Co-creating Open Infrastructure to Support Diversity and Equity

“To reframe our priorities in this way requires collective will and coordination across regions and institutions to build new kinds of support for resource reallocation. It further requires institutional courage and political will to declare that open, autonomous, and equitable systems are preferred over “prestigious” Euro-centric research systems that continue to undermine other epistemic communities from around the world. It requires that disciplines and societies prioritize who they have been centering in their research, whose voices they’ve been amplifying, and whose they have been silencing. Supporting the status quo while leaving initiatives that reflect epistemic diversity and knowledge equity as second-tier priorities will result in continued entrenchment of status quo inequities and the marginalization of truly innovative, equitable systems….”

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)….”

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….”

AmeliCA before Plan S – The Latin American Initiative to develop a cooperative, non-commercial, academic led, system of scholarly communication | Impact of Social Sciences

“Open access is often discussed as a process of flipping the existing closed subscription based model of scholarly communication to an open one. However, in Latin America an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing has been in place for over a decade. In this post, Eduardo Aguado-López and Arianna Becerril-Garcia discuss open access developments in Latin America and the AmeliCA initiative to develop a cooperative infrastructure for scientific communication. They also reflect on how the recent proposals put forward by cOAlition S to foster open access publication in the Global North, could potentially negatively impact open access efforts in Latin America. …”

AmeliCA – SPARC

Latin America has a vision for open scholarly communication—and it works. Scientists have long shared their research results through academic institutions, sidestepping the commercial publishing structure and enabling equitable access to all.

Now, as market forces threaten to alter the landscape, a new effort is underway to preserve the unique, publicly-funded approach and celebrate the successful model native to the region.

Open Knowledge for Latin American and the Global South, known as AmeliCA, launched in October 2018 with the goal of strengthening well-established scientific publishing and building partnerships. The coalition strives to develop a platform across institutions that will enable journals to keep operating without charging authors or readers. To date, 18 universities have joined and more than 100 journals are sharing a common infrastructure of software, tools, hosting, and training services.

Recognizing that equity and inclusion are at the center of this initiative’s mission, SPARC honors AmeliCA with its June 2019 Innovator Award as a shining example of what works with Open Access….”

Amelica: First Biannual Report

“AmeliCA has reached its first six months of experience seeking to consolidate a collaborative, sustainable, protected and non-commercial Open Access solution for Latin America and the Global South. AmeliCA’s goal —as well as the organizations’ that take part in it— is to build a sustained, academy-led and academy-owned communication system. AmeliCA is a mutual agreement, where Latin America and the Global South shape strategies. Its achievements are presented in this First biannual report….”

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….”

AmeliCA celebra el surgimiento de Invest in Open Infrastructure – AmeliCA

From Google’s English: “AmeliCA celebrates the emergence of Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) and is pleased to be part of this initiative for the benefit of an open, scalable and durable scientific infrastructure that seeks to extend its benefits on a global scale.

AmeliCA, whose principles revolve around the construction of a digital scientific communication system that provides universal access to scientific knowledge and is governed by responsible scientific evaluation systems, has worked for the visibility of science generated in the Global South, offering technology and advice to editorial teams. IOI and AmeliCA share the objective of achieving an Open Access academic publication infrastructure at the service of society….”

São Paulo Statement on Open Access | National Research Foundation

The representatives of African Open Science Platform, AmeLICA, cOAlition S, OA2020, and SciELO – five of the major worldwide Open Access initiatives – met on 01 May 2019 during the annual meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC) in Sao Paulo. They are united in their common mission of making knowledge available and accessible wherever it can have the greatest impact and help solve humanity’s challenges regardless of where it was produced.

The combined effect of the five initiatives has generated a new momentum in the push towards universal, full and immediate Open Access.

The Five Initiatives jointly state that:

  • They consider that scholarly and scientific knowledge is a global public good. When generated by public funds, free access to it is a universal right.
  • They share one common ultimate objective: providing universal, unrestricted, and immediate Open Access to scholarly information, including use and re-use by humans and machines.
  • They share the belief that this common goal can be achieved through a variety of approaches.
  • They will pursue points of alignment among their approaches and ways to co-operate towards reaching the shared objective.
  • They seek an active dialogue with all stakeholders, including researchers, research funders, universities, libraries, publishers, learned societies, governments, and citizens to take into account the diversity of the global scholarly community….”