National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR)

National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR): The National Institute of Science Communication (NISCOM), the erstwhile Publications and Information Directorate (PID) was set up in 1951 to published scientific journals, periodicals and to compile information on the country’s raw material in the form of an encyclopedia of great importance. Again, the Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre (INSDOC) was set up in 1952, with the technical assistance from UNESCO. Both the institute NISCOM and INSDOC merged on 30th September, 2002 giving rise to National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), which devotes itself to science communication, dissemination and Science & Technology information management systems and services user with the application of modern Information Technology infrastructure.

a) Aims and Objectives: The main aims and objectives of NISCAIR are-

i) Mission Statement: To become the prime custodian of all information resources on current and traditional knowledge systems in science and technology in the country, and to promote communication in science to diverse constituents at all levels, using the most appropriate technologies

ii) Mandate of NISCAIR

* To provide formal linkages of communication among the scientific community in the form of research journals in different areas of S & T;

* To disseminate S & T information to general public, particularly school students, to inculcate interest in science among them;

* To collect, collate and disseminate information on plant, animal and mineral wealth of the country;

* To harness information technology applications in information management with particular reference to science communication and modernizing libraries

* To act as a facilitator in furthering the economic, social, industrial, scientific and commercial development by providing timely access to relevant and accurate information

* To develop human resources in science communication, library, documentation and information science and S&T information management systems and services

* To collaborate with international institutions and organizations having objectives and goals similar to those of NISCAIR

* Any other activity in consonance with the mission statement of NISCAIR

b) Activities and Services: Broadly the core activity of NISCAIR is to collect/store, publish and disseminate S & T information through a mix of traditional and modern means, which benefits different segments of society.

i) Acquisition of Information Resources: One of the core activities of NISCAIR is to collect, organize and disseminate S & T information generated in India as well as in the world which has relevance to Indian S & T community. Under this programme, the institute is building comprehensive collection of S & T publications in print as well as in electronic form and disseminating through traditional as well as modern means benefiting different segments of the society.

ii) National Science Library: The National Science Library (NSL), which was set up in 1964 has a comprehensive collection of over 2, 00,000 volumes including monographs and bound volumes of journals in the country and is offering services on a national scale. NSL also acts as a referral centre and clearing house for the best utilisation of the existing collection in the country. The NSL is enrich with electronic resourcdes, online databases, CD-ROM Databases.

iii) In-house Databases: The database developed by NISCAIR includes

* National Union Catalogue of Scientific Serials in India (NUCSSI)

* Indian Patents (INPAT) Database

* Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Abstracts (MAPA)

* Indian Science Abstract (ISA)

iv) Raw Materials Herbarium & Museum: NISCAIR has set up a Herbarium and Museum housing economically important raw materials of plant, animal and mineral origin from India at one place, to cater to the needs of scientists, researchers, industrialists students and the public.  The NISCAIR Herbarium & Museum has been assigned the acronym RHMD (Raw Materials Herbarium & Museum, Delhi) by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy, which appears in the publiication "Index Herbarium, New York, USA". The Herbarium houses over 6000 specimen of economic and medicinal plants of India and the Museum comprises over 2500 samples of crude-drugs, animal and mineral specimens.

v) Consultancy Services: Under this programme, services are offered in the identification of plants and crude drug samples against payment. Information on plants regarding availability, use, cultivation, export/import data is provided on request. Services on other important aspects of plants, animals and minerals of commercial and industrial uses are also supplied against payment.

vi) Official Certifying Centre (OCC): Based on the herbarium and museum of crude drug samples and in-house expertise, NISCAIR herbarium serves as one of the nodal agencies in India for authentication of crude drugs used in the Indigenous Systems of Medicine.

vii) NISCAIR Citizen Charter: The charter would essentially incorporate citizen’s entitlement to public services, wide publicity of standards of performance, quality of services, access to information, simplified procedures of complaints, time-bound redressal of grievances and provision for independent scrutiny of performance.  

viii) E-journals Consortia: NISCAIR is the nodal agency for developing a "Consortium for CSIR Laboratories for Accessing e-journals". The activity ranges from creation to monitoring of the access facility of scientific periodicals published by leading international institutions.

ix) Translation Service: NISCAIR provides translation of S & T documents from 20 foreign languages into English. The languages include Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Swedish, etc. The clients include National Laboratories, S&T institutes, R&D organisations, Corporate and Public Sector Undertakings, Universities, Research Scholars, etc. NISCAIR also provides reverse translation (English into foreign language).

x) Document Copy Supply Service (DCSS): NISCAIR provides DCSS to the Indian scientific community by supplying copies of articles from Indian and foreign journals at nominal charges Copies of Indian and foreign patents and standards can also be obtained from NISCAIR.

xii) Human Resource Development: NISCAIR conducts training programs in library and information science, documentation, science communication and herbarium techniques with an objective of human resource development. Short-Term / Attachment / On-site Training Programmes including a two year master’s level academic course [Associateship in Information Science (AIS)] in information science (one course every year) is the peculiarity of NISCAIR.

xiii) Publication: The institute brings out 17 primary and two secondary scientific journals of international repute. The institute also brings out three popular science magazines in Hindi, English and Urdu to meet the scientific quest of the masses. Encyclopaedic volumes of "The Wealth of India" and "Bharat Ki Sampada", which deal with the natural resources of the country, cater to the needs of enterpreneurs, progressive farmers, students, researchers, etc. Besides, Fortnightly issues of CSIR News (in English) and monthly issues of CSIR Samachar (in Hindi) serve as an effective link between various CSIR constituents and users of information on various R & D programs and other activities of CSIR, other R&D organizations, university departments and industry. The journals published by the institute includes Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge (IJTK) and Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Abstracts (MAPA).

            It also publishes digitized versions of Indian Science Abstracts (ISA), Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Abstracts (MAPA), The Wealth of India, Raw Materials Series.

xiv) International Collaboration: NISCAIR is the National Centre of the ISSN International Centre for assigning ISSN numbers for serials published in India. NISCAIR exchanges publications with over 150 institutions in 44 countries in the world. Distinguished experts from other countries visit the institute every year. NISCAIR's scientists also attend international conferences, seminars, workshops and training programmes.

c) Conclusion: In addition, NISCAIR provides various services such as Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Information Service; Contents, Abstracts and Photocopy Service (CAPS); Literature Search Service; S & T Translation Service; Bibliometric Service; Editing, Designing, Production and Printing of scientific publications.