Raising the bar for national language open access journals - EuroScientist Webzine
"Open access is the dominant publishing model of scientific journals edited in Latin America1 (LA). Most of them typically publish national authors. As a result, the region has become the most dynamic region for open access journals publishing. In fact, while the United States and Eastern Europe publish less than 15% of their research via open access journals. By contrast, in Latin America, this figure is greater than 25%, as per data indexed by the Web of Sciences or Scopus bibliometric databases. The success of open access in the region is due to the support provided by the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) scholarly communication programme, in operation for the past 17 years. During that time, SciELO has progressively networked journal collections—typically operated at national level—from 11 LA countrie together with journal collections from Portugal, Spain (limited to health sciences journals) and South Africa. Altogether, the network represents about 1,000 journals and over 500 thousand articles. It is therefore one of the most important and comprehensive international cooperation initiative in open access. Considering that each participating country contributes with financial and infrastructure resources so all the research contents are freely available, SciELO contributes to a regional boon and the global common good ... To achieve this, it relies on a methodology, combined with technology , which enables the online indexing, preservation, publishing and interoperation of peer-reviewed journals. It follows basic and common principles such as open access, decentralised operation and funding, common standards to maximise interoperability, quality control, performance evaluation and the strengthening of the editorial independence and transparency. The selection of journals to be indexed in each collection is carried out under the supervision of a national advisory committee, following pre-established criteria. The adoption of a SciELO-like integrated and networked approach to run not-for-profit and independent quality journals by other regions and countries—particularly in the developed ones—faces barriers mainly at the political level. Indeed, it requires research agencies’ commitment and leadership to build authoritative, sustainable and transparent managerial and funding models ..."