“No Publication Favelas! Latin America’s Vision for Open Access” by Monica Berger | ACRL 2021 presentation

by Monica Berger, CUNY New York City College of Technology

Abstract: Open access was intended to be the great equalizer but its promise has not come to fruition in many lower-income countries of the Global South. Under-resourcing is only one of the many reasons why these scholars and publishers are marginalized. In order to examine inequality in our global scholarly communications system, we can compare a negative and a positive outgrowth of this imbalance. Predatory publishing represents a a weak imitation of traditional, commercial journal publishing. In contrast, Latin America’s community-based, quality scholarly infrastructure is anti-colonial. It can be argued that Latin America’s publishing infrastructure represents one solution to predatory publishing. As the future of open access is debated, it is critical that we look to Latin America as we support new models that reject legacy commercial journal publishing and support bibliodiversity.

Jeffrey Beall infamously called Brazil’s SciELO a “publishing favela” or slum. Yet Latin America represents an important exception to the problem of underdevelopment of scholarly communications in the Global South. In order to begin to better understand the marginalization of the Global South and Latin America’s success, we need to unpack the history of open access, its overemphasis on the reader as opposed to the author, and how notions of development influenced its discourse. This focus on the reader is neo-Colonialist, positioning scholars from the Global South as “downloaders” and not “uploaders,” whose scholarship is peripheral.

Lacking alternative publishing options, predatory publishing, or amateurish, low quality publishing, exploited this gap. In its pathetic imitation of international, corporate publishing, predatory publishing is neo-Colonial and a form of “faux” open access where subaltern authors, editors, and publishers poorly imitate Global North corporate publishing. Predatory publishing is a sad simulacra with real world damage. Since predatory publishing is overwhelming based in the Global South and many of its authors based in the Global South, it tarnishes the reputation of all scholarship from less developed countries. In contrast, predatory authorship and publishing are rare in Latin America.

Latin America is an exemplar of sustainable and humane open access. Heather Morrison deemed Latin American as a “long-time peerless leader in open access.” The advent of Plan S, a rapid flip to open access, is accelerating the co-option of open access by large, commercial publishers predicating a variety of negative outcomes. In contrast, the Latin American concept of bibliodiversity represents an important alternative model. No one size fits all and a local vision governs. Bibliodiversity interrogates the presumption that all scholarship must be English-language. It also values indigenous and local knowledge as well as lay readers. Redalyc and SciELO include measures for research collaboration. Various regional scholarly organizations cooperate, sharing expertise, providing training in editorial and technical best practices. This cooperation has expanded to a global scale. The Confederation of Open Access Repositories and SPARC are partnering with LA Referencia and others, expanding Latin America’s vision globally, generating a meaningful alternative model for open access.

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Slides with talk transcript and sources as presented at the Association of College and Research Libraries conference, ACRL 2021: Ascending into an Open Future, held virtually, April 16, 2021.

Towards a global knowledge commons – COAR advances interoperability and alignment internationally – COAR

“Since the launch of COAR in 2009, a major strategic priority for the organization has been the alignment of repository networks across the world. In 2015 these efforts were expanded through the support of the European Commission-funded OpenAIRE2020 and OpenAIRE Advance project….”

 

Towards a global knowledge commons – COAR advances interoperability and alignment internationally – COAR

“Since the launch of COAR in 2009, a major strategic priority for the organization has been the alignment of repository networks across the world. In 2015 these efforts were expanded through the support of the European Commission-funded OpenAIRE2020 and OpenAIRE Advance project….”

 

Africa and Latin America agree to closer collaboration around open science – africaconnect3

“Today, LA Referencia, RedCLARA and the three African regional research and education networks – ASREN, WACREN and UbuntuNet Alliance – signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize their relationship as the two continents seek to ramp up their open science activities. The aim of the collaboration is to advance open science policies, services and infrastructure that reflect the unique needs and conditions of each continent within a framework of international cooperation….

