The University of West Indies (UWI) has a leading role in open access initiatives in the region. UWI is a multi-campus University, with major campuses situated in Jamaica (Mona), Trinidad & Tobago (St. Augustine) and Barbados (Cave Hill). UWI at Mona offers online open access to full-text scholarly output from UWI within its MORD-Mona Online Research Database and institutional repository registered in OpenDOAR. UWI Libraries and UWI Digital Library Services Centre (DLSC) at the St. Augustine Campus, manage an institutional repository of UWI. UWI is also a member of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).
Open Access Repository for Scientific Information: This is being established by the Caribbean Academy of Sciences (CAS) in collaboration with Caribbean and Latin American countries including Cuba, and Guatemala. It is supported by UNESCO. The aim is to establish a virtual environment with open access to scientific and technical information, already available on the Internet but of special relevance and significance to the region. Some disciplines identified initially are, Agriculture, Alternative Energy and Health Sciences to include Sickle Cell and lifestyle diseases such as Diabetes and Obesity.
Several digital libraries from the region offer open access to special collections digitized because of their cultural, historical and research significance for countries in the Caribbean, ex.: National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) Digital Library of Trinidad and Tobago, Digital Collections at University of West Indies St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, National Library of Jamaica Digital Collections, among others. The National Library of Jamaica is mandated to be the repository of all information pertaining to Jamaica. The customary library software, CDS/ISIS is used to facilitate access to its catalogue as well as the databases of its other resources including manuscripts, posters, maps microfilms and audio-visual materials. In addition, an innovative software the National Library of Jamaica Digital 2 (NLJD2) has been developed and is being used successfully to access digitized materials in-house through CDS/ISIS.
In the Caribbean, open access initiatives promote regional collaboration and integration of digital collections, with support from foreign and international agencies for digitization and preservation of patrimonial documents and preserving memories.
From 5-8 March 2013, 30 experts and Policy specialists from 25 countries including Belize; Virgin Islands; St Vincent and Grenadines; St Kitts and Nevis and St Martin; Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Guatemala; Uruguay and Mexico gathered in Kingston to develop strategies and a road map to implement open access policies in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. This was the first regional consultation on open access to scientific information and research organized by the UNESCO Kingston Cluster office in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Ministry of Information, Government of Jamaica, University of West Indies and UNESCO National Commission for Jamaica. Workshop participants had the opportunity to contribute towards highlighting priority areas for intervention to achieve “Openness” in the region and individual countries. Participants reviewed the UNESCO OA policy templates and worked out specific policies for their own country/institution.
The UN-ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean manages the Caribbean Digital Library, with a collection of Caribbean documents and other full-text open access information resources.
The Library Associations from countries of the region, and The Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) annual conference and workshops allow sharing of open access experiences and initiatives from the region. Unesco sponsors open access events and initiatives in the region and the continuing education programs with ACURIL.
Eight open access full-text journals are included in DOAJ from Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Barbados, Martinique and Jamaica. In ROAD, further two journals are listed from Trinidad and Tobago: (i) Caribbean Library Journal; (ii) Caribbean Review of Gender Studies.
The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), established in 2004, is an open access cooperative, multilingual and multi-institutional digitization project of partners within the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean that provides users with open access to Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials held in archives, libraries, and private collections.
Another example of cross-institutional open access initiative is MANIOC, a scientific and cultural open access repository specializing in the Caribbean, the Amazon, the Guyana Plateau and regions or areas of interest related to these territories.
For subject open access initiatives, several examples can be mentioned:
- CARIBLEX, the International Labor Organization's database of national labour legislation for the 13 ILO member States of the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean is maintained by the ILO's Subregional Office for the Caribbean.
- Carilaw (Caribbean Law Online) coordinated by the Faculty of Law Library, Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies
- CIPORE – Caribbean Information Platform on Renewable Energy
- MEDCARIB produced by the Medcarib Network.
Together with countries of Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, several countries from English and French-speaking Caribbean participate in open access regional subject repositories, today with a growing number of records with full-texts, examples: health (BVS-LILACS), agriculture (SIDALC), public management and policies (CLAD-SIARE), marine science (OceanDocs), work (LABORDOC), information science (E-Lis), among others
Regional cooperation also enhances the role of cooperation for digital preservation for natural disaster preparedness. An example is The Caribbean Virtual Disaster Library, a collaborative effort between the Caribbean Disaster Information Network (CARDIN) at the Library of the University of the West Indies at Mona, the Unit for Disaster Studies (UDS) at UWI Department of Geography and Geology and the Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRID).
The Inter-Academies Panel (IAP) -with Funding provided by UNESCO, the Italian government, member Academies and individual grants- has a Program on Digital Knowledge Resources and Infrastructure in Developing countries and a specific project of open access repositories in the Caribbean: Open Institutional Repositories Infrastructure network for Central America and the Caribbean. The Caribbean Scientific Union Project has reported on activities in the Open Institutional Repositories Network for Central America and the Caribbean. And an advanced research and education networking infrastructure is being proposed by the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network CKLN, which is a partner of RedCLARA in Latin America that supports cooperation among digital repositories of the region.
Events and Programmes
- Is Open Access just another fad? Dr Alma Swan 2013-10-30 St Lucia, Organized by Lisa Kruesi
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