The International Seismological Observing Period (ISOP) is a specific time interval designated for enhanced international cooperation in the collection and dissemination of observatory measurements from the global seismographic network. The primary purpose of the ISOP is to strengthen the international infrastructure that supports current seismological practice and increase the cooperation among nations that operate seismological observatories. Measurements, reported by the existing global network and compiled by agencies such as the International Seismological Centre (ISC), are providing new information about earthquakes and the structure of the Earth of fundamental importance to the Earth sciences. However, these data represent but a small fraction of the information contained in the seismograms. One of the goals of the ISOP is to collect improved sets of data. In particular, the measurement and reporting of later-arriving phases, during a fixed ISOP period, from earthquakes selected for detailed observation by the cooperating stations will be encouraged. The use of advanced, digital instrumentation provides an unprecedented opportunity for enhancing the methods of seismogram interpretation and seismic parameter extraction, by the implementation of digital processing methods at seismic observatories worldwide. It must be ensured that this new information will be available to the entire seismological community. It is believed that this purpose is best served with an ISOP that promotes increased on-site processing at digital stations in Africa and elsewhere. Improvements in seismology require truly international cooperation and the educational aspects of seismological practice form one of the goals of the ISOP. Thus, workshops will be needed in Africa to train analysts in ISOP procedures and to introduce them to modern techniques and applications of the data. Participants will, thus, benefit from theoretical results and practical experience that are of direct relevance to their own work. ?? 1992.