Brazilian universities make scientific production available on the internet
November 27, 2013
By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – The scientific production of the São Paulo universities USP, Unicamp and Unesp can be found and accessed freely through a single portal on the internet. This portal is the Council of São Paulo University Dean’s Scientific Production Repository, launched during the opening session of the 4th Annual Luso-Brazilian Conference on Open Access (Confoa) on October 6.
Created and funded by FAPESP, several of the portal’s objectives are to collect, preserve and allow open, public and integrated access to the scientific production of researchers from the three São Paulo state universities. These universities lead the publication of scientific articles in the country according to the latest edition of SIR World Report, released in July by Scimago Lab.
The portal will bring together theses, dissertations, articles, books, summaries and complete works presented at meetings and scientific congresses, among other publications, provided by the three institutions to the data repositories that they began to develop in the last few years.
“USP began to create an electronic management system for its scientific production – which involves access to conservation, digital preservation and, mainly, the control of copyrights – and, at the end of 2012, launched its Intellectual Production Digital Library,” said Sueli Mara Soares Pinto Ferreira, Director of USP’s Integrated Library System (Sibi).
“Because we were first of the three São Paulo state universities to initiate this process, in 2012, FAPESP began to talk with us about the possibility of developing a strategy that would allow for Unesp and Unicamp to also have repositories and for us to create a Cruesp portal [Council of São Paulo University Deans] that brings together the repositories,” explained Ferreira.
The methodology utilized in the construction of the Intellectual Production Digital Library was adopted by Unesp to develop its Institutional Repository, launched in February.
Meanwhile, Unicamp has developed its Scientific and Intellectual Production Digital Library, which is currently being incubated at USP’s Sibi but will migrate to the server of Unicamp.
With the repositories of the three São Paulo universities now ready to operate, the idea is to gradually integrate them via the Cruesp portal, which includes a search engine utilized by USP to integrate the digital libraries of its units.
“The search engine connects to the repositories of the three universities, extracts the stored data, eliminates duplicate entries and connects to the Cruesp portal so that it can be accessed by users,” affirmed Anderson Santana, the archive manager of USP’s Sibi and one of the project’s participating researchers.
For now, the Cruesp portal includes 56,000 scientific articles published from 2008 to 2012 in journals indexed by the Web of Science. According to the coordinators of the project, the goal is to publish scientific articles that are also included in other scientific indices, such as Scopus, in addition to other types of publications, such as books, summaries and complete works presented at meetings and scientific congresses.
Individually, the digital libraries of the three universities have been working with content beyond scientific articles.
USP’s digital library, for example, already includes videos and provides access to the thesis portal at the university – the largest in the country – which will be integrated into the Cruesp portal. The Unesp repository also houses articles, educational resources, books and theses, among other materials.
“The roughly 56,000 articles in the Cruesp portal represent just the embryonic stages of the project and the beginning of work,” said Ferreira. “The idea is for the digital libraries of the three universities to be able to add more materials to the portal.”
Of all of the articles, 29,000 were published by USP researchers, 25,000 by Unesp and another 2,000 by Unicamp, which still has only a few articles available via the portal because it only recently began managing its scientific production on the internet.
Many of these works were coauthored – bringing together researchers from more than one of the three institutions – and are registered and stored in the Cruesp portal as single documents.
“The articles that are stored in the repositories of the three universities only appear once in the portal because it wouldn’t make sense to log them three times,” explained Ferreira.
“If we were to add the content of the three repositories, it would be more than 60,000 documents. However, 56,000 unique documents is already a very significant number, and it will grow a lot,” she said.
Of the 56,000 articles in total stored on Cruesp, 70% are open access, and the other 30% are still restricted to the universities that subscribe to the respective journals where the works were published or have publishers blocking their open access publication.
According to the project’s coordinators, one of the advantages of integrating the repositories of the three São Paulo state universities is facilitating users’ access to and search for information. Users will no longer need to search the individual databases of the three universities to find a given scientific article.
Furthermore, the portal will make it possible to locate other information that cannot be easily found in the individual repositories of the universities, such as work conducted in collaboration.
The main benefit of the portal, however, will be the institution of an open access publication policy for scientific production in São Paulo state, stressed the participants of a roundtable discussion on open access policies. This event was held on October 7 as part of the programming for the 4th Annual Confoa.
“The launch of Cruesp’s Scientific Production Repository is essential to establishing a functional open access publication policy for the results of scientific research funded with public resources, such as the one that FAPESP is implementing, because the repository guarantees automatic filing of articles published by USP, Unicamp and Unesp researchers in the repositories of these institutions, after the embargo established by the scientific journals that published the work is lifted,” said Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, FAPESP’s scientific director, during the event.
According to Brito Cruz, FAPESP will initially require researchers funded by the Foundation who publish the results of their research in a scientific journal of their choice to make the article available in an open access repository as soon as possible after the publication’s embargo ends (which varies from one publication to another).
“We are implementing the first phase of the publication policy for FAPESP-funded scientific work, which is relatively easy because it tells the researcher that he or she can publish his or her work wherever desired but should make it available in an open access repository as soon as possible,” he added.
Brito Cruz stressed that making scientific articles available in open access repositories should be conducted at the universities to which the researchers are connected so that they do not have to interrupt their research activities.
“This has to be done by the institutions because if we burden the researcher’s time with this task, she or he will have less time to dedicate to research,” he explained.
According to Brito Cruz, in addition to providing open access to FAPESP-funded scientific research, the Foundation is analyzing ways of implementing open access to the data obtained in the studies for use by the entire scientific community, such as the BIOTA-FAPESP Program (Research Program on the Characterization, Conservation, Recuperation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity of São Paulo State).
Established by FAPESP in 1999 to understand, map and analyze São Paulo’s biodiversity, the program has an open access database – Sinbiota – that is continuously updated with information by researchers engaged in FAPESP-funded projects, such as data on georeferenced samples, descriptions of species and location maps, among others.
The roundtable also included Heather Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (Sparc) in the United States, and João Nuno Ferreira of Portugal’s Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), who shared the experiences of their respective countries with the implementation of open access policies.
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