SciELO Books and open access in epidemic times: More important than ever | SciELO in Perspective

By Gilberto Hochman, Researcher at Fiocruz, Scientific Editor at Editora Fiocruz and Assistant Editor of Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, social midia is applauding the franchise of open access to books, book chapters, data and encyclopedias in all areas of knowledge by traditional foreign university publishers, bases such as JSTOR and Project Muse, and various publishers. The necessary policies of social isolation, and even quarantine, led to the closure of research institutions, universities, libraries and archives. And, with that, the drastic reduction of knowledge access channels, particularly in countries outside the 21st century central circuit of science. The offer is worthwhile and should be celebrated and enjoyed. However, this open access has an expiration date: the end of the pandemic.1 Regardless of its duration, after the international health emergency, access will again be paid for, either by individuals, educational and research institutions and by government agencies, with a huge burden for the countries of the Global South. Anyone who has tried and enjoyed, should pay to continue having access. Open access to scientific knowledge is not a routine or a commitment by publishers, but a business and an exception like during the pandemic. In that sense, SciELO Books is more important now than ever.

SciELO Preprints em operação | SciELO em Perspectiva

From Google’s English:  “The SciELO Program starts the operation of the SciELO Preprints server – https://preprints.scielo.org – in order to speed up the availability of research articles and other scientific communications before or in parallel with their evaluation and validation by scientific journals. Although open to all thematic areas, SciELO Preprints will immediately serve especially for communications related to COVID-19….”

SciELO Preprints em operação | SciELO em Perspectiva

From Google’s English:  “The SciELO Program starts the operation of the SciELO Preprints server – https://preprints.scielo.org – in order to speed up the availability of research articles and other scientific communications before or in parallel with their evaluation and validation by scientific journals. Although open to all thematic areas, SciELO Preprints will immediately serve especially for communications related to COVID-19….”

Building Bridges for Social Justice in Global Publishing: Seeking the Mexican Perspective: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  At the NASIG 2019 Conference, the presenter outlined how the dominance of English-language publishers based in the Global North negatively impacts researchers in Puebla, Mexico. Universities in the Global South must compete in world-wide university ranking systems, which intensifies the pressure to compete with researchers in the Global North to publish in journals of the Global North in order to demonstrate global competitiveness and local career standing. To support those competitive publishing expectations, institutions of the Global South must also subscribe to English-language journal packages of the Global North, thus locking in a cycle of academic publishing dominance. Meanwhile, Latin America is developing quality Open Access (OA) alternatives. In May 2018, the presenter received funding from a NASIG grant to interview journal editors and librarians at universities in Puebla, Mexico. Through these interviews, the presenter sought to explore challenges for researchers publishing in Global North journals, discuss the role of OA at the interviewees’ institutions, consider the future outlook for OA in Mexico, and examine the social justice implications of the academic journal publishing ecosystem. The presenter reported on findings from the interviews and invited members to discuss how engagement with researchers from the Global South can help the global scholarly communication ecosystem become more equitable.

 

The Road to Preprints (Part 1): Introducing Open Preprint Systems | Public Knowledge Project

In 2018, PKP announced a working partnership with SciELO to build the open source software necessary to host preprint servers. The requirements were clear and had been expertly laid out by SciELO: they needed a preprint server that could meet the decentralized, multilingual, and multidisciplinary needs of their network. But not only that, they needed their preprint server to be fully interoperable with – you guessed it – Open Journal Systems (OJS). Armed with specifications and seed funding from SciELO, along with a generous donation from a Stanford University donor, it wasn’t long before SciELO’s preprint server, Open Preprint Systems (OPS), was born. 

OPS 3.2 Beta is set to be released on February 28, 2020 alongside OJS/OMP 3.2 and we couldn’t be more thrilled – for both SciELO and the doors this software opens for the global scholarly communications community. 

Latin America’s longstanding Open Access ecosystem could be undermined by proposals from the Global North | LSE Latin America and Caribbean

“Open access is often seen as a process of switching from the existing closed-subscription model of scholarly communication to an open one. But Latin America has had an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing for over a decade, and the recent AmeliCA initiative seeks to develop cooperative scientific communication further still. These efforts, however, could yet be undermined by recent open access proposals from the cOAlition S consortium of research funders in the Global North, write Eduardo Aguado López and Arianna Becerril García (both Redalyc, AmeliCA, and Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México)….”

