SciELO Preprints server completes two years of operation, contributing to the advancement of Open Science | SciELO in Perspective

The positioning of the SciELO Program as an open science program, provided for the creation of a preprints’ server, announced in 2017. In September 2018, during the SciELO 20 Years Week, the partnership between SciELO and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) was launched with the objective of developing an open source preprints server based on the already consolidated Open Journal Systems (OJS).

DORA Community Engagement Grants: Supporting Academic Assessment Reform | DORA

“DORA sought to fund ideas to advance assessment reform at academic institutions at any stage of readiness. Projects could be targeted to any level within an academic institution, including (but not limited to) reform efforts at the graduate program, department, library, or institution level, and should address one or more key aspects of education, planning, implementing, training, iteratively improving, and scaling policies and practices. More than 55 ideas were submitted from individuals and teams in 29 countries! After careful review, members of the Steering Committee selected 10 proposals to support….”

Open access: Brazilian scientists denied waivers and discounts

“A study comparing open-access versus paywalled publications finds less geographical diversity among authors who choose open access (see Nature https://doi.org/gpkt87; 2022). This does not surprise us in Brazil, where article-processing charges (APCs) typically correspond to many months, or even years, of a scientist’s stipend. Yet we are not eligible for waivers or discounts under the open-access initiative Plan S (see go.nature.com/3d1qh), or for research-accessibility programmes such as Research4Life.

Both schemes support publications from low-income and lower-to-middle-income economies. Because Brazil is classed as an upper-middle-income economy, requests for APC waivers and discounts are generally turned down, in our experience. Many of us opt instead to publish behind paywalls. But that might not be possible after 2024, when Plan S transformative agreements will end and journals will transition to exclusively publishing open-access content….”

Guest Post – New Winds from the Latin American Scientific Publishing Community – The Scholarly Kitchen

“To help evaluate interest in the idea of a regional association and to better understand editors’ perspectives on the use of journal metrics for science evaluations, a survey of journal editors was carried out, with 20 questions aimed at characterizing the journal they edit, such as subject area(s), audience, business model and adoption of open science, coverage by databases, strategies for increasing visibility, and use of metrics and indicators for journal management. The survey also included four questions about the use of citation impact indicators for national evaluations of science performed by governmental agencies in Latin America and their effects on the publication and research activities in the region….

A large majority of the editors who responded to the survey felt that the use of citation impact indicators for evaluating science in Latin America is inadequate or partially adequate (70%-88% depending on the specific area of evaluation)….

This feedback was used to support the development of the ALAEC Manifesto for the responsible use of metrics in research evaluation in Latin America and the Caribbean, which calls for a more inclusive and responsible use of journal-based metrics in research evaluation. It supports previous manifestos, such as the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA (2012), the Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics (2015), and the Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication (2019). Acknowledging that the current criteria imposed by Latin American evaluating bodies have perverse consequences for the region’s journals and that authors will therefore have less incentive to submit articles to them, the manifesto has five main calls to action:

 

Re-establish quality criteria, valuing journals that:

Publish relevant research regardless of area or subject matter, language, target audience, or geographic scope
Bring a broad spectrum of scholarly and research contributions, such as replication, innovation, translation, synthesis, and meta-research
Practice open science, including open access
Adopt high ethical standards, prioritizing quality and integrity in scientific publication

Value and stimulate the work of scientific editors and their teams, promoting their training and development, and recognizing their fundamental role in the adoption and dissemination of good practices in scientific publication.
Ensure that national journals and publishers do not lose financial incentives and the flow of article submissions, allowing them to achieve and maintain high standards of quality and integrity in their editorial processes, especially for journals that practice open science and multilingualism.
Strengthen, disseminate, and protect national and regional infrastructures for scientific communication (SciELO, RedALyC, LatIndex, LA Referencia, and non-commercial CRIS systems), that favor open science and multilingualism, and that can generate the most appropriate metrics and indicators to evaluate local and regional science.
Encourage and value collaborative networks and exchanges between all actors in the ecosystem of knowledge production and dissemination: institutions, authors, reviewers and funding agencies, etc., in the region….”

Associated institutions in Mexico and the US launch the Repository of Documentation on Disappearances in Mexico | CRL

“On March 23-24 the “Truth, Justice, Memory: Documentary Evidence in the Digital Age” conference will take place at El Colegio de México, where the digital platform Repository of Documentation on Disappearances in Mexico (RDDM)

(link is external) will launch.

