Open and Inclusive Access to Research

“Open and Inclusive Access to Research is a four day virtual symposium, organised by Gimena Del Rio Riande, Daniel Paul O’Donnell, and Wouter Schallier. Primary funding was provided by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), with addition financial and in-kind support provided by Eclac, Force11, and the Sloan Foundation through the Reimagining Educational Practices for Open (REPO) project. The coapplicants and collaborators on the proposal were Gimena Del Rio Riande, CONICET; Juan Pablo Alperin, Simon Fraser University; Wouter Schallier, ECLAC; and Tanja Niemann, Université de Montréal.

The goal of this workshop is to bring experts and early career research professionals from Canada and Latin America together in a bilingual workshop environment that will enable them to exchange knowledge and expertise about Open Research Practices in a strategic yet very hands-on manner, with panels and prominent speakers from both continents. Researchers and policy makers in both Canada and Latin America have played leading roles internationally in the area of Open and Inclusive access to research, and particularly in Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science and Scholarship as a means to achieve this. The goal of this workshop is to bring those experts and early career researchers together to discuss areas of convergence and difference in a more systematic way….”

SciELO – Brazil – Open Access Publications with Article Processing Charge (APC) Payment: a Brazilian Scenario Analysis Open Access Publications with Article Processing Charge (APC) Payment: a Brazilian Scenario Analysis

Abstract:  The expansion of open access publications has been correlated with specific government policies in many countries. The evolution in these cases is understandable within the framework of funding regulations. However, this is not the case for Brazil, where no regulation is currently in place. The unusually high percentage of open access publications in the Brazilian scientific community is analyzed here toward understanding which factors influence this growth and how similar effects may also impact other countries, particularly developing nations. We found that from 2012 to 2019 the Brazilian scientific community drifted to international open access journals. This transition is discussed in the framework of mega journals.

 

UABC offers an online portal for open science

“In order to make public access to the scientific information, data, and products created at UABC [Autonomous University of Baja California] for the university community and society at large, the Open Science Project was initiated, a virtual space in which Maroon’s work and knowledge focus on scholars.

In this sense, Dr. Juan Guillermo Vaca Rodríguez, Head of the General Coordination of Research and Graduate Studies at UABC, explained that Open Science is a global movement that aims to open research (its methodologies, data, partial and final results and laboratory notes, among other products), from any discipline or field of knowledge.

In this way, the research created in this house of studies can be reused, redistributed, and reproduced by researchers, scientists, students, and anyone who wants to know how the world works and what happens outside of it.

To contribute to this movement, UABC has created the Open Science online portal which contains a search engine where required information can be found by author, title, subject, classification number, ISBN/ISSN, or nomenclature….

One relevant aspect of the portal is the Quality Seal, which will be awarded to internal bodies at UABC that comply with international best practices and standards for open science….”

Association between productivity and journal impact across disciplines and career age

Abstract:  The association between productivity and impact of scientific production is a long-standing debate in science that remains controversial and poorly understood. Here we present a large-scale analysis of the association between yearly publication numbers and average journal-impact metrics for the Brazilian scientific elite. We find this association to be discipline-specific, career-age dependent, and similar among researchers with outlier and non-outlier performance. Outlier researchers either outperform in productivity or journal prestige, but they rarely do so in both categories. Non-outliers also follow this trend and display negative correlations between productivity and journal prestige but with discipline-dependent intensity. Our research indicates that academics are averse to simultaneous changes in their productivity and journal-prestige levels over consecutive career years. We also find that career patterns concerning productivity and journal prestige are discipline-specific, having in common a raise of productivity with career age for most disciplines and a higher chance of outperforming in journal impact during early career stages.

 

The Repository for Caribbean Cancer Publications – CMAR | CMAR

Abstract:  Objective: In the Caribbean region, research has been limited, making it challenging to find. In order for the region to optimally access and utilize present research and identify gaps, we developed the Repository for Caribbean Cancer Publications (ReCCaP) to home publications on cancer in the Caribbean population and diaspora and report on publication trends.

Methods: A systematic PubMed literature search for the period 2004– 2019 (15 years) was developed using keywords related to “cancer” and “Caribbean.” Three independent investigators verified included publications. The final database was formatted and hosted in an online database management software. Publication trends over time, by country, cancer type, and income classification were investigated.

Results: Of the 4935 publications found, 1194 papers met the inclusion criteria with 803 publications (67.25%) being on the Caribbean population, 139 publications (11.64%) including multiple Caribbean countries and 252 publications (21.11%) on the diaspora. Between 2004 and 2019, there was an overall 0.20 increase in publications regionally. Overall, most publications were on breast (n = 168, 14.07%), prostate (n = 156, 13.07%), cervical (n = 152, 12.73%), colorectal (n = 80, 6.70%), and lung cancer (n = 36, 3.02%). The highest number of papers were published by Puerto Rico (22.80 pubs/year), Cuba (8.27 pubs/year), Jamaica (6.27 pubs/year), Trinidad and Tobago (3.53 pubs/year), and Martinique (2.27 pubs/year). The high-income countries (n=10) collectively lead in publications over the 15-year period.

Conclusion: ReCCaP provides an easily searchable database highlighting published work and gaps in knowledge on cancer in the Caribbean and diaspora.

