CHALLENGES OF THE LATIN AMERICAN OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING MODEL

This is a guest post by Ivonne Lujano, DOAJ Ambassador, Latin America

ivonne

 

A current search in the DOAJ database reveals that there are 916 journals from Latin America and the Caribbean that have been accepted after the implementation of stricter DOAJ criteria in March 2014. This represents approximately 16% of the journals that have gone through an evaluation process led by the DOAJ team. As it is stated in DOAJ policy, the criteria implemented emphasize the transparency of information presented by the journals to their users, which aims to improve quality and visibility of the scientific output published in peer reviewed journals.

Latin America has an extensive  background in open access journals publishing and, consequently, journals assessment policies are well developed. Different criteria for reviewing the quality of journals have been developed in the region by mainly two types of agencies: 1) national systems of evaluation (in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, etc.), with different levels of complexity and implementation according to the purposes of assessment, for instance, to allocate funds to the journals; and 2) regional systems of scientific information, i.e. Latindex, SciELO and Redalyc, which have similar indexing criteria (de Oliveira Amorim et al., 2015). Because of these evaluation systems there has been a significant growth of quality in Latin American journals according to international publishing standards in the last few years.

However, there are still some challenges to push forward the Latin American OA model, specially in two key aspects that are related to the level of openness: transparency on charges for authors and copyright & permission policies.

The Latin American non APC model

One of the main characteristics of the predominant journals publishing model in Latin America is that articles are published without costs to authors. This non APC model is possible because of the public funds that journals receive from national or institutional budgets, resources to be managed by, mostly, scholarly publishers such as university presses. Different stakeholders in the region support the idea of staying as a non-commercial OA model despite some trends of charging different fees to authors and their institutions. Vessuri, Guédon & Cetto (2014) have raised awareness that in a context of competition, commercial publishers are seeing the potential of Latin American journals as an opportunity to make a profit from offering publishing services, which eventually could shift the non-commercial model. According to DOAJ data, only 8% of journals included from Latin America have APCs, which range from $4 up to $1400 US. These journals are edited in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru, and 62.6% of them are managed by associations and societies. Most journals edited by universities and research centres have no charges; however, there are some journals funded by public federal and state-level universities that charge minimal amounts to authors in order to cover some services, for instance, the cost of the DOI assigned for the article published. In any case, DOAJ strongly encourages editors to give transparent information on this topic because is still common to see journals with a lack of details on the charges levied.

Copyright and permissions in Latin American journals

Despite the success of the open access publishing model in Latin America, there are still some important challenges in this region in terms of permissions to use, reuse, adapt and remix the contents. Based on DOAJ data, 89% of indexed Latin American journals have adopted Creative Commons licenses to distribute their articles. Nevertheless, only half of these journals (49.1%) use the CC-BY license, which allows others to use the materials for any lawful purpose with the only requirement being the correct attribution of authorship and source of publication. One third of the Brazilian journals indexed in DOAJ use this license; only 14% of Colombian journals have the same policy. One of the major concerns among editors in Latin America is still commercial use: 45.8% of journals allow readers to use the articles only for non-commercial purposes. The use of the CC-BY-NC license represents 23.9% of Latin American journals listed in DOAJ, followed by 14.9% of journals using the CC-BY-NC-ND license and 6.9% that have adopted the CC-BY-NC-SA license.

The use of the most open license (CC-BY) is still controversial in Latin America because publishers mistrust the terms of this license, which represents a big challenge for open access advocacy. The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) recommends this license as it assures a wider reuse and distribution of content, e.g. the use in education practices. DOAJ accepts journals that use any CC license, but also encourages the adoption of the more unrestricted licenses. In order to achieve the DOAJ Seal for best practice in open access publishing, a journal cannot apply the most restrictive CC licenses for sharing scientific articles, i.e. CC BY-ND or CC BY-NC-ND.   

Conclusions

The Latin American open access publishing model is going through a period full challenges, especially when some governments have serious budgetary difficulties in Science & Technology and Higher Education systems.

In spite of that, there are many advantages of this model. One of them is the level of cohesion of editors that have worked in collaboration for the improvement of quality. Author charges and copyright policies are still important concerns in Latin America, and DOAJ is committed to collaborate with publishers of this region in order to improve best practice, as well as openness for readers and for authors.

