AmeliCA

AmeliCA is a communication infrastructure for scholarly publishing and open science. This initiative is sustained cooperatively centred on the non-profit publishing model to preserve the scholarly and open nature of scientific communication.

AmeliCA began as Open Knowledge for Latin America and the Global South. On August 2019, however, before a regional context where platforms, science national councils, academic institutions and part of the scholarly community depreciate local publishing by being compliant with commercial publishers’ strategies, and before an international context where initiatives such as Plan S define open science as a route, AmeliCA and Redalyc join forces to strengthen the non-profit publishing model to preserve the scholarly and open nature of scientific communication (known also as diamond model) beyond the Global South.

This effort conceived in the South and for the South is now open to all journals around the globe that work for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable science communication ecosystem.

Its beginnings

Founded in 2018 by Eduardo Aguado-López and Arianna Becerril-García, AmeliCA initiative emerged as the outcome of Redalyc’s (Network of Scientific Journals from Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal) experience in order to build a communication system for Latin America’s and the Global South’s journals as a response to the financial sustainability crisis, the lack of recognition before the current systems of assessment of science and before the exclusion of most journals from the region, which calls for the development of cooperative strategies where the various stakeholders of scientific communication support, recognise and sustain Open Access.

Who we are

AmeliCA is sustained by the non-profit civil association “AmeliCA A.C.” AmeliCA is led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) and the Network of Scientific Journals from Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal (Redalyc). From its launch is supported by the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM, Mexico), Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA, Colombia) and the National University of La Plata (UNLP, Argentina). Any institution, association or journal, may participate in AmeliCA provided they support the initiative’s motives.

Documentation

Publications

Mentions

Abadal, E., López-Borrull, A., Ollé-Castellà, C. & Garcia-Grimau, F. (2019). El plan S para acelerar el acceso abierto: contexto, retos y debate generado. Hipertetext.net, (19), 75-83.

The principle and values of AmeliCA (2019), a project supported by Redalyc, CLACSO and other Latin American organizations, stands as a convincing defense against the payment of APC in journals and the protection of the publicly-funded Latin American model for journals as Becerril (2019) states and advocates.

AfricArxiv. (March 10, 2019). Achieving full Open Access in Africa. Medium.

“Both in Europe and Latin America principles have been postulated to achieve Open Access. Europe calls it Plan S while in Latin America it is known as AmeliCA. Below you find how the two compare to each other. “


Aguado-López, E. & Becerril-García, A. (August 8, 2019). AmeliCA before Plan S – The Latin American Initiative to develop a cooperative, non-commercial, academic led, system of scholarly communication [Blog entry]. LSE Impact Blog.

“Whereas, countries in the Global North, have largely bought into these systems, Latin America has until recently created and maintained a distinct non-commercial OA infrastructure, where scientific publication belongs to academic institutions. Scholarly communication (the production, publication, distribution and consumption) of the research literature has therefore operated without charges, either to read or publish, and has been principally financed with public funds destined for education and research, mainly through academic institutions.”

Aguado-López, E. & Becerril-García, A. (October 05, 2019). North vs South – Are open access models in conflict? [Mensaje en un blog]. University World News.

“One particular challenge for researchers in the Global South is the potential for a shift from a ‘pay to read’ model of scholarly communication to a ‘pay to publish’ model in which researchers do not have the resources necessary to publish their research.”

Clemente, P. (May 15, 2019). Open Insights: Interview with Arianna Becerril. [Blog entry]. Open Library of Humanities.

“Thus AmeliCA emerges for the region to have an infrastructure and a cooperative work scheme intended to keep scholarly publishing in the hands of the academy, having a crystal-clear vision: non-commercial and against the chief system of research assessment.”


Becerril-García, A. (January 10, 2019). AmeliCA vs Plan S: same objective, two different strategies to achieve open access [Blog entry]. Blog Ameli.

“There are coincidences between the proposals of Plan S and AmeliCA, such as establishing that decisive steps must be taken to achieve Open Access. However it is clear that the Plan S strategy is regulatory and indicative, while AmeliCA proposes actions and projects in response to the issues faced by publishing and dissemination of science.”


Kelly, (March 4, 2019). Search is on for new steward to deliver Plan S open access, as Smits bows out. Science Business.

