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LA Referencia

Latin American Reference Network

Daniel BuenoOfficially launched in late November 2012, LA Referencia – an online network of institutional repositories of scientific publications from Latin America and the Caribbean – will offer open access to papers and masters and doctoral theses written in this region. The product of a partnership among nine countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela – the project will be implemented beginning in the first half of this year. The idea is to test the Spanish version of the pilot project website in June. Uruguay, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico will have until then to decide whether or not to join the group. The network will benefit an estimated 700,000 teachers, 70,000 researchers, and around 15,000,000 students across Latin America and the Caribbean. Unlike national platforms, such as Brazil’s virtual library SciELO, LA Referencia will not depend on each periodical’s independent decision in order to upload content. Instead, the institutions will be responsible for updating the scholarship produced by their researchers. The initiative is financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and coordinated by the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks (RedClara), an agency created in 2002 to foster academic integration in Latin America and the Caribbean.