The MoU provides a framework for ongoing information sharing between the African Research & Education Networks (RENs), through the LIBSENSE Initiative and LA Referencia / RedCLARA, and the potential adoption of the LA Referencia open source discovery software in Africa. The collaboration is being fostered by COAR, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, and with support from the pan-European GÉANT network, OpenAIRE and the EU co-funded AfricaConnect3 project….”

Africa and Latin America agree to closer collaboration around open science – africaconnect3

“Today, LA Referencia, RedCLARA and the three African regional research and education networks – ASREN, WACREN and UbuntuNet Alliance – signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize their relationship as the two continents seek to ramp up their open science activities. The aim of the collaboration is to advance open science policies, services and infrastructure that reflect the unique needs and conditions of each continent within a framework of international cooperation….

The MoU provides a framework for ongoing information sharing between the African Research & Education Networks (RENs), through the LIBSENSE Initiative and LA Referencia / RedCLARA, and the potential adoption of the LA Referencia open source discovery software in Africa. The collaboration is being fostered by COAR, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, and with support from the pan-European GÉANT network, OpenAIRE and the EU co-funded AfricaConnect3 project….”

Joint Position Statement on “Data Repository Selection – Criteria That Matter” | Zenodo

Abstract:  Over the past three years, “Data Repository Selection-Criteria That Matter” – “a set of criteria for the identification and selection of those data repositories that accept research data submissions” – were developed by a group of publishers facilitated by the FAIRsharing initiative. Throughout this time, a large number of organizations and individuals have formulated responses and expressed concern about the criteria and the process through which the criteria were developed. Collectively, our organizations consider that the “Data Repository: Selection Criteria that Matter” recommendations – as currently conceived – will act as an impediment to achieving these aims. As such, we are issuing this Joint Position Statement to highlight the community’s concerns and request that the authors of these criteria respond with specific actions.

 

Notify: Repository and Services Interoperability Project – COAR

“Our current research and social context – the coronavirus pandemic, economic upheaval, climate change, racial injustice – requires timely and reliable research results, shared by, and with, all parts of the world.

On January 28, 2021, COAR launched the Notify: Repository and Services Interoperability Project.  The aim of this project is to develop a standard and interoperable approach that will link reviews and endorsements from different services with the research outputs housed in the distributed network of preprint servers, archives, and repositories.

COAR has already developed a proposed model for (bi-directionally) linking resources held in repositories with related resources held in networked services using a distributed, message-oriented approach based on W3C Linked Data Notifications (LDN). The COAR model is described and illustrated in Modelling Overlay Peer Review Processes with Linked Data Notifications.

This project involves working with implementing partners to:

Aid the development of reference implementations of the identified use-cases involving repositories and networked services
Support high-level collaboration to align development in the different implementation projects
Support and encourage broad interoperability by establishing common practices, community norms and conventions
Engage with relevant development communities (e.g. for important repository and service platforms) to gain support with implementation….”

Notify: Repository and Services Interoperability Project – COAR

“Our current research and social context – the coronavirus pandemic, economic upheaval, climate change, racial injustice – requires timely and reliable research results, shared by, and with, all parts of the world.

On January 28, 2021, COAR launched the Notify: Repository and Services Interoperability Project.  The aim of this project is to develop a standard and interoperable approach that will link reviews and endorsements from different services with the research outputs housed in the distributed network of preprint servers, archives, and repositories.

COAR has already developed a proposed model for (bi-directionally) linking resources held in repositories with related resources held in networked services using a distributed, message-oriented approach based on W3C Linked Data Notifications (LDN). The COAR model is described and illustrated in Modelling Overlay Peer Review Processes with Linked Data Notifications.

This project involves working with implementing partners to:

Aid the development of reference implementations of the identified use-cases involving repositories and networked services
Support high-level collaboration to align development in the different implementation projects
Support and encourage broad interoperability by establishing common practices, community norms and conventions
Engage with relevant development communities (e.g. for important repository and service platforms) to gain support with implementation….”