Latin America could become a world leader in non-commercial open science

“In the 1990s, new repositories and databases were born that would become pillars of a solid infrastructure for open-access scientific communication. With the launch of the open access journals databases Latindex, SciELO and Redalyc, the digitisation of scientific journals was given a boost and a quality seal was granted to published research. With a strong public imprint, these repositories acted as a springboard for the development of non-commercial open access environment that is today the hallmark of the region.

Latin America now has the optimal conditions to create open science infrastructure that capitalises on these previous efforts. And two examples stand out.

Brazil’s BrCris was developed by the Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia alongside major national public agencies. Brazil is an immense country, with a professionalised scientific and technological system that has produced many databases on a national scale, making integration a huge challenge. Examples include the Open Data Portal, the CV system Plataforma Lattes and the directory of research groups known as CNPQ….

The second case is that of the PerúCRIS platform. It was first devised when Peru approved its Open Access Law in 2013. The need then arose to integrate three scientific information platforms: the directory of researchers, the national directory of institutions and the national network of repositories. The new platform also includes all undergraduate and graduate theses….”

Global Trends in Open Access: Themes from Africa, Asia and Latin America – The Scholarly Kitchen %

“The opportunity for researchers to share their findings and draw on the research findings of others is vital for researchers, policymakers and wider society. But all too often, the way that this process works is decided by relatively small numbers of countries and people –- often those based in the global North, in “elite” institutions or in large, commercial publishers.

Important voices can be missed and, as a result, important learning about what people have found already works around the world is not reflected in academia, policy decisions, and practice. 

In a recent Scholarly Kitchen webinar, I was delighted to be joined by great speakers from three continents, who are all experts in open access with different perspectives. This post summarizes some of the key themes discussed by Arianna Becerril García, who is based in Mexico, Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, who is based in Cameroon, and Vrushali Dandawate, who is in India….”

a luxury market? – basic research – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper

“The rapid migration of scientific online journals around the turn of the century seemed to usher in changes: In 1995, Forbes predicted that Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher, would be the “first victim of the Internet”. After 25 years, the tech-scientific arm of the RELX group, a multinational conglomerate that the publisher has become, has annual sales of more than £ 2.6 billion with profit margins of between 30% and 40%. …

Who in their right mind would spend dozens more times to have their item in nature?

The answer? Almost every. Not because scientists are not very eager to deal with their budgets, but on the contrary: Articles in renowned magazines are the engine that guarantees reputation, jobs and research resources in the academic world. Like those who pay for a Louis Vuitton bag, the writers care less about the product than about the brand.

The result is a prestigious economy that allows big magazines to demand what they want, and also gets freelance work from academics who want to bond with their brands as reviewers or editors. There is no room for renewal in this market: even competitors offering better services at lower cost would take decades to build a reputation for a nature or a science.

As a result, researchers from countries like Brazil are forced to choose between two ethically questionable alternatives: have their work blocked by paywalls for the benefit of others, or waste the country’s scarce research resources with excessive open access fees….

Ironically, Brazil has also launched Scielo, perhaps the world’s most successful large-scale Open Access initiative, which uses publicly funded infrastructure to ensure that most national journals do not charge access or publication fees. However, a large segment of Brazilian researchers cannot afford to use it as they have to lower their college degrees by not using large magazines….”

WINNERS OF THE LATIN AMERICAN OPEN ACCESS ESSAY COMPETITION 2020

“The Open Access 2020 week was held with the theme “Openness with Purpose”, which provided the appropriate framework for AmeliCA, UNESCO, Redalyc and CLACSO to organize the Latin American Open Access Essay Competition 2020 with the theme “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion”, aimed at young Latin American researchers and students. The competition rules were published on September 30, 2020 and essays were received until December 28, 2020….”

 

“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.

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….”

Towards open science: what we know and what we need to know

“Open science presents itself as a set of policies and actions to disseminate research results in an accessible, free and reusable and reproducible way through public digital repositories. As a movement, it uses three basic elements: open access to publications; data opening (whether raw, models, specifications, or documentation); computational process opening (software and algorithms)(1).

Although it is not a new phenomenon, the term can still cause strangeness even to experienced researchers. Open access to articles, as the first element, encountered (and still finds) great resistance to becoming unanimous, although pressure from the scientific society and funding agencies has accelerated the progress of this stage. On the other hand, data opening seems to have been better received, at least in its interface related to the deposit of scientific manuscripts in the preprint format, however this is only the beginning.

Concerning the Brazilian experience, SciELO and the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology (IBICT – Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia) have been leading the opening process and for some time have designed guidelines and strategies to guide their journals towards open science: TOP (Transparency and Openness Promotion)(2). This system interestingly presents levels of openness experimentation that range from pointing out what is a certain item to making it conditional on it being expressly fulfilled for the manuscript to be published.

Although it has existed since 2017, it was only in 2020 that the alignment of Brazilian journals to TOP was indeed accelerated, and significant changes will be adopted in the journals in the coming months and years to adapt to such principles.

Having this information and basing ourselves on the fact that historically changes have been the target of resistance, especially when they happen in an ancient system, like the scientific publication system, we use our privilege to take on multiple roles (author, reviewer, and editor) among the scientific publication process in Brazilian journals to reflect and point out in this editorial four central issues related to editorial management that should be recurrent among the actors involved in the publication process in the coming years months: …”