Brazil is the most active country of the region in open access implementations. And the first country to have a bill presented in 2007 to parliament proposing a national mandatory policy for open access.

Brazil publishes around 2,7% of the world’s scientific papers and around 97% of all Brazilian journals are Open Access. In 2013, SciELO made all its journals available at Web of Science in a move to improve international visibility. Around 10% of Brazilian journals offer Gold Open Access which makes content freely and immediately available.  

In ROARMAP, are registered an institutional mandate from the Federal University of Rio Grande, and a theses mandate from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. As of June 2015, there are 16 OA policies registered in ROARMAP. Since 2013, nine new institutional OA policies have been registered in MELIBEA OA Policy database.

Declarations of support to open access -“Salvador Declaration” (2005), “Manifesto Brasileiro de Apoio ao Acesso Livre” (2005), Carta de São Paulo (2005), among others- have raised interest on the potential benefits of open access. And several initiatives have contributed to the growth of open access in Brazil.

Open access journals are a real success in the country, and available in several open access initiatives. In 1997, the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) in partnership with the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information-BIREME and later with the support from the National Council of Scientific Research (CNPq - Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), started the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO).

A recent study (Open Access Indicators and Scholarly Communications in Latin America) shows that, as of 2014, 35.15% of OA journals indexed in Latindex; 22.06% of OA journals indexed in RedALyC and 34.11% of OA journals indexed in SciELO are published in Brazil. This corresponds to a total of 1901, 154 and 306 locally published OA journals, respectively. From the Latin American region, Brazil currently has the highest number of OA journals indexed in these three journal databases.

The Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology (Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnología, Ibict) has developed, based on open source OJS technology, the System for Electronic Journal Edition (Sistema Eletrônico de Editoração de Revistas-SEER and INSEER) and today 1.350 journals from Brazil are incorporated and received training and support from SEER to improve quality, visibility and open access to those journals. Ibict is also developing, the Brazilian Open Access Scientific Information System which will provide integrated access to both, open access repositories and open access journals from Brazil.

Together with BIREME, NECOBELAC has also organized a training course for health journal editors, in 2010.

Ibict is the national focal point of Latindex in Brazil. DOAJ includes 984 open access journals from Brazil.

Ibict, in partnership with the University of Brasilia , have lead the national initiative of supporting the development of institutional repositories in universities and research institutions in Brazil. With customized open source technologies for journals (OJS) and repositories (DSpace and Eprints), transferring technological kits to universities and research institutions, ensuring training and technical support, and building open portals for national coordination of repositories, journals and theses.

Open access digital repositories from Brazil are registered in OpenDOAR (86 repositories registered), mainly university initiatives with strong presence of theses collections and also journal articles, conference papers, teaching materials, technical reports and other publications.

The National Network of Teaching and Research (Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa-RNP) is the national focal point of RedCLARA. RedCLARA promotes in Latin America the following open access initivatives with participation of Brazil:

Regarding theses, in 2002 Ibict, with support from Financiadora de Estudos e Pesquisas (Finep), worked together with higher education institutions to develop the Brazilian Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (Biblioteca Digital Brasileira de Teses e Dissertações-BDTD) which today has 144.000 theses and dissertations. It contributed to this success the fact that Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-CAPES has adopted a normative that requires higher education institutions to create digital libraries of theses and dissertations and to deposit all theses there. In addition, the CNPq programme that funds scholarly and scientific journals gives priority to project that publish results in open access.

A few Brazilian universities are also participating in NDLTD and in Cybertesis.

Together with other countries of the region, Brazil participates in open access regional subject repositories, today with a growing number of records with full-texts, examples: health (BVS), agriculture (SIDALC), science (PERIÓDICA), education (Relpe), public management and policies (CLAD-SIARE), social sciences (CLACSO, FLACSO, CLASE), work (LABORDOC), economics (RePEc), information science (E-Lis), among others.

Several websites allow open access updating: Acesso Livre Brasil, Acceso Livre Brasil, Blog do Kuramoto, Acesso Aberto USP, among others.