“In May, there is a meeting of the Global Research Council in Brazil, with representatives from all the main funders in the world expected to attend. There, Plan S organisers will try to get more agencies to sign up, and discuss terms with a similar open access initiative, Open Knowledge for Latin America and the Global South, known as Amelica.
-We’re reaching out to see if we can join forces. Amelica is 100 per cent compatible with Plan S- Smits said. -If we succeed, it will be an enormous step forward-”


Mudditt, A. (June 3, 2019). Plan S and the transformation of scholarly communication: are we missing the woods? [Blog entry]. The Scholarly Kitchen.

“ The launch of AmeliCA earlier this year further highlights the growing gulf between the needs of the Global South and the direction of the elite northern research and publishing framework. While Plan S talks about waivers (though has moved away from price caps), a system based on PAR deals will further disenfranchise researchers in the Global South and risks deepening existing inequality and exclusion.”

Nicholson, C. and Owen, J. (February 21, 2019). Global support for Plan S gathers pace. Research.

“In January, Plan S was criticised by Arianna Becerril- Garcia, the president of a similar initiative called Open Knowledge for Latin America and the Global South (Amelica), which was launched in December 2018. She described Plan S as Eurocentric, regulatory and a source of concern for the global south.
But Smits and Becerril-Garcia have now agreed that the two initiatives should try to work together. Becerril-Garcia said that a good starting point would be to discuss the feedback Amelica submitted to Plan S, “where we highlight the importance to propose actions for scholarly-led and community-driven open access”. She said she would invite Smits to meet in Mexico.”

Paterson, M. (2019). Plan S – How scholarship is under threat [Mensaje en blog]. University World News

The initiatives may be viewed as part of larger efforts to establish a collaborative, non-commercial, sustainable, non-subordinated system, which would take publishing out of the hands of the international firms and return it to the academy in the form of diamond open access – as has been advocated by the Latin American AmeliCA consortium.

Poynder, R. (May 21, 2019). The OA interviews: Arianna Becerril-García, Chair of AmeliCA. [Blog Entry]. Open and Shut?

“What is needed, she says, is to build a “collaborative, non-commercial, sustainable and non-subordinated” system in which control is removed from commercial publishers and handed back to the academy.
The role that AmeliCA and Becerril-García have played in the discussion over Plan S has been important and influential. Interestingly, as the debate has played out, it is not only OA advocates in the South that have been reaching the conclusion that AmeliCA has.”


Poynder, R. (March 6, 2019). Plan S and the Global South-What do countries in the Global South stand to gain from signing up to Europe’s open access strategy? [Blog entry]. LSE The Impact Blog.

“In other words, the basis of an alternative strategy is already in place. As a new Latin American initiative called AmeliCA points out, Plan S seeks to regulate commercial agreements, where AmeliCA is focused on “building an infrastructure from and for the academy.”

Poynder, R. (February 15, 2019). Plan S: What strategy now for the Global South? [Blog entry]. Richard Poynder.

“Here cOAlition S is only echoing a concern many share, of course, both in the North and the South. As restlessness has grown over the deeply flawed way in which researchers and their works are currently assessed, and the dominance of the pernicious journal hierarchy and impact factor, calls for change have gained considerable traction. Significantly, the “owner” of the impact factor (Clarivate Analytics) recently published a report that “draws attention to the information that is lost when data about researchers and their institutions are squeezed into simplified metrics or a league table.”
To address this a new Latin American initiative called AmeliCA recently put together a multidisciplinary working group of experts from different countries with the aim of generating more relevant and fair metrics for researchers, for journals, and for science.“


Sayer, L. (February 5, 2019). Plan S and Open Access in Latin America: Interview with Dominique Babini. International Science Council.

“Plan S comes at a time when we see growth in non-profit Open Access initiatives, so we have to ask if Plan S is a way of ensuring a predominant role for journals with APCs in the future of Open Access? Is Global Open Access about transforming the market from pay-to-read to pay-to-publish, or both during the transition period?
In Latin America We have a different view. Scholarly communications are managed by the scholarly community, with its own journal platforms and repositories, and supported by public funds as part of the public infrastructure needed for research. It is not a market, as is reflected in the short presentation “AmeliCA versus Plan S”
Plan S Funders should support these diverse realities “.

Shorish, Y. & Chan, L. (October 22, 2019). Co-creating Open Infrastructure to Support Epistemic Diversity and Knowledge Equity [Mensaje en un blog]. ScholarLerd.