References

De Oliveira Amorim et al. (2015) Evaluation Systems of Scientific Journals in Latin America, in: Alperin, J. and Fischman, G. (eds.) Made in Latin America : open access, scholarly journals, and regional innovations Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires: CLACSO.

Vessuri, H., Guédon, J.C., Cetto, A.M. (2014) Excellence or quality? Impact of the current competition regime on science and scientific publishing in Latin America and its implications for development, Current Sociology, Vol. 62(5) 647 –665, DOI: 10.1177/0011392113512839

 

SCIENCEOPEN INTERVIEWS OUR AMBASSADOR KAMEL BELHAMEL

We are very happy to announce that our DOAJ Ambassador Kamel Belhamel was interviewed this month by ScienceOpen as part of the very successful Open Science series of interviews.

Jon Tennant, from ScienceOpen, chats with Prof Belhamel about his thoughts regarding open access, his role at DOAJ, and the state of scholarly communication in North Africa.

“I am very proud to join DOAJ team. It’s exciting and motivating to be a part of this not-for-profit organisation. DOAJ gives me the opportunity to work in a pleasant multicultural environment and to meet very nice friends from different parts of the world. Every member of the team collaborates and this synergy carries us further and faster than I could have imagined.”

Please read the full interview here.

 

 

Open Access Journals Strategy in Algeria

This is a guest post by Kamel Belhamel, DOAJ Ambassador, North Africa

algeriaThe importance of Open Access (OA) was recently recognised by Algerian scientists, libraries and publishers. Until recently, Algerian researchers preferred to publish their papers in European journals with an impact factor, in order to achieve certain personal goals (e.g. better career opportunities and advancement, CV fortification, etc.), however the Western system of scholarly publishing often stigmatizes developing country research as local rather than international.

One of the most important OA journal promoters in Algeria at this time is DGRSDT (National Council of Scientific Research and Technology of Algeria). Since 2015, the DGRSDT has organised workshops and supports Algerian editors in the implementation of open science. Many of those editors don’t have the experience of ensuring the quality and the transparency of the editorial process. Out of 359 Algerian scientific journals listed by the DGRSDT, only 7 are indexed in the DOAJ (or 1.95 %). Most of the scientific journals, supported via institutional memberships, don’t have a website and are only published on paper. So there is a need to develop a method for determining the quality of these journals and to help Algerian scientific journals to become more visible on the internet, thereby making them accessible and discoverable for the international community.

In response to the important need of access to scholarly content by the Algerian research community, the DGRSDT has started a project with the goal of collecting and publishing all information about Algerian editors and their scientific journals, thereby ensuring that research publications and research data will be publicly available on the internet. This project seeks to achieve, a) development of training programmes with editors, b) promotion of the exchange of ideas and experience among Algerian editors, c) establish global collaborative efforts by co-operating with international editors and organizations in the advancement of open access. Furthermore, following a recent meeting with myself, the DGRSDT has published a recommendation that all Algerian journals become familiar with the DOAJ criteria and apply for indexing in DOAJ. This is an important step toward the visibility of Algerian journals at an international level.

Since printed journals are costly and have very low visibility, one of the initiatives that is especially interesting is the launch a portal of Algerian scientific journals by the Research Centre on Scientific and Technical Information (CERIST). This portal, named Webreview, is open to anyone wishing to publish journal content online, either open or closed access, allows the development of scientific research in Algeria and will increase its visibility. Although DGRSDT is aware of the importance of OA repositories, they are still too small and there remains something to be done at both institutional and national level.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has already decided that PhD students can defend their theses by publishing their papers in Algerian OA journals indexed in Scopus, Web of Science, DOAJ, etc. This positive initiative will surely increase the number of Algerian OA journals and will generate considerable added value to science.

It’s soon upon us: the Ninth Open Access Week

It’s soon upon us! The ninth Open Access Week. This year, the theme is Open in Action, about taking ‘concrete steps to make … work more openly available and encourag[ing] others to do the same’. The theme corresponds nicely with our IDRC-funded Ambassador project where we have Ambassadors working around the world to promote the values of open access and the DOAJ.

On Facebook, over the coming days, I’ll be listing the details all the DOAJ-associated activities that are being held across the globe. I’ve started with a list of links to some of the DOAJ Team’s profiles on the Open Access Week web site. Here’s the post:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDirectoryofOpenAccessJournals%2Fposts%2F1295485780463658&width=500

Need a flyer or a poster?

