Interview with Dr. Fernanda Beigel: Latina America wants to strengthen regional science through new global open access configurations | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press

Abstract:  Latin America is a cultural power composed of almost 40 countries, when the Caribbean is included, and with over 660 million inhabitants. In spite of political instability and severe cuts in investments in science and technology, the Latin American region shares sociocultural richness and an open access culture that aims to democratize knowledge, from non-profit publishers of public universities and scientific societies that work to strengthen regional science output. About 60% of the science output indexed in international databases is available in open access, much of it is diamond, which means that it doesn’t include any Article Processing Charge (APC) for authors.


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.”

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….”

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….”

UF Libraries awarded additional funding to digitize and provide access to historic newspapers » Communications » UF Libraries » University of Florida

“The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida received a grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to expand newspaper digitization efforts and continue participating in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). This is the fifth NDNP award the Libraries have received since 2013, bringing the combined project total to nearly $1.5 million.

The recent NEH award will fund the Ethnic Florida & US Caribbean Region Digital Newspaper Project, which will run until August 2023, building on work from previous project phases. During the eight-year period from 2013 to 2021, more than 400,000 pages of historical newspapers published in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were digitized and made publicly available online….”

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.

New Program Encourages Transnational Collaboration Among Scholarly Publishers – Association of University Presses

“The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) has launched a pilot program that seeks to deepen transnational dialogue and collaboration among mission-driven scholarly publishers. The AUPresses Global Partner Program will pair member presses with non-member presses in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America, aiming not only to amplify the work of presses in the “Global South” but also to expand the knowledge base of the university press community worldwide….

“Because we aim to foster access, openness, and debate in the pursuit of growing and deepening the African knowledge base, my colleagues and I look forward to wide-ranging discussions with our counterparts at Duke, especially with regard to our mutual interest in open access publishing,” said Francois van Schalkwyk, managing editor and trustee of African Minds….”

New Program Encourages Transnational Collaboration Among Scholarly Publishers – Association of University Presses

“The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) has launched a pilot program that seeks to deepen transnational dialogue and collaboration among mission-driven scholarly publishers. The AUPresses Global Partner Program will pair member presses with non-member presses in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America, aiming not only to amplify the work of presses in the “Global South” but also to expand the knowledge base of the university press community worldwide….

“Because we aim to foster access, openness, and debate in the pursuit of growing and deepening the African knowledge base, my colleagues and I look forward to wide-ranging discussions with our counterparts at Duke, especially with regard to our mutual interest in open access publishing,” said Francois van Schalkwyk, managing editor and trustee of African Minds….”

Full article: Digital Accessibility: Overcoming the Challenges of Managing Grey Literature in Jamaica: The Case of the University of the West Indies Mona Library

Abstract:  Grey literature is of inestimable value, with the potential for significant contributions to further inquiry and practice especially in academia and national development. Researchers, students, lecturers and scientists, depend on these resources which are often the main sources of indigenous and firsthand information. The challenge is retrieval, since they lack meaningful bibliographic control. They are usually not peer-reviewed and sometimes are of poor quality because they often originate from technocrats, scholars and scientists in various fields. A 2019 survey done in Jamaica with librarians from the Scientific and Technical Information Network (STIN) reveals the low status accorded to grey literature. Participants indicated that there is no active thrust towards advocacy and promotion. However, they recognize their importance and would willingly assist in organizing them. Digitization and archiving in repositories allow for greater accessibility to grey literature in academia. This paper examined the value of grey literature and presented digital accessibility as an infrastructure in overcoming associated challenges. Digitization’s value is seen in the regeneration of archiving, the increase in the use of non-circulating resources in special collections such as theses and dissertations, and in the preservation of collections. Digitization offers an online presence which raises awareness of existing collections and builds the image of academic institutions. This paper presents some best practices used in digitization, and key steps in the digitization process. The paper is qualitative and utilizes archival study to showcase the efforts of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Mona Library in using digital technology to manage grey literature and promote their special collections. The authors concluded that through digitization this Library can act as a driver to galvanize other information units to effect greater bibliographic control. Once these valuable collections become accessible, they can be positioned to contribute to national and international development.


