A Brazil-based open-access data system has begun offering a unique service to researchers who want to assess the impact of their work beyond the restricted channels of commercial academic publishing.
Scientists can assess the online impact of their publications in Latin America, Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean and South Africa using the new citation index from SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online).
The tool is accessible via the Web of Knowledge and operates in conjunction with Thomson Reuters, the global information provider. SciELO is a programme of the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) sponsoring the cooperative publishing of open access science journals on the internet.
In 2013, SciELO Brazil was getting 1.5 million downloads per day – a figure that is bound to increase in 2014 now it is linked to Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge. SciELO’s collection of mainly Latin American journals now puts out more than 40,000 free-to-read articles each year.
SciELO is supported by the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development and is a partnership with the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information. SciELO content includes regional journals from Latin American and the Caribbean as well as titles from Spain, Portugal and South Africa
This covers approximately 650 titles (over 350 adding content to journals already covered in the Web of Knowledge) and contains over four million cited references.
The SciELO site provides links with access to full text for researchers and will allow them to see which of their peers is driving regional content — and whose work may have international significance.
In 2011, 43% of Brazilian science articles were free to read on publication, compared with 6% of US articles. Likewise, Brazil’s ratio of open access to scholarly journals matches or beats that of many EU nations, according to the European Commission’s Europa service.
Last year the prestigious publication Nature – access to which is subject to strict commercial controls – said SciELO had helped “to make Brazilian research the most open in the world.”
In active debates, Nature and FAPESP have “agreed to differ” over their respective models for access to the results of scientific research funded by the state. You can read about the discussion on “green or gold” access policy by clicking here.