RDDM is a collaborative initiative between four partner institutions – the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Colegio de México (El COLMEX), the Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas (IIJ-UNAM) and the Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México (UIA-CDMX). RDDM seeks to gather and safeguard human rights documentation on disappearances in Mexico since the beginning of the War on Drugs in 2006. …”

Citizen seismology helps decipher the 2021 Haiti earthquake

Abstract:  The August 14, Mw7.2, Nippes earthquake in Haiti occurred within the same fault zone as its devastating, Mw7.0, 2010 predecessor but struck the country when field access was limited by insecurity and conventional seismometers from the national network were inoperative. A network of citizen seismometers installed in 2019 provided near-field data critical to rapidly understand the mechanism of the mainshock and monitor its aftershock sequence. Their real-time data define two aftershock clusters that coincide with two areas of coseismic slip derived from inversions of conventional seismological and geodetic data. Machine learning applied to data from the citizen seismometer closest to the mainshock allows us to forecast aftershocks as accurately as with the network-derived catalog. This shows the utility of citizen science contributing to the understanding of a major earthquake.

 

When a seismic network failed, citizen science stepped in | Ars Technica

“On the afternoon of January 12, 2010, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck about 16 miles west of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince. Among the most significant seismic disasters recorded, more than 100,000 people lost their lives. The damage—costing billions of dollars—rendered more than a million people homeless and destroyed much of the region’s infrastructure. The earth tore at the relatively shallow depth of about 8 miles, toppling poorly constructed buildings.

At the time, Haiti had no national seismic network. After the devastating event, scientists installed expensive seismic stations around the country, but that instrumentation requires funding, care, and expertise; today, those stations are no longer functional. In 2019, seismologists opted to try something different and far less expensive—citizen seismology via Raspberry Shakes.

On the morning of August 14, 2021, amidst a summer of COVID-19 lockdowns and political unrest, another earthquake struck, providing the opportunity to test just how useful these Raspberry-pi powered devices could be. In a paper published on Thursday in Science, researchers described using the Raspberry Shake data to demonstrate that this citizen science network successfully monitored both the mainshock and subsequent aftershocks and provided data integral to untangling what turned out to be a less-than-simple rending of the earth….”

Pontika et al. (2022) Indicators of research quality, quantity, openness and responsibility in institutional promotion, review and tenure policies across seven countries | MetaArXiv Preprints

Pontika, N., Klebel, T., Correia, A., Metzler, H., Knoth, P., & Ross-Hellauer, T. (2022, March 3). Indicators of research quality, quantity, openness and responsibility in institutional promotion, review and tenure policies across seven countries. https://doi.org/10.31222/osf.io/b9qaw

Abstract: The need to reform research assessment processes related to career advancement at research institutions has become increasingly recognised in recent years, especially to better foster open and responsible research practices. Current assessment criteria are believed to focus too heavily on inappropriate criteria related to productivity and quantity as opposed to quality, collaborative open research practices, and the socio-economic impact of research. Evidence of the extent of these issues is urgently needed to inform actions for reform, however. We analyse current practices as revealed by documentation on institutional review, promotion and tenure processes in seven countries (Austria, Brazil, Germany, India, Portugal, United Kingdom and United States of America). Through systematic coding and analysis of 143 RPT policy documents from 107 institutions for the prevalence of 17 criteria (including those related to qualitative or quantitative assessment of research, service to the institution or profession, and open and responsible research practices), we compare assessment practices across a range of international institutions to significantly broaden this evidence-base. Although prevalence of indicators varies considerably between countries, overall we find that currently open and responsible research practices are minimally rewarded and problematic practices of quantification continue to dominate.

Alberto López Cuenca & Renato Bermúdez Dini (2022) Otros términos para debatir la propiedad intelectual (Beyond the Author’s Rights: Debating Intellectual Property in Other Terms) | Open Humanities Press

On July 1, 2020, reforms to the Federal Copyright Act (LFDA, for its acronym in Spanish) entered into force in Mexico responding to the primarily economic requirements of the renewed free trade agreement with the United States and Canada, the USMCA. Facing these reforms, a group of Mexican and international associations and individuals raised their voices due to the numerous implications that they entailed for free speech, due judicial process, access to culture and education, technological sovereignty and their environmental impact, among others. In order to trace the deep reaching that the LFDA has today to the detriment of other rights and already established practices, from the Centro Cultural de España in Mexico City we proposed to inscribe these concerns and debate them on a broader sociocultural plane, starting from four conceptual nodes: 1) native knowledges; 2) open knowledge; 3) digital selfediting and rewriting; 4) hacktivisms. This book brings together contributions from Alberto López Cuenca, Anamhoo, David Cuartielles, Diana Macho Morales, Domingo M. Lechón, Eduardo Aguado-López, Gabriela Méndez Cota, Irene Soria, Leandro Rodríguez Medina, Marla Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, Mónica Nepote, Nika Zhenya, Renato Bermúdez Dini and Víctor Leonel Juan-Martínez.

