Strategies for Open and Permanent Access to Scientific Information in Latin America: Focus on Health and Environmental Information for Sustainable Development

Institutional Repositories (IRs): their contribution to sustainable development

It is widely recognised that without a strong science base, the economies of emerging nations remain dependent. Yet research progress is severely hampered by the cost of accessing scholarly journals containing essential information. The open access movement has generated a number of solutions, some of which are long-term, but the low cost and simple establishment of interoperable IRs provides free access to published research and a mechanism for raising the visibility of national research findings.

Readily established IRs are supplementary access tools that provide increased impact to an organisation's research output and funder's investments. Already, some 900 IRs exist around the world, containing many thousands of research publications. As the value of this strategy becomes recognised, institutions and funding organisations are mandating the archiving of published research in IRs or central repositories. For information-deprived scientists, this development offers opportunities to reach scientific independence, remove professional isolation and contribute to the global knowledge pool.

Barbara Kirsop

Electronic Publishing Trust for Development

  • The Global Alliance for Enhancing Access to and Application of Scientific Data in Developing Countries, of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, UN G@ID
  • U.S. National Committee for CODATA
  • Brazilian National Committee for CODATA.
  • CODATA Task Group on Preservation of and Access to Scientific and Technical Data in Developing Countries