. This usually takes two to three weeks. It is essential that
your institution complete all of the fields in the registration form with the information
requested. Failure to complete all of the fields in the form will result in delays in processing
I am a university professor and my university is not
registered for AGORA? May I fill out the online registration form?
Yes, you may. Anyone at an eligible institution may submit a registration form for AGORA on
behalf of his/her institution, but once the registration is processed the login instructions and
password will be sent to the librarian and senior administrator identified on the registration
form. You will need to follow up with them to get the password to start using AGORA.
How long does it take to get a username and password
after I register?
Allow two to three weeks for the processing of your application and to receive the username
and password, which will be sent to your librarian and senior administrator.
Once an institution is registered, who may use
All members (researchers, teaching and administrative staff, students) of a registered
institution, and its on-site visitors, are eligible to access AGORA as long as they abide by the
guidelines within the license agreement.
Why is the AGORA password so complicated?
The username and password is case sensitive-ensure that you type it in correctly. This is
meant to ensure only authenticated users have access to the resources.
Why can't you use IP address for institutions to
The system has been designed to authenticate users from registered institutions using a user
ID and password to avoid problems with floating or dynamic IPs. Many of our participating
institutions do not have fixed IP addresses.
My institution is registered for AGORA. How do I get the
If you know that your institution is registered, contact your librarian/head of information
services or your director. These are the officials who are provided with the login instructions and
password. If you cannot locate the appropriate individual at your institutions, contact agora
AT fao.org and you will be given the name of the persons provided with this information.
What equipment do I need in order to use to AGORA?
In order to get started, you will need a computer connected to the Internet with a high-speed
(56k baud rate or higher) connection. A higher speed Internet connection will allow for more rapid
downloading of article PDF files. The AGORA web site is accessible using MacIntosh- and
Windows-based personal computers.
Can AGORA help me obtain computer equipment and online
Unfortunately, AGORA cannot help you obtain computer equipment or online access. However,
many AGORA users have been able to obtain additional resources from their institutions and/or other
local charitable organizations because of this unique opportunity.
I received the username and password but can not log in,
what do I do?
Please ensure that you are typing the correct password, if necessary, by cutting and pasting
it. If you still can not log in, send a message to us at agora AT fao.org and we will try
to help. We are aware of some technical difficulties with authenticating access to AGORA, and we
are working hard to resolve these.
How can I access a particular journal(s)?
If you know the name of the journal you wish to access, go to the alphabet on the AGORA
journals page and click on the letter that corresponds to the first letter of the journal name.
This will bring you to a list of all journals offered through AGORA beginning with that letter.
Once you locate the title you are searching for, click again, and you will go directly to the
Can I search by the journal title, author or specific
Many AGORA online journals can be searched using a special version of CAB Abstracts. This has
been designed specifically to provide a structured indexing service just for the journals selected
for AGORA, in order to make it possible to search quickly and systematically for available relevant
information. Access to CAB Abstracts can be found at
<http://www.aginternetwork.org/en/journals/> Links to the
<AGRIS > and <AGRICOLA> bibliographic databases are also provided.
I don't have the software to download PDFs. What do I
In order to read the PDF full-text of journal articles you will need to download a recent
version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7 (the latest) for
Once you have downloaded version 7, you will need to configure it. Here are the directions for
configuring Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7:
- From the menu bar, select....Edit -> Preferences
- Select the 'Internet' category
- Ensure all the 'Web Browser Options' (listed below) are checked
- Display PDF in Browser
- Allow fast web view
- Allow speculative downloading in the background
I am just getting started using AGORA, are there training
We have a suite of training materials available on CD and promotional material in English,
French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Russian. Please email agora AT fao.org to receive a copy of
our Training CD.
Can I share the AGORA password with colleagues at my
Although you may not put the password on the internet, we would encourage librarians and
users to share it with legitimate members of their registered institution. This includes all staff
and students, as well as visiting researchers who are all eligible to access AGORA, as long as they
abide by the guidelines within the license agreement. Librarians are encouraged to put a link to
AGORA on their institution's or library's website. The URL to link to with information about AGORA
Can I supply my students with publications printed from AGORA
for my courses?
Academic and teaching staff may make copies in print or digital form of articles for course
packs. If the copies are supplied in digital form, these electronic copies must be deleted at the
end of the semester.
May I download complete journal issues or books?
No. You may not download complete journal issues or books. However, you may download and save
limited numbers of articles or chapters from any one journal issue or book, not to exceed 15% of
the issue or book.
If I do not see the particular journal(s) I am looking for, can
I make suggestions to AGORA?
Yes, we encourage you to send suggestions that will help us to improve AGORA. The purpose of
AGORA is to serve its participants. The more feedback we receive from you, the better the system
will be able to meet your information needs. Please send your suggestions to agora AT fao.org.
Can I access AGORA outside of my institution?
Access to the journals may only be provided from computers or other digital installations
owned by or under the direct control of the institution or from personal computers owned personally
by the employees, faculty or students of the institution. However, if a member of your institution
encounters a special problem or has a unique need, please let us know immediately so we can work
with you to ensure appropriate access is given. AGORA may only be used inside the country in which
the institution is registered.
Why can I get full-text access to some journals and not
Although the vast majority of the 3000 journals are available with full-text articles to
all users within registered institutions, there are some exceptions. A few journals are excluded
from users within Group B countries according to the wishes of the publishers and societies from
whom the journals come. If you have any queries about specific titles, please contact us at agora
Why can't I get access to the full-text of the journal if I link
directly from the publisher's website?
To benefit from the access rights provided by AGORA, you need to access the journals by going
through the AGORA site and logging in there. Unless you are
on the AGORA site you will not be able to access the AGORA resources.
I am logged on but having problems downloading articles. What
should I do?
This may happen when accessing the publishers website and trying to download articles. If you
experience problems when accessing AGORA, it may be because you are working on a cached version of
our home page stored in your computer or on your local network. The first thing you can do is
refresh your screen by clicking on "Refresh" button on your Internet browser tool bar. This may
help resolve the problem. Check that the log-in page has not been closed accidentally.
Why are there few French and Portuguese journals in the
The majority of journals in the AGORA collection are in English as provided by the
participating publishers. AGORA does not translate journals. We are continuing to add journals to
AGORA. Interested publishers of foreign-language agricultural journals should contact agora AT
fao.org for more information.
What are HINARI and OARE?
<OARE> are parallel initiatives facilitating
access to online journals which are closely coordinated with AGORA. HINARI is administered by the
World Health Organization, and OARE by the United National Environment Programme.
How can my institution gain access to HINARI and OARE?
You can find information on how to register for HINARI on their website, at
Registration for OARE can be completed at their website at
Are there other initiatives for accessing online
In addition to AGORA, HINARI and OARE, there are several other programmes that allow users
from developing countries to access online journals free or low-cost. These include the
for the Enhancement of Research Information> (PERI) managed by the International
Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications;
<TEEAL> (The Essential Electronic
Agricultural Library), managed by Cornell University's Mann Library; Electronic Information for
<(eIFL)>; and the Free Access to Developing
Economies programme from
may find more information on the
<Other Initiatives> page.
In addition, on the journals page, the "Other Free Collections" section includes links to journals
available free to all users.
What is TEEAL?
TEEAL is an annually updated full-text and bibliographic library of 115+ of the world's most
important agricultural journals. Content (starting from 1993) can be browsed, searched and
downloaded from computers networked in a local area network, without the need for telephones or