Approaches to Library Publishing Services in Latin America
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This is the speaker notes of the author’s presentation given at IFLA 2016, which is also available as video below.
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For the development of the present topic, we considered the importance of first reminding that: the main actors of scientific development in Latin America are universities.
They act as main producers, resulting in them being the most important scientific editor of the region. In that sense the participation of universities in the processes of scientific communication in our territories is a key element.
2 Features of LPS at the region
Libraries of major universities in Latin America are following the footsteps of their counterparts in other regions of the world, and are progressively implementing programs and services for scholarly publishing (LPS).
More specifically, for instance, in Brazil, initial discussions are being held on the subject, exploring specifically the role of librarians in the process of scholarly publishing.
Among the main aspects that characterize these services in Latin America, we found that:
- The services are provided at the main leading universities of the region;
- Occasionally these services are being offered outside the environment of university libraries;
- Often these services are linked to instances of institutional research;
- These services are part of institutional programs to promote scientific production;
- Have names linked to the promotion of scientific production;
- Seek to broaden the visibility of the scientific production of their institutions;
- They still not adopt the LPS concept but apply their principles;
- These services Provide support services (technical assistance), training and consultancy (implementation of editorial strategies);
- They are based on the open access philosophy;
- They are always managed with teams led by professional librarians.
The most developed services offered and operated by university libraries are the management of institutional repositories and portals of scientific journals. In this context, the demand for information professionals with ad hoc capabilities in digital environments is increasing. However, there are cases of libraries offering services for e-books publishing and conference management.
3 The publication of scientific journals
It is important to highlight the work done by the LPS with scientific journals, the main vehicle of communication of scientific information in the region. Remember, again, that universities are the main scientific editor of the region.
More than 60% of scientific journals in Latin America are published by universities. In this sense the demand for editorial services for these journals is being progressively covered by LPS.
It is for this reason that university libraries are implementing portals of scientific journals, which is one of the services with greater distribution and demand. For example, until 2014 in Brazil there were only 125 portals of scientific journals, this represents approximately 1600 journal titles.
One direct consequence is that Latin America possesses the highest concentration of users at international level (34%) of Open Journal Systems, the most used electronic tool for managing scientific journals.
The portal of scientific journals is the most common referent of LPS in the region. Through them university libraries promote quality criteria, encourage the use of technology for publishing journals, promote the adoption of standards, and advise on various aspects of scientific communication to publishers.
The work experiences of teams working with the journals portal of the University of São Paulo (Brazil) and the University of Chile (Chile) are testimony of the level of development that the LPS in this region is reaching.
The LPS are an excellent choice for the development and promotion of scientific communication through digital environments in Latin American universities.
In addition, the implementation of these services represents a new opportunity for innovation and professional advancement of librarians in this region.