UNESCO has been supporting initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean that have contributed to the development and growth of the Open Access movement in the region.

UNESCO offices in Latin America and the Caribbean , working together with UNESCO representations in each country of the region, and with local and regional organizing institutions, have been active supporters of local and regional events, initiatives and activities to accelerate the Open Access movement in the LAC region.

Recent activities (2011-2015):

Open Access Indicators and Scholarly Communications in Latin America (2014): This book is the result of a joint research and development project undertaken in 2013 by UNESCO in partnership with the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), the Network of Scientific Journals from Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal (RedALyC), African Journals Online (AJOL), the Latin America Social Sciences School- Brazil (FLACSO- Brazil) and the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO).

UNESCO provided its expertise on Open Access to Mexico: The Knowledge Societies Division of UNESCO was invited to act as an expert in the workshop related to the Analysis of Legislation in the field of Open Access and Access to Scientific Information, which was jointly organized by the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) of Mexico.(02 October, 2013 ).

UNESCO in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica, University of West Indies and the UNESCO National Commission for Jamaica, organized The Regional Latin American and Caribbean Consultation on Open Access to Scientific Information and Research from 5 to 8 March 2013 in Kingston.

Among an extensive list of sponsored activities and events, a few examples are mentioned here:

  • UNESCO Regional Bureau for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean (Havana, Cuba), supports the annual event in Cuba INFO with Open Access activities. INFO2012 included the II Forum on Open Access.

  • The INFOLAC (Society and Knowledge) portal has been for more than 20 years a virtual communication space whose main objective is to share information from different institutions and players who have wanted to contribute to building the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • National libraries of the region, starting with Chile and Brazil, and the National Institute of Anthropology and History of México, are contributing with contents in the UNESCO World Digital Library that makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.
  • UNESCO contributed since 1982 for countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to join forces for regional cooperation in information policies, creating the cooperation mechanism known as INFOLAC. The University of Colima, with support from the Unesco Caribbean Office, is now responsible for the INFOLAC Portal to generate and share knowledge among librarians, documentalists and information managers in the region to contribute to building the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • More recently the WSIS Plan of Action Action Lines C3 Access and C7 e-Science identified the role of Governments and all stakeholders to:

    • Promote internet connectivity for all universities and research institutions;

    • Promote the publishing, differential pricing, and Open Access models of distributing scientific information;

    • Promote peer-to-peer scientific exchanges;

    • Promote the long-term systematic collection of scientific data;

    • promote principles and metadata standards for research and cooperation

  • UNESCO support to the Caribbean Academy of Science (CAS) for its participation in the IAP Program on Promoting Access to and Use of Digital Knowledge Resources: Focus on Countries with Developing and Transitional Economies.

  • Sponsored by UNESCO and Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes, the Cybertesis program is the result of a project of cooperation between the Université de Montréal, the Université de Lyon2 and the University of Chile for an international theses repository.

  • The government of Colombia, together with Norway, Denmark and the United States, have given support for UNESCO to build the Global Open Access Portal (GOAP).

The above-mentioned are only a few examples of UNESCO and Latin America and the Caribbean partnering in support of Open Access in the region.

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