Caribbean Regional: Using Open Educational Resources for Online Learning – 2 | MOOCs For Development

“With the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic in March 2020, school campuses were closed. Governments in most developing and developed countries have consequently recommended moving teaching and learning online. Even when campuses re-open, teachers and learners will probably need to continue to practice physical distancing and will need to continue to do some work online. This course, targeting teachers of primary and secondary schools, uses contemporary learning design and accessible technology to introduce participants to using Open Educational Resources for some aspects of online learning provision. …”

The adoption of open access journals for publishing management research: A review of the literature and the experience of The University of the West Indies

Abstract:  The article reviews the literature in the field of academic journal publishing highlighting the phenomenon of the recent entry of Internet-driven open access journals into a field dominated by the traditional subscription journals. The article has a twofold purpose of gaining an understanding of the main features and characteristics of the open access journal system through a review of the literature; and assessing the extent of adoption of open access by researchers in the management discipline through a review of the management publications by the University of the West Indies (UWI) researchers. A sequential exploratory strategy of two phases was used. The first phase focused on the collection of secondary data on journal publishing and the second involved reviewing the publishing record of The UWI with particular reference to management research. The main finding is that open access was not fully embraced as a publishing outlet because of academic resistance derived from questions of acceptability, and the existence of a system that assigns greater recognition to the established subscription journals. The article concludes that open access journals have grown in respectability and quality and are a good option for publishing management research by authors located in developing regions, provided the operational characteristics of this mode of publishing are understood and caution in journal selection is exercised. 

Statement on Collection Development, Access, and Equity in the time of COVID-19

“As is the case in Latin America and the Caribbean and elsewhere across the Global South, the majority of publications from the Middle East (Southwest Asia), North Africa and the diasporas are print-only, and are not available in electronic formats. Therefore, collecting policies which prefer electronic acquisitions at the expense of print risk excluding from their growing collections a significant portion of the cultural and scholarly production of these regions. Such policies threaten the diversity of representation in library collections by further marginalizing already marginalized voices….

We are particularly concerned that research materials and resources will be concentrated in a handful of wealthy, often private, institutions.  Commitment to area studies in general and to Middle East studies librarianship in particular is also instrumental for maintaining diverse and inclusive collections that reflect and support the wide ranging scholarly and creative interests of our users.”

SALALM Resolution: Collection Development in the Time of Covid-19 – Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials

“In light of the COVID-19 situation and budgetary reductions, libraries are implementing policies focusing primarily on digital formats, SALALM expresses the following concerns regarding challenges in the collection development eco-system for Latin American and Caribbean Studies:

Whereas, the majority of publications from Latin America and the Caribbean are print-only, and are not available in electronic formats, as UNESCO’s CERLALC reports in El espacio iberoamericano del libro;
Whereas, e-preferred collection development policies will exclude non-English language materials and Latin America and Caribbean cultural and scholarly production, including the voices of Black, indigenous, LGBTQ, and transnational authors, which are so critical to advancing the research and learning of the region and their diasporas in the United States; 
Whereas, a sudden shift away from research materials only available in print not only threatens the integrity of diverse library collections, but also places a dedicated network of local vendors of scholarly and ephemeral research materials at risk of closure; 
Whereas, these regional vendors are important because of their expertise in specific regions and they provide access to necessary and unique materials for learning, teaching and research needs of library users that would be overlooked by larger vendors based outside of the region; 
Whereas, pioneering cooperative Open Access models such as SciELO and RedALyC have made scholarly journals from the region widely available for over two decades, yet a gap for monographs still exists; …

[SALALM] advocates for continued and increased support for Open Access initiatives in Latin American and Caribbean countries through the Latin American Materials Project (LAMP), Latin Americanist Research Resources Project (LARRP), SALALM’s Award for Institutional Collaborative Initiatives, and other existing collaborative Open Access projects.”