Latin American Initiatives

Last updated on 2023-11-01 | Edit this page



  • Which open practices do Latin American initiatives apply to promote an inclusive research environment?


After attending this training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify Latin American initiatives that have successfully promoted inclusive research practices for non-native English speakers.
  • Describe the open practices that Latin American initiatives are employing to create a more inclusive research environment.
  • Assess how they contribute to increase participation, knowledge exchange, and cross-cultural collaboration.


In this episode, we will delve into the landscape of Open Science in Latin America. We will highlight the region’s contributions while addressing the challenges it encounters on the journey towards a more inclusive scientific community. Our focus is on understanding strategies and collaborations implemented in Latin America to make science more inclusive and equitable.

Open science in Latin America

UNESCO’s Open Science Recommendation for Latin America and the Caribbean

The ministers of Science, Technology, and Innovation from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela participated in the regional launch of the UNESCO recommendation on Open Science from Latin America and the Caribbean. They recognize knowledge as a human right and, therefore, a common good of the people that should be at the service of humanity’s needs. Because of this, they seek to challenge the monopoly of modern science by taking actions that:

  • Advocate for sciences that prioritize citizenship, sustainability, social inclusion, and the self-determination of the people.

  • Encourage the involvement of indigenous peoples and local communities in the processes of planning and formulating policies.

  • Generate a regional network, develop training tools, and encourage collaboration and capacity building in open science.

  • Provide equitable access to quality education, scientific knowledge, and socially relevant technologies.

  • Ensure equal access to scientific processes and decision-making for achieving gender equality and promoting the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Strengthening mechanisms for academic mobility and participation in open science, for women, young people, and ethnic groups.

Open access

In Latin America and the Caribbean, there is a strong emphasis on seeing knowledge as a communal asset, particularly through open access. Policies promote the use of institutional repositories in universities and National Science and Technology Organizations as primary tools to endorse and expand open access initiatives in the region.


Latin America regulation of knowledge access:

  • Peru, Argentina, and Mexico: between 2013 and 2014, these countries have opted for a legislative approach to regulate open access policies, enacting specific laws or policies.

  • Brazil: guidelines supporting open access have been issued in the form of declarations and manifestos, driven by various groups committed to this cause. Additionally, there have been proposed laws (2007 y 2011) related to open access, although they have not yet been enacted.

  • Chile: recommendations for access and preservation of scientific information and research data have been developed, as detailed in the 2014 Open Data Manual. This has been done with the intention of establishing a research open data policy in the future.

  • Colombia: has begun to establish general guidelines for the future development of an open science policy since 2019.

The federated network of institutional repositories of scientific publications (Red Federada de Repositorios institucionales de Publicaciones Científicas) brings together national repositories from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay. Through its services, it supports national Open Access strategies in Latin America by providing a platform with interoperability standards, sharing, and enhancing visibility of the scientific production generated in higher education and scientific research institutions.

Open access national systems

Here are some examples of open access national systems from different Latin American countries:

Argentina - National System of Digital Repositories - Open data portal - Citizen Science

Bolivia - Open data portal

Brasil - Open data portal

Chile - Open data portal

Colombia - Open data portal

Mexico - Open data portal - National repository

Paraguay - Open data portal

Peru - National repository of research works - Open data portal

Uruguay - Open data portal

Venezuela - Open data portal

Non-commercial open access systems to journals published in the region

These platforms are designed to showcase and promote research published in specific regions, often emphasizing non-commercial, open access principles to ensure widespread access to knowledge. They play a crucial role in increasing the visibility and impact of research from their respective regions.

  • Redalyc offers a vast collection of scientific journals in Spanish and Portuguese, which ensures that research from Latin America is not marginalized by language barriers.

  • Latindex indexing and cataloging efforts make it easier for researchers to locate and access relevant resources within their linguistic and regional contexts.

  • SciELO includes multilingual journals from Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and other regions.

  • AmeliCA seeks to address the challenges faced by non-native English speakers by promoting regional publishing, open science, and the development of inclusive infrastructures.

