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R2020, a principle-based platform

R2020, una plataforma con principios

At SPARC, Nick Schokey   has revealed the topic for the 2019 International Open Access Week: “Open for Whom?  Equity in Open Access,” confronting us, Open Access followers, with one question: “Whose interests are being prioritized in the infrastructure we support?  Before this, we ask: “Is the visibility provided by platforms more important than supporting the scholarly communication principles and models they promote?”

We are pleased to introduce at Ameli Blog Redalyc’s new phase (R2020). With this evolution Redalyc makes clear that Openness has principles and, based on its requirements, agreed by AmeliCA as well, clearly shares the route it considers worthy to be taken for progress and the direction in which it wants to influence.

The following is the official statement Eduardo Aguado-López and Arianna Becerril-García announced for R2020’s launch:

R2020 launched on August 15th: the evolution of a non-profit communication infrastructure by and for the academy that leans towards semantic technology

It was on the 15th anniversary—August 25th, 2017—of the Scientific Information System Redalyc, that its new phase was announced. Henceforth, we have been working, principally, on three paths:

1) Supporting journals so that they transit to digital publishing. Accordingly, we have consolidated the markup system XML JATS (Marcalyc), training hundreds of editors and modifying the platform in order to allow on-going editing and the inclusion of Open Data, as part of the consolidation of the digital editorial process.

2) Reassessing hundreds of journals so that their criteria compliance be transparent, and that evidence may be provided to all users, with this, journals’ editorial force and quality will be visible.

3) To value local, multilingual production and rescue the sense of publishing as an act of communication, Redalyc has adhered—along with main publishers, universities, funders and researchers—to San Francisco Declaration DORA, which calls for assessment based on the work’s own merits rather than on its venue of publication. We encourage journals and authors to join us on this. Latindex, Redalyc and CLACSO, the three most important organizations in matters of our region’s publishing, issued a letter of adhesion to DORA. .

These have been two years of great labour to attain transition to digital publishing leaving electronic publishing behind (traditional layout, printing and PDF), such aim was reaffirmed at the 3rd Redalyc Editors International Conference held at Trujillo, Peru in 2018.

We are convinced that the cost of journals that embrace editing processes that are characteristic of digital journals lowers. Additionally, Redalyc offers Marcalyc, a tool to achieve that process and obtain the added values at an article level (PDF, ePUB, HTML, intelligent and mobile viewer) created through XML JATS and provided by Marcalyc once the tagging process is finished.

By the same token, we have developed technologies to leverage structured and linked data’s potential as well as a set of metrics. Nonetheless it is impossible that such technology should be applicable to journals that have not transited to digital publishing via XML JATS.

Journals that share this model include:

  • Editorial and scientific quality
  • An Open Access policy free of processing or publishing charges (APCs);
  • A vision to acknowledge the need to overcome the evaluation process based on the Impact Factor, signing the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

It is widely known that the launch of Plan S and its objectives and ultimate implementation systems—published on May 31st—propose as one of the main routes the substitution of a pay-for-reading model for a pay-for-publishing one.

Several regional (AmeliCALa ReferenciaCLACSO, etc.) and global (COARSPARCFOAAOpenAireOpen Library of Humanities, etc.) institutions have described this model as a serious hindrance to join the global conversation. As we have repeatedly stated, for over more than 30 years Latin America has had a publishing model supported with public resources without APCs for which we will continue working, to strengthen and promote it. If we have criticised this model wherever possible, illogical the idea would be that journals—that chose APCs—may benefit from an infrastructure that aims to impede the promotion of such model in our region.

Our data confirms that APCs doesn’t fit in Latin America: based on DOAJ’s data, out of the 2530 Latin American journals less than 5% (122) charge APCs, of which 73% are Brazilian, they only represent 6.5% of Brazil’s journals, however.

In the market a XML JATS costs between $30 and $50 dollars per article. If we set its cost at a minimum of $20 dollars and consider that for a trained technician the complete tagging in Marcalyc of a social sciences article takes an hour, and half an hour when it is an exact and natural sciences article, Redalyc gives the editors at least $100 dollars per article: $20 per XML JATS, $20 per PDF, $20 per HTML, $20 per ePUB, $20 per viewer. These reading formats may be downloaded, personalised —with the journal’s and institution’s logo— and may be offered in the journal’s own website or easily inserted in OJS.

The regional editorial ecosystem is fenced. The submission of assessment systems of science and technology councils and universities. That institutional goals are submitted to the Impact Factor and to be part of WoS-Scopus as an internationalisation and performance measurement calls for proper steps and responsible work to re-examine research work and assessment.

At present, it’s absolutely necessary to reassess our region’s production, local themes and multilingual writing. At this moment in time, the councils of science and technology and assessment systems of Latin American universities are dismantling the editorial systems of their countries and institutions as they, based on the impact factor, promote, support and provide incentives for journals. Importantly, we need to rescue the scientific article’s sense of the content, quality, suitability, strength and implications since all of this remains hidden, unseen when assessment rests on the venues of publication (journal) rather than on what is being published (content).

Consequently, signing DORA as hundreds of regional and global institutions already have is Redalyc’s requirement. Demonstrating, thus, that Redalyc assents to the search for more appropriate and responsible ways of assessment.

Founded in 1945 by Sartre, Beauvior and Merleau-Ponty, the journal ‘Les temps modernes’ came to its end with its 700th issue. Its clear support for the anti or decolonisation processes is recognised. Emblematic though this journal was, its end reveals the current hardships of scholarly publishing.

Rephrasing Les temps modernes‘s first publisher, Redalyc will not falter before the times scholarly publishing is facing. Our aim is to have an impact on scholarly communication and scientific publishing at a regional and global level, uniting the voices of various stakeholders (countries, institutions, editors, authors) that share an academy-owned and non-profit scholarly publishing model leveraged by semantic technology. In short, a strategy to attain an inclusive and sustainable science communication ecosystem. A model by and for the academy.