El 1 de julio de 2020 entró en vigor una reforma a la Ley Federal del Derecho de Autor (LFDA) en México que respondía a las exigencias prioritariamente económicas del renovado tratado de libre comercio con Estados Unidos y Canadá, el T-MEC. Frente a estas reformas, un conjunto de colectivos, asociaciones e individuos mexicanos e internacionales levantaron la voz por las numerosas implicaciones que suponían para la libertad de expresión, el debido proceso judicial, el acceso a la cultura y a la educación, la soberanía tecnológica y el impacto medioambiental, entre otras. Para rastrear el profundo alcance que en nuestros días tiene la LFDA en detrimento de otros derechos y prácticas ya afianzadas, desde el Centro Cultural de España en Ciudad de México nos propusimos inscribir estas preocupaciones y debatirlas en un plano sociocultural más amplio, a partir de cuatro nodos conceptuales: 1) saberes originarios; 2) conocimiento abierto; 3) autoedición y reescrituras digitales; 4) hacktivismos. Este libro reúne contribuciones de Alberto López Cuenca, Anamhoo, David Cuartielles, Diana Macho Morales, Domingo M. Lechón, Eduardo Aguado-López, Gabriela Méndez Cota, Irene Soria, Leandro Rodríguez Medina, Marla Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, Mónica Nepote, Nika Zhenya, Renato Bermúdez Dini y Víctor Leonel Juan-Martínez.

 

Latin America Research Commons (LARC) | Latin American Studies Association conference 18 Feb 2022

“The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is proud to announce the establishment of the Latin America Research Commons (LARC) as the first portal for cutting-edge, fully open access research on Latin America. LARC is the first publishing press of LASA, which is dedicated to ensure the widest possible dissemination of original monographs and journals in all disciplines related to Latin American studies. Its principal languages of publication are Spanish and Portuguese, and its primary goal is to ensure that scholars from around the world will be able to find and access the research they need without economic or geographic barriers….”

presentation slides

Springer Nature: Open Access Transformative Agreements in the Americas

“This morning (February 8), Springer Nature is making another announcement about transformative agreements, this time featuring one in Canada and one in Latin America.

Each represents a national first for Springer, the Latin American deal being based in Colombia….

As of our last transformative-agreement announcement from Springer on January 28—that was the deal struck with Egypt’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Funding Authority and the Egyptian Knowledge Bank—Springer Nature had arranged 14 such deals. Today’s announcement indicates that the company now has 17 national agreements in place, having inked its first such accord in 2014 with a transformative agreement in the Netherlands.

 

The North American transformative agreement in Canada is for members of the Federal Science Libraries Network (FSLN), intended to support Canada’s “Roadmap for Open Science” to make federal scientific publications openly accessible by providing members with the ability to publish open access; this agreement became active last month.
The Latin American transformative agreement is with Consorcio Colombia and is being announced by Springer Nature as “marking a step in favor of global academic communication and the recognition of Colombian scientific capabilities in all areas of knowledge”; it becomes active in July….”

The Brazilian compound library (BraCoLi) database: a repository of chemical and biological information for drug design | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The Brazilian Compound Library (BraCoLi) is a novel open access and manually curated electronic library of compounds developed by Brazilian research groups to support further computer-aided drug design works, available on https://www.farmacia.ufmg.br/qf/downloads/. Herein, the first version of the database is described comprising 1176 compounds. Also, the chemical diversity and drug-like profiles of BraCoLi were defined to analyze its chemical space. A significant amount of the compounds fitted Lipinski and Veber’s rules, alongside other drug-likeness properties. A comparison using principal component analysis showed that BraCoLi is similar to other databases (FDA-approved drugs and NuBBEDB) regarding structural and physicochemical patterns. Furthermore, a scaffold analysis showed that BraCoLi presents several privileged chemical skeletons with great diversity. Despite the similar distribution in the structural and physicochemical spaces, Tanimoto coefficient values indicated that compounds present in the BraCoLi are generally different from the two other databases, where they showed different kernel distributions and low similarity. These facts show an interesting innovative aspect, which is a desirable feature for novel drug design purposes.

Agreement between Colombia Consortium institutions and Elsevier

“Elsevier and the Colombia Consortium have entered into a pilot agreement to enable continued reading access for Colombian researchers and to support open access publishing. When publishing in applicable Elsevier journals, authors from Colombia Consortium member institutions can choose to publish open access at no cost to the author….”