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Following my call for statistical information, information is beginning
to trickle in. It is still very incomplete and not very precise but I
send it in haste as I do not want to keep Stevan waiting too long... :-)
The information I have comes directly from CONICYT in Chile. CONICYT is
the council that supports graduate studies, scholarships, research and
scientific publishing. Conicyt, in particular, is the institution
overlooking Chile's part in Scielo - 52 journals - and it monitors all
of Chile's scientific publishing.
Conicyt is also involved with science policy in Chile.
Most Latin American countries have the equivalent of Conicyt (for
example Cnpq in Brazil).
Summarizing the message I just received from Conicyt, here are the main
1. All journals published in Chile as in the rest of Latin America
(this is Conicyt's perception) are supported either by
universities, research institutions and/or learned societies. In
the latter case, members' fees also support the journal(s). I am
trying to get a fix on the number of these journals.
2. There is no commercial publishing of scholarly journals and no
commercial distribution of scholarly journals in Chile;
3. Only health journals seem to find a way to live independently
from public funds thanks to publicity from pharmaceutical
companies (!!! that opens up another can of worms, but I will
leave this aside for the moment);
4. In the arts and social sciences, there "may be" journals that
are published with no subsidies, but they tend to be short
5. Although the national register of scholarly journals mentions
about 700 titles (which is enormous, incidentally, if you
compare Chile to Canada), most of these journals experience
grave production difficulties. For this reason a national fund
for scientific publishing was established in 1989. It supports
30 journals. All scielo journals that are OA are supported by
universities or learned societies, but Conicyt pays the scielo
dues for all such journals.
6. Scielo Chile receives one million visits per month, more or
less. Researchers that publish in the scielo journals receive
points that advantage them for access to research funds -
incidentally, this is an interesting aspect of incentive
building that can complement the mandating system.
It would be really interesting to have similar reports from a variety of
countries. I will keep fishing for more and better statistics. Please
PS Regarding policy, the idea of extra points to incite authors to
publish in OA journals is a really interesting idea. It could be built
to include those that self-archive in a suitable repository, of course.
We must not forget our green friends... so long as their color has
nothing to do with envy. :-)
Dr. Jean-Claude Gu├ędon
Dept. of Comparative Literature
University of Montreal
PO Box 6128, Downtown Branch
Montreal, QC H3C 3J7
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Received on Wed Sep 14 2005 - 17:18:43 BST