Quality, Reach, and Impact of Open Scholarly Publishing in Latin America

Better understanding Open Access of scholarly research will help determine how it contributes to the greater circulation of knowledge and disseminating research in Latin America.

Open Access (defined as unrestricted access to articles published in scholarly journals via the Internet) is widespread in Latin America. While research has tracked the prevalence of Open Access in the region, the causes of this trend and its impact have not been studied.

Advocates for Open Access suggest it will benefit researchers by increasing the circulation and impact of their work. They also argue that society can benefit from this greater technology transfer, circulation of knowledge, and an informed populace. However, critics of Open Access are concerned about perceptions of poor overall scholarly quality. There is no evidence to support any of these claims.

Considering the importance of science and technology to Latin America, research about the contributions and challenges of Open Access is needed. Four scholarly publishers in the region are collaborating to better understand the issue: the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales-Brazil (FLACSO); Latindex, Public Knowledge Project (PKP); Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), and Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España, y Portugal (RedALyC).

The research will underpin the development of frameworks to help understand the region's most prominent Open Access models. The collaborators will assess and compare how those models contribute to the greater circulation of knowledge in relation to how well they address social needs.

Expected outcomes include a review of existing data, collection of new data on quality issues, and field building to examine new methods for understanding the quality, reach, and impact of Open Access.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, March 1, 2012

End Date

Monday, December 1, 2014


27 months

IDRC Officer

Perini, Fernando

Total funding

CA$ 449,700


North and Central America, South America, Portugal


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Gustavo Fischman


Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences

Institution Country


Institution Website