Open Science, equity and the Brazilian context

“Open Science, a global movement created by the scientific community, has undertaken efforts aimed at increasing the popularity of scientific knowledge production and making the results of scientific research widely accessible to society. Open Science principles, which aim to make research outcomes freely available through scientific journals or open access repositories, and to promote transparency to their processes, replication and reproducibility, have generally been well received by the scientific community. Its transparent, accessible and collaborative nature is widely recognized, but discussion of potentially reckless aspects for implementation, such as the costs of participation and the need for a favorable policy agenda, are also in focus.1

 

As this “umbrella of strategies” spreads, some questions become more frequent: how can we promote equity from such an inequitable basis, after all? The venue for the “open science party” has been set, but the capacity of the guests to take part in it has not been the same. Surveys show that the article processing charges (APCs), charged by international open access journals have increased sharply and constituted a barrier to the visibility of scientific production of researchers globally.2,3 Thus, the Brazilian scientific community is among those agents whose capacity to participate is compromised by budget constraints for research and the lack of resources directed to publication fees by funding agencies in Brazil.

 

Science has been deeply marked by advances and setbacks, in Brazil. Even in the early 2000s, the structural working conditions, regional imbalances, funding options and conflicts between the public and private sectors were already seen as challenges.4 The situation has not changed much and, despite an upward trend in federal government spending on science and technology, from 2003 to 2015, this trend was reversed as of 2016, reaching levels below the investments in 2009 by 2020.5 This funding setback has imposed heavy burdens on the entire scientific community, reflected in difficulties to maintain institutions and projects, and consequent expansion of barriers, making Brazilian researchers even more distant from the effective implementation of Open Science….”

Declaración de CLACSO “Una nueva evaluación académica y científica para una ciencia con relevancia social en América Latina y el Caribe» | Universo Abierto

From Google’s English:  “This declaration was approved by the XXVII General Assembly of CLACSO, within the framework of the  9th Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Social Sciences , in Mexico City in June 2022. In turn, it was enriched with the contributions of various regional and international specialists and representatives of CLACSO member centers, who participated in the plenary “Balance, perspectives and challenges for a new agenda for academic evaluation in Latin America and the Caribbean” at the International Seminar of the  Forum Latin American Scientific Evaluation (FOLEC)- CLACSO  during the 9th. Conference.

In this way, CLACSO-FOLEC, together with a multiplicity of actors and actors committed to the issue, has managed to consolidate a common Declaration of Principles and high consensus on responsible academic evaluation from and for Latin America and the Caribbean. Following these guidelines, CLACSO-FOLEC seeks to promote the implementation of these principles – converted into proposals and tools for action – by the National Science and Technology Organizations, scientific institutions and higher education in the region. Likewise, it mobilizes the study and survey of good practices and different innovations in the evaluation processes,     

We would very much like your individual and/or institutional support for the Declaration. For that, you can offer your adhesion in the link.”

Arcadia supports Redalyc and AmeliCA in its endeavor to advance diamond Open Access

“The Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) awarded $3.6 Million grant from Arcadia – a charitable of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – for Redalyc and AmeliCA. The project’s purpose is to reinforce, expand and strengthen the current efforts of this initiatives so to advance diamond Open Access within a framework of science as a global public good through the consolidation of an Open Infrastructure for capacity building, visibility, discoverability, quality assurance, technological development and sustainability of diamond OA publishing that yields more equitable and inclusive participation in the communication of science.”

 

Breve cronologia da Ciência Aberta no Brasil – Vida acadêmica – modo de usar

From Google’s English:  “This brief chronology will map the history of discussions and initiatives on Open Science in Brazil (and some highly relevant international initiatives that put pressure on Brazilian actors, such as the UNESCO resolution). Until 2020 it includes academic works (such as articles, editorials and theses and dissertations – especially those related to the so-called Applied Human and Social Sciences), but even in these cases it will not contain all the production on the subject in the period . Thus, this survey is not intended to be a definitive ‘guide’ on the subject, but to present a glimpse into how the movement has unfolded, with special emphasis on the impacts on the publishing system and on doing science….”

Open access books: A global preference for regional subjects | Impact of Social Sciences

For many research disciplines English functions as the global language for research. But, how far does this align with patterns of research use globally? Drawing on download evidence from the OAPEN library of open access books, Ronald Snijder explores this global demand for open research and finds significant demand for regional research and research published in languages other than English.

Evaluación académica en tiempos de ciencia abierta, inclusiva y relevante: desafíos culturales, cognitivos y político-institucionales para la producción, circulación e indización del conocimiento en América Latina y el Caribe.

From Google’s English:  “The Latin American Forum on Scientific Evaluation (FOLEC-CLACSO) is a space for debate on the meanings, policies and practices of the evaluation processes of scientific work in the region. From an open, collaborative and public knowledge domain perspective, it seeks to strengthen democratizing and sustainable approaches and models of science, committed to the problems of our societies.

The formal start of this initiative was in November 2019 in Mexico City, after the First Latin American Seminar on Scientific Evaluation, co-organized between CLACSO and the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT, Mexico). The event brought together experts from the region, representatives of National Science and Technology Organizations and CLACSO Member Centers to analyze the evaluation processes of scientific work and generate proposals from Latin America and the Caribbean, in dialogue with the trends and good international practices.

In 2020, the FOLEC-CLACSO developed a diagnostic stage, proposals and guiding principles in relation to the processes and meanings of academic evaluation reform in the region, embodied in different working documents, meetings and activities. In 2021, a Second Latin American Forum for Scientific Evaluation (FOLEC) took place, co-organized between CLACSO and the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET, Argentina), within the framework of the III Latin American and Caribbean Open Science Forum, CILAC 2020-2021, in dialogue with the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030.

Throughout 2021, FOLEC-CLACSO developed a set of evaluative policy tools and research that have nurtured reflection on the subject from a perspective located in Latin America and the Caribbean and that favors the approach of social sciences. For its multiple actions, FOLEC.CLACSO was recognized among the 15 international promoters and definers of responsible research evaluation and the 10 best websites and resources on the subject, according to the Global Research Council (GRC) report. Since 2022, he has been a member of the Executive Board of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). Currently, the FOLEC-CLACSO agenda has managed to lead and consolidate the exchange and sustained work,

On the stage of the 9th Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Social Sciences, CLACSO again in alliance with CONACyT of Mexico, co-organizes a Third Latin American Forum on Scientific Evaluation and invites multi-stakeholders from the government sector, the university and scientific community, and civil society, in order to agree on a Declaration of Regional Principles on Academic Assessment, discuss and promote assessment policy instruments, and advance towards exchanges and consensus that commit the scientific systems of the different countries….”

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.