What are you doing for open access week? Let us know. If you need any DOAJ promotional material for your event, we have an A5 flyer for printing out, an A4 information sheet (more suitable for a North American audience), and we have a flyer and a poster in French, and the same in Chinese. Don’t forget that we have a collection of presentations on Slideshare, too, which are a great resource for “clipping” (saving a slide), downloading etc. If you need something else, get in touch!

The Open Access Week web site itself also has a great Resources section, where you can download logos, handouts and posters.

The DOAJ Ambassadors’ biographies

As promised in my post presenting the 15 Ambassadors , here are their biographies.

Kamel Belhamel, Region: North Africa

kamelKamel holds a PhD from the University of Setif (Algeria) in Chemical Process Engineering. He is now Professor of Chemistry at University of Bejaia,  Director of the Laboratory of Organic Materials and Editor in chief of DOAJ-indexed Algerian Journal of Natural Products (ISSN: 2353-0391). He is the author of several publications and communications in the field of Chemical Process Engineering, Natural Products, Nanoparticles and Metal Alloys. Kamel has long, international experience in the management of Research Projects (Projects DAAD German, French Framework Programme CMEP…) and Coordinator of two Algerian Research projects CNEPRU, PNR …). Kamel is the DOAJ ambassador in region of North Africa.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

 

Xin Bi, Region: China

xinbiXin holds a PhD degree in Psychology from Soochow University in China and also a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from Liverpool University in UK. He is the University Librarian in Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University in Suzhou and in this capacity he is working with a wide network including librarians, publishers, professionals in China and overseas to better facilitate the scholarly communication and knowledge dissemination. He is one of three DOAJ ambassadors in China. Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

 

Vrushali Dandawate, Region: India

vrushaliVrushali is Head Librarian at AISSMS College of Engineering College Pune, Maharashtra, India. She completed her Master’s from the University of Pune and has completed a Library Automation and Networking course from IGNOU Open University. She was selected for “International training program on Management of Electronics Information and Digital Library Lib@Web 2013” that ran from October 2013 – December 2013 at University of Antwerp, Belgium. In 2014, she received a grant from VLIR-OUS to attend “VLIR-UOS workshop ‘Training Information Literacy with Southern Partners’, coordinated by the University College Leuven-Limburg (UCLL). She is winner of ALCTS Online Course Grant for Library Professionals from Developing Countries for course Fundamentals Of Collection Development and Management (FCDM) March 2014. She is one of three DOAJ ambassadors in India.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Sridhar Gutam, Region: India

sridharSridhar holds a PhD in Plant Physiology from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and is part of the Agricultural Research Service of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Currently, he is working as Senior Scientist at ICAR Research Complex for the Eastern Region. Apart from his studies related to plant physiology and phenology of horticultural crops, he is passionate for Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. He founded a community of practice, ‘Open Access India’ and is advocating the opening-up of agricultural research information and data. He is one of three DOAJ ambassadors in India.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Mahmoud Khalifa, Region: Middle East & Persian Gulf

mahmoudMahmoud is the founder & CEO of Cybrarians, the Arabic Portal for Librarianship and Information. He is an Associate at IFLA International Leaders Programme, 2016 and since 2013 is a board member of the Egyptian Library Association. Also in 2013 he was the winner of the Scientific Research Academy’s prize in informatics. He holds a PhD in Information Science from Cairo University. He is an accredited trainer for the IFLA BSLA Program (Building Strong Library Association), as well as a Fellow at Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program. He is the editorial manager of Cybrarians Journal, the first electronic Arabic journal on librarianship & Information science. He is the DOAJ ambassador for the region of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Ivonne Lujano, Region: Latin America

ivonneIvonne has a Master’s in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Education at FLACSO-Argentina and holds a B.A. in Education from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEMex), where she currently works as lecturer. She is specialized in scientific Open Access publishing processes and has experience in the evaluation of scholarly publishing practices. She has worked with institutions and organizations at a national and regional level in the training of students, teachers and researchers on issues regarding scientific publishing in Open Access. Ivonne is the DOAJ ambassador for the region of Latin America.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Solomon Mekonnen, Region: East Africa