Repositories for academic products/outputs: Latin… | F1000Research

Abstract:  Open access policies have been progressing since the beginning of this century. Important global initiatives, both public and private, have set the tone for what we understand by open access. The emergence of tools and web platforms for open access (both legal and illegal) have placed the focus of the discussion on open access to knowledge, both for academics and for the general public, who finance such research through their taxes, particularly in Latin America. This historically unnoticed discussion must, we believe, be discussed publicly, given the characteristics of the Latin American scientific community, as well as its funding sources. This article includes an overview of what is meant by open access and describes the origins of the term, both in its philosophical sense and in its practical sense, expressed in the global declarations of Berlin and Bethesda. It also includes the notion of open access managed (or not) by some reputable institutions in Chile, such as CONICYT (National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research) and higher education institutions reputed nationally, such as the Universdad de Chile and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Various Latin American initiatives related to open access (Scielo, Redalyc, among others) are described, as well as the presence of Chilean documents in those platforms. The national institutional repositories are listed, as well as their current status and a discussion about what open access has implied in Latin America and its importance for the replicability of the investigations carried out locally. Finally, we describe some governmental initiatives (mainly legislative) at the Latin American level and propose some recommendations regarding the promotion and implementation of repositories for the access to scientific data (for access and replication purposes) of the national research.

 

North vs South – Are open access models in conflict?

“One particular challenge for researchers in the Global South is the potential for a shift from a ‘pay to read’ model of scholarly communication to a ‘pay to publish’ model in which researchers do not have the resources necessary to publish their research.

Plan S has stated that it is not focused on delivering only one business model for scholarly communication. However, Article Processing Charges (APCs) have been the only model clearly identified for financing.

If Plan S is proposing to pursue a global flip to open access, we believe that this will require the recognition and support of diverse business models and a clearer definition of the resources these organisations will need to implement these policies, much in the same way the coalition has provided guidance to commercial publishers to secure funding for APC payments.

For a system that publicly subsidises scholarly communication through academic institutions, as in Latin America, implementing charges to authors heightens the risk of breaking a structure that has been designed to support researchers and keep public money within a publicly managed ecosystem.

As Leslie Chan notes, when opening access is decontextualised from its historical and political roots, it has the potential to become as exploitative and oppressive as the system it is seeking to replace….”

Spotlight on Serials: Open Access: Current and future trends in OA in Latin America

Ivonne Lujano, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Ambassador in Latin America, will discuss the history of open access in Latin America, best practice publishing and standards, and how DOAJ helps to improve scholarly research journals globally. 

Solange Santos, Publishing Coordinator for Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), will address why Latin America is advanced in the use of the open access publishing model as a strategy to increase the visibility of the scientific output in the region. SciELO promoted and developed a network of 16 national collections of open access journals, focusing on each country’s conditions and priorities. She will also explain SciELO’s advocacy for a global and inclusive scholarly communication. …”

Open and Shut?: The OA interviews: Arianna Becerril-García, Chair of AmeliCA

“A professor in the School of Political and Social Sciences at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM), Arianna Becerril-García is also the Executive Director of Redalyc, the Network of Scientific Journals from Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. Redalyc is a regional open access portal for the social sciences and humanities that indexes 1,305 local journals and hosts the full texts of more than 650,000 articles. …

In addition, Becerril-García is the Chair of a new project called AmeliCA (Open Knowledge for Latin America and the Global South). AmeliCA’s goal is to propagate the Redalyc model to the more than 15,000 journals in the region and elsewhere in the Global South.

As Chair of AmeliCA, Becerril-García has become a vocal critic of Plan S – the European OA initiative announced last year by a group of funders that call themselves cOAlition S. While AmeliCA shares cOAlition S’s goal of achieving universal open access, says Becerril-García, it fears that, as currently conceived, Plan S would disenfranchise researchers in the Global South and exclude them further from the international scholarly publishing system….”