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

Adapting the African Journal Partnership Concept to Latin American Countries

Thomas Goehl

Scientific journals in the developing world face many obstacles to providing critical environmental, medical, and public health information to local health practitioners, policy makers, and research scientists. There is also an urgent need to establish or strengthen a research culture that emphasizes scientific inquiry, experimentation, quality writing, and reporting of research findings in scientific publications.

In an on-going project, two US National Institutes of Health components, the Fogarty International Center and National Library of Medicine, are sponsoring a capacity building project that promotes collaborations between medical journal editors in the northern hemisphere and in sub-Saharan Africa. The goals of the project are to improve the quality and accessibility of local medical journal content. If successful, all participating journals would be accepted into MEDLINE and become more easily accessible.

The following partnerships have been established:
African Health Sciences with the British Medical Journal
Ghana Medical Journal with The Lancet
Malawi Medical Journal with the Journal of the American Medical Association
Mali Medical Journal with Environmental Health Perspectives and the American Journal of Public Health

A similar project, proposed for Latin America, would promote partnerships between highly ranking international environmental, medical, and public health journals with those in Latin American countries.

  • 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