SciELO – 15 years of open access in emerging countries

1656ba26efUNESCO and SciELO have published an anniversary publication to follow up the 15th anniversary of SciELO.

SciELO (The Scientific Electronic Library Online) had its origins in Brazil at around 1997 and has since been expanded to 16 additional countries, most in Latin America, the Caribbean, but also including Portugal, South Africa and Spain. In their model, authors do not need to pay or pay very little, being subsidized by public funds. Open access expert Jean-Claude Guédon argued in an article in Nature that with respect to open access this was “one of the more exciting projects not only from emergent countries, but also in the whole world”.

The significance of SciELO in raising the profile was noted already in 2002 in a Nature article.  In 2013, SciELO citation index was also integrated to Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge citation index, and SciELO director commented at the launch taht at the launch that this integration was a milestone in making research from these emerging economies more widely accessible and recognized.

The main aim of the anniversary publication is to provide detailed information about the SciELO model as a “best practice” case for possible implementation in other regions. SciELO is built around the so-called SciELO model consisting of the SciELO methodology, the SciELO site and the SciELO Network. The anniversary publication examines various aspects of the SciELO initiative from its establishment to spread in various countries, operating principles and the kinds of results that have been achieved.

Dr. Banerjee (UNESCO, Director of the Division of Knowledge Societies, Communication and Information Sector) commented on the significance of SciELO: “SciELO was launched four years before the Budapest Declaration, and six years before the Berlin Declaration on Open Access and pioneered the concept of Open Access and brought research to the easy reach of the common people. From 10 journals at a public workshop in São Paulo on its inception year to the current level of 1000 journals and 500,000 freely downloadable articles is a remarkable feat and an example of Open Access approach par-excellence!

Download the publication here