solomonSolomon is Academic Staff, with rank of Lecturer, at the Addis Ababa University (AAU).  Apart from his role at AAU, he is also a Co-Founder of Code4Ethiopia which advocates for open data. In addition, Solomon coordinates nationally an Open Access Programme for the international network Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL). He is a local organizer in Ethiopia for an international network called Open Knowledge International. Solomon was a project manager for Ethiopian Journals online. He is also a PHD candidate at the University of South Africa. Solomon is the DOAJ ambassador for the region of East Africa.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Leena Shah, Region: India

leenaLeena Shah holds a Master’s Degree in Information Studies from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering. After living and working for nearly two decades in Singapore she relocated to Bangalore, India, in May 2016 and is keen on promoting Open Access in this region. She was previously employed as an Earth Sciences Librarian at NTU where she gained experience in teaching and promoting open access, institutional repositories and scholarly communication in general to researchers and students. Leena is one of three DOAJ ambassadors for India.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Cenyu Shen, Region: China

cenyuCenyu has a Master degree in Computer Science from University of Helsinki and she is currently a PhD candidate in Information Systems Science at Hanken School of Economics in Finland. She has spent several years on Open Access research with a particular focus on studying questionable and non-English language OA publishers or journals. Her latest research interest expands to the identification and development of infrastructure services and support practices to promote open access movement in Chinese region. Cenyu is one of three DOAJ ambassadors for China.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

 

Ina Smith, Region: Southern Africa

inaIna holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Pretoria (South Africa) in Computer-Integrated Education, a Higher Education Teaching Diploma, and two degrees (BBibl and BBibl Honors) in Library and Information Science. She is Planning Manager at the Academy of Science of South Africa, and has vast experience of Open Access in general, scholarly research activities, repositories, and Open Access journal management and publishing. Ina is the DOAJ ambassador in the region of Southern Africa.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Pascal Soubeiga, Region: West Africa

pascalPascal is from Burkina Faso, West Africa. He has a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the library school of University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal, and is preparing a dissertation for a Master’s degree in communication. He has worked for the past 11 years as a librarian for the World Health Organization in Burkina Faso, as well as teaching in three library and information colleges there. He has solid experience in information retrieval, user training, and institutional repositories. Pascal is the DOAJ ambassador  for West Africa.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

Yanhong Zhai, Region: China

yanhongYanhong holds a Master’s degree in Botany from Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. From August 2012 to April 2015, she worked for MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, an Open Access publisher), managing the journal Environments and supporting International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. In the past year, she worked at Elsevier, managing special issues for journals in the field of multimedia and computer science. She is one of three DOAJ ambassadors in China.

Conflict of Interest Statement (2016)

The biographies of our fantastic team of volunteer Ambassadors for Russia will be posted here shortly.

How to submit a complete and quality application. A Webinar on the DOAJ.

This invitation is for Scholarly Journal Editors/Publishers/Librarians/Other, in the southern and eastern African regions, to attend a webinar on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
About DOAJ
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – launched in 2003 at Lund University, Sweden – is a centrally, publicly and internationally available community-curated list of high quality open access journal titles across all disciplines. It aims to be the starting point for all information searches for quality, peer-reviewed open access material.
About the webinar
The webinar will try to address the requirements a high quality, scholarly journal should adhere to, as well as the process involved to be acknowledged through being recorded in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
Date: Friday, 12 August 2016
Time: 09:00-10:00 SA Time (UCT + 02:00) (Time Zone Converter)
Venue: Virtual via your Chrome/Firefox Internet Browser. More details to follow once you have registered for the webinar.
Requirements: Stable Internet, most recent version of Chrome/Firefox Internet Browser, Sound
Costs: None
Please register by 10 August 2016, by completing the following online form: https://goo.gl/forms/TWcqh9KZHsjTDoZi1
We are looking very much forward to you joining us for this webinar, in trying to address quality in scholarly journal publishing in the southern African region.

DOAJ is now more accessible in China

The DOAJ website has been moved from Google-hosted javascript services which were preventing DOAJ being used in China.

Some parts of China block Google and Google services. DOAJ was using Google-hosted javascript services for its search functions. We have moved away from these services, a move which is strategically vital if we want our DOAJ Ambassadors for China to have any success in raising awareness of the site and best practice in open access publishing.

Usage from China is only a fraction of all usage. We are looking forward to seeing that usage grow over the coming months.