“AmeliCA brings together more than 24 institutions from seven Latin American countries to co-create an open, non-commercial infrastructure for Latin America and other Global South journals. In response to the encroachment of commercial publishers from the North, the lack of recognition by the dominant systems of assessment of science, and the exclusion of most journals from the region due to language, the coalition calls for the development of cooperative strategies where the various stakeholders of scientific communication support, recognise and sustain Open Access that reflect the region’s diverse contexts.”

Taster, M. (24 de octubre de 2019). Open Access Week 2019 – What are we talking about and where are we going? [Mensaje en un blog]. LSE Impact Blog.

“(…)achieving equity in open knowledge and research requires sustained work across a range of dimensions, from the macro scale of achieving an open research system that recognises and nurtures a diverse range of international voices, to the micro scale of developing forms of open publication that truly work for the needs of different research traditions and those eager to learn from them. This post can only scratch the surface of a range of these issues, but it makes clear, as Open Access Week 2019 does more broadly, that open access is an ongoing project and despite open access now being a reality for some, we all need to continue working to make it equitable for all.”


Tennant, J. (March 5, 2019). Plan S – Time to decide what we stand for. LSE The Impact Blog.

“The consultation process and the wider discussions around Plan S, have also given rise to a number of new questions and my impression is that there are still huge numbers of voices that are not being heard. One particular sticking point in the consultation, were statements made by established Western researchers and research organisations along the lines of: ‘ Plan S will have a negative impact on junior/global-South/underfunded researchers ‘. In contrast, EURODOC, perhaps the most representative statement from junior researchers so far on Plan S, shows widespread support for Plan S. The Recent launch of AmeliCA in Latin America, also highlights how far behind western understandings and implementations of OA Are. These dissenting voices are important as they reveal how centred OR debates are in the global North and amongst an elite group engaged in the scholarly communications industry.


Tennant, J. (March 11, 2019). Plan S: Achieving Universal Open Access to Research Papers is Becoming Unavoidable. The Wire.

“The consultation process and the wider discussions around Plan S, have also given rise to a number of new questions and my impression is that there are still huge numbers of voices that are not being heard. One particular sticking point in the consultation, were statements made by established Western researchers and research organisations along the lines of: ‘ Plan S will have a negative impact on junior/global-South/underfunded researchers ‘. In contrast, EURODOC, perhaps the most representative statement from junior researchers so far on Plan S, shows widespread support for Plan S. The Recent launch of AmeliCA in Latin America, also highlights how far behind western understandings and implementations of OA Are. These dissenting voices are important as they reveal how centred OR debates are in the global North and amongst an elite group engaged in the scholarly communications industry.

Tennant, J., Kramer, B. & Ross-Hellauer, T. (October 17, 2019). Should digital research infrastructure for Open Science be open itself? [Mensaje en un blog]. Open Science Mooc.

“We believe that ‘open infrastructure’, based on these elements of openness and reflected in its actual implementation, is essential for Open Science. For example, in Europe, neither the recently launched European Open Science Cloud or the relaunched tender for the European Commission Open Research publishing platform have requirements to be fully Open Source. Projects such as Invest in Open Infrastructure, the Joint Roadmap for Open Science Tools, Pubfair or Redalyc in Latin America, illustrate viable alternatives that can deliver equivalent or higher value, and based on tools and sustainable services that are more open by design.“


UNESCO (April 12, 2019). Launch of the Global Alliance of Open Access Scholarly Communication Platforms to democratize knowledge.

“At a session organized by UNESCO on 8th April at the WSIS Forum 2019 in Geneva, coordinators of six platforms – AmeliCA, AJOL, Erudit, J-STAGE, OpenEdition, and SciELO Network agreed Network agreed to join forces to democratize scientific knowledge following a multicultural, multi-thematic and multi-lingual approach.”

Valenzuela, C. (June 27, 2019). En qué consiste AmeliCA, la alternativa de acceso abierto para América Latina [Blog entry]. Tipográfica.

“AmeliCA stresses that it’s important to remember that science is a global institution, therefore, decisions made and actions done at any point of the system alter and have consequences in other fields. They don’t hesitate in raising a banner for the sake of a more equal participation where any nation my partake in the discussion, fully aware of diversity and of the different local agendas to bridge the gaps in scholarly publishing.”