Creative Commons Brazil promotes the use of open access lincences and is working together with Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Law School in Rio de Janeiro to create Brazil jurisdiction-specific licenses from the generic Creative Commons licenses.

10 March 2015: A $4.3-million (USD) grant from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) plus a contribution of US$ 1.9 million by The University of Campinas (UNICAMP), totalling US$ 6,2 million, led to the establishment and launch of Brazil's first open-access research facility, the Protein Kinase Chemical Biology Centre at the UNICAMP in Brazil. The new Centre will advance unrestricted discovery as a member of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) -- a public-private partnership that supports the discovery of new medicines through open access research -- that is based in Oxford, U.K. and Toronto, Canada.

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

  • 1-5 September, 2015: "DC 2015: Metadata and Ubiquitous Access to Culture, Science and Digital Humanities" to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 18-22 August 2014- "Open Science, Open Issues: International seminar, workshop and meeting of the working group on Open Science"; Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 22-25 October 2014- SciELO 15 Years Conference; Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 27-28 April, 2014: "Open Access Days" workshop organized by The American University in Cairo (AUC). Nicholas Cop from SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online), spoke about their bibliographic database of open access journals. SciELO initially started in Brazil, 15 years ago, yet it now have presence in 12 countries most of them are in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. Mr. Cop also shed the light about the status of Open Access in that region by showing some statistics. For example, in Chile, 88% of the journals are Open Access ones. Similarly, in Brazil, 63% of the articles there are OA. On SciELO’s blog there is also a study about academic journal publication models in Brazil and Spain.  He also spoke about the language barrier for researches done in Spanish or Portuguese which is limiting the access to the papers published in the OA journals there, thus they translate the papers’ abstracts. Mr. Cop also spoke about a new project they are working on to promote OA books and to allow ways for easier citations between papers and e-books.
  • 5-8 March 2013: 30 experts and Policy specialists from 25 countries including Belize; Virgin Islands; St Vincent and Grenadines; St Kitts and Nevis and St Martin; Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Guatemala; Uruguay and Mexico gathered in Kingston to develop strategies and a road map to implement open access policies in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. This was the first regional consultation on open access to scientific information and research organized by the UNESCO Kingston Cluster office in collaboration with Ministry of Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Ministry of Information, Government of Jamaica, University of West Indies and UNESCO National Commission for Jamaica. Workshop participants had the opportunity to contribute towards highlighting priority areas for intervention to achieve “Openness” in the region and individual countries. Participants reviewed the UNESCO OA policy templates and worked out specific policies for their own country/institution.
  • Open Access Week events:
    • 22 October 2012- "International Symposium on University Rankings and Scholarly Impact in the Open Access Era", University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 21-22 September 2005: International Seminar- Open Access for Developing Countries, organized by WHO/PAHO/BIREME; Salvador, Bahia- Brazil.

From January 2015 onwards, it was made mandatory by SciELO to convert all Brazilian journal contents into XML format (Extensible Markup Language Generic).Other criteria are planned to start in 2016, such as the need to include a greater percentage of papers in English (the majority is still published in Portuguese) and foreign peer-review referees.


January 2015: "Comparative Analysis of Public Policies in Open Access models In Latin America: Brazil and Argentina Cases" by Karen Isabel Cabrera; published in Universities and Knowledge Society Journal (RUSC) Vol..12, No.1 

2014: "Open Access Indicators and Scholarly Communications in Latin America" is the result of a joint research and development project supported by UNESCO and undertaken by UNESCO in partnership with the Public Knowledge Project (PKP); the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO); the Network of Scientific Journals of Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal (RedALyC); Africa Journals Online (AJOL); the Latin America Social Sciences School- Brazil (FLACSO- Brazil); and the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO)

26 November, 2014: "What has Ruffled the Open Access Feathers of Brazilian Science Editors?" by Elizabeth Allen; posted on blog,

12 September, 2014: "SciELO- Making Open Access in Brazil an Exciting Reality" by Jayashree Rajagopalan published on

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