"Nine countries across Latin America have joined forces to launch an open-access (OA) science depository for the continent.
The project, entitled LA Referencia, is designed as an online federated network of institutional repositories of scientific publications. Its goal is to offer open access to scientific papers and doctoral and master's theses in partner countries — Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, México, Perú and Venezuela.
The network was officially launched in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last month (29 November) and a pilot site in Spanish is due to be trialled in June 2013... The network will benefit an estimated 700,000 teachers, 70,000 researchers and around 15 million students across Latin America and the Caribbean alone. 'LA Referencia is not a [single] repositoryor a website but a network of repositories,' Malgorzata Lisowska, director of the library at the National University of Rosario, Colombia, which is involved with the project, tells SciDev.Net. It will bring together national repositories from all participating countries.
Unlike other regional platforms, such as SciELO (the Scientific Electronic Library Online), LA Referencia will not depend on each journal's independent decision to upload content. Instead, as part of their commitment to the project, each institution will have a responsibility to make content produced by its researchers available. The goal is 'to give greater visibility to Latin American scientific production and to its authors,' Lisowska says. Another fundamental mission of the network is to 'facilitate the creation of institutional repositories', she adds. This is the latest development toward an open access science in the region.Argentina is waiting for the final approval of its own national law on digital repositories and open access, while Brazil and Peru are also taking steps in this direction..."