Strategies for open and permanent access to scientific information in Latin America: focus on health and environmental information for sustainable development


Work data:

Type of work: Proceedings


Open Access


This is the report a workshop looking at strategies for open and permanent access to scientific information in Latin America. The workshop aimed to provide an international and interdisciplinary forum to promote discussions and a deeper understanding of the requirements for long-term preservation, open access, and improved use of digital scientific information resources for sustainable development in Latin America.

The workshop was broken down into sessions that were devoted to (i) open and permanent access to scientific information; (ii) policy and legal issues; (iii) institutional and economic issues; and (iv) management, technical and infrastructure issues.

Key points from the workshop include: 

  • one of the most positive aspects of the discussion was the number of initiatives that are already in place in Latin America and partner countries. One important asset is the necessary communication infrastructure that enables data access and exchange and distributed information systems through the Internet 
  • collaborative approaches to open access, such as SciELO and Bioline International, were described as were some organizational and technical solutions, such as institutional repositories and virtual incubators of digital contents. Latin America does not have a strong editorial and publishing industry, and cannot afford access to the world’s information. Open access approaches are needed, not only to provide access to the world’s knowledge, but to make each country’s research results available, both locally and globally 
  • existing business models for research journals and data centers that restrict access to, and use of, publicly funded scientific information do not take advantage of the potential benefits of global open availability online, and consequently are slowing the progress of science and socioeconomic development 
  • open access to biodiversity data and metadata is advancing in the region. At the global level, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is integrating species and specimen data worldwide through a partnership with a number of GBIF nodes in the world.