  • Latin America Research Commons editorial project originated in the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and its main goal is to ensure the widest possible dissemination of original monographs and journals in all disciplines related to Latin American studies.


(In groups, 15 minutes) What actions could you take as librarians to increase diversity in the research environment? How could you increase the participation of Latin researchers or research groups?

Share your answers on the collaborative document.

Over the years, Latin America has seen a substantial growth in communities of practice. These groups are self-organized and self-sustained gatherings of individuals bound by a common interest or passion, learning and improving collectively through regular interaction (Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayne, 2015). In Latin America, many of such communities focus specifically on bridging the gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), on imparting skills related to computational tools, or on educating about open science tools and practices. While institutional approaches play a crucial role in setting policies and frameworks, leveraging the strengths of communities of practice may enhance the dissemination and adoption of open science at a more personal, relatable, and community-driven level. Some of these strengths are:

  • Bottom-Up Approach: Communities of practice are driven by individuals who are genuinely passionate about the subject matter. This grassroots involvement ensures a more organic and authentic dissemination of open science principles, engaging individuals on a personal level.

  • Inclusivity and Engagement: Communities of practice foster inclusivity, encouraging diverse participation and engagement from individuals of various backgrounds, experiences, and expertise levels. The inclusion facilitates a broader understanding of open science and encourages a wider range of people to adopt and promote these practices.

  • Peer Learning and Collaboration: In these communities, members learn from each other, share experiences, and collectively work towards a common goal. This collaborative learning environment fosters a sense of belonging and encourages the adoption of open practices through shared knowledge and mutual support.

  • Tailored and Relevant Initiatives: Communities of practice have the flexibility to tailor initiatives and activities to suit the specific needs and contexts of their members. They can focus on topics that are relevant and directly applicable to the community, ensuring that the dissemination of open science is relatable and actionable.

  • Agility and Adaptability: Communities of practice are agile and adaptable to changing circumstances, technological advancements, and emerging trends in the scientific community. They can quickly respond to evolving requirements, making them more responsive and effective in promoting open science practices in real-time.

Some of these communities are:

Metadocencia is an international community of researchers and educators dedicated to equipping individuals and organizations from Spanish-speaking regions and beyond by providing open science resources, delivering professional development training, and supporting infrastructure design and implementation. This community works to make the production, communication, and application of scientific and technical knowledge equitable globally.

Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA) promotes inclusive development, public and social innovation, and open knowledge through openness, the use of public data, and the active participation of the communities involved in Latin America.

Conectorial is a non-profit community of open access journal publishers and research professionals dedicated to developing resources and means to foster scientific production and promote the growth of Open Access journals in Latin America. It provides a space where people related to the edition, management, and promotion of scientific Open Access journals, as well as research and publication of articles can meet to exchange knowledge.

Overall ..

The collaborative environment fostered by communities of practice not only facilitates the emergence of research projects but also amplifies their visibility and relevance. By encouraging the exchange of knowledge and experiences among experts and passionate professionals, these communities create a fertile ground for the incubation and execution of innovative ideas. Moreover, by providing a space for interdisciplinary collaboration, they allow diverse disciplines to converge and mutually enrich one another, thus enhancing the quality and impact of research projects. This interactive collaboration benefits not only those directly involved but also contributes to the advancement of knowledge and the progress of society as a whole.


(3 minutes) Have you ever participated in a community of practice? In the collaborative document, share something you gained or learned from your experience of being part of such an organization.

Key Points

  • The different initiatives promoting open science in Latin America conceive knowledge as a communal asset that should not be tied to finantial gain.

  • For fostering the implementation of open practices, the institutions need to reevaluate policies regarding publication rewards, emphasizing the need to shift towards an evaluation centered on social relevance rather than impact factor metrics.

  • Community-driven open science initiatives contribute to a more organic and authentic dissemination of open science principles. They facilitate inclusivity, peer learning, and tailored initiatives, making open science more accessible and relatable at a community level.