Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A major Brazilian OA initiative

The day before 14 European university rectors met at the University of Liege to launch a European campaign to persuade research institutions to adopt strong, local OA policies, six Brazilian rectors did the same.  Here's a report from Sely Costa of the Universidade de Brasília:

On Wednesday, October 17, the Rector of the University of Brasilia (UnB), in Brazil, hosted the rectors of six major Brazilian universities, as well as the chairman and a director of the Brazilian Institute for Information on Science and Technology (Ibict).

The purpose of the meeting was to establish the foundations of a Brazilian movement for Open Access to scientific and scholarly publications: the Brazilian Open Access Task Force. Despite a number of manifestos and declarations launched in the country in a variety of occasions, few universities have actually implemented a vigorous open access policy. That is why the Chancellor of UnB wanted to gather in Brasilia the senior leadership of the Brazilian universities to launch an initiative that provides a practical follow-up to manifestos and declarations already signed by research institutions in the country.

The meeting resulted in the creation of the Brazilian Open Access Task Force, whose goal will be to continue efforts by informing the Brazilian university communities about the opportunities available to researchers today for providing open access, as well as to establish, in the universities and research institutions in Brazil, institutional repositories, mandate policies and the OASIS.Br, a central service to both repositories and e-journals published in the country.

The University of Brasilia, which is positioning itself as a pioneer, and clearly much of this is now considered the way of the future for scientific publication. The ambition is to spread this message across Brazil.

Moreover, the ambition is also to spread the message to Potuguese-speaking countries, through the initiatives of the ALemPLus (Open Access in Portuguese Speaking Countries), a initiative launched at the University of Minho, last year....

Comment.  Kudos to all involved in Brasilia, especially to the Chancellor.  Universities are clearly realizing that they have their own interests in OA and needn't wait for funders, legislators, or publishers in order to bring it about.  I hope the Brasilia-Liege movement spreads to other every other nation and region.