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Piracy of scientific papers in Latin America: An analysis of Sci-Hub usage data

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In the new issue of Developing Latin America: ‘Piracy of scientific papers in Latin America: An analysis of Sci-Hub usage data’, co-written with dear colleagues Alejandro Uribe-Tirado and María Elena Romero-Ortiz, we present Sci-Hub’s characteristics, a criticism to its perception as a de-facto component of the Open Access movement, its implications for information professionals, universities and libraries, and we replicate an analysis published in Science, but using only Latin America usage data. Ever wondered how many papers are illegally downloaded from Sci-Hub in the region? Find also the answer of how illegal downloads compare to legal downloads done through the Mexican and Argentinian scientific information consortia.

Acknowledgements: we wish to thank the InfoTecarios group for informing about regional challenges, specifically the help of Saúl Equihua, Myrna Lee and Renny Granda; and comments received from Dominique Babini, Paola Azrilevich, Alejandra Méndez, Luis Rojas, Nitida Carranza, Sonia Amaya, and Dr. Elsi Jiménez.


Abstract: Sci-Hub hosts pirated copies of 51 million scientific papers from commercial publishers. This article presents the site’s characteristics, it criticizes that it might be perceived as a de-facto component of the Open Access movement, it replicates an analysis published in Science using its available usage data, but limiting it to Latin America, and presents implications caused by this site for information professionals, universities and libraries.

Full text at Sage Publishing

Open Access version (Coming soon!)

Recommended reference: Machin-Mastromatteo, J.D., Uribe-Tirado, A., and Romero-Ortiz, M. E. (2016). Piracy of scientific papers in Latin America: An analysis of Sci-Hub usage data. Information Development, 32(5), 1806–1814. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666916671080

Four theories to improve justice in Latin America

In the new issue of Developing Latin America: ‘Four theories to improve justice in the region’, co-written with my good friend, the lawyer Basilio A. Martínez-Villa, we provide a very brief introduction to the theories of justice of John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, Jürgen Habermas and Amartya Sen, as they bring forward the requirement for developing indicators with a wider scope, and we summarize relevant aspects of justice that can enrich the needed reflection and discussion for new Latin American models of justice.


Abstract: The theories of justice according to Rawls, Dworkin, Habermas and Sen, although from a predominantly Anglo-Saxon background, are useful for the Latin American reality. Such views of justice bring forward the requirement for developing indicators with a wider scope, so that they measure diverse aspects such as: income, commodities, freedoms, economic, cultural, educative, political and well-being factors. Concluding remarks summarize relevant aspects of justice that can enrich the needed reflection and discussion for new Latin American models of justice.

Full text at Sage Publications

Open Access version (Coming soon!)

Recommended reference: Martinez-Villa, B. A. and Machin-Mastromatteo, J. D. (2016). Four theories to improve justice in the region. Information Development, 32(4), 1284–1288. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666916658588

The most “perfect” voting system in the world

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In the new issue of Developing Latin America, I present the most common criticisms to e-voting systems, focusing on the Venezuelan case, with 15 elections during the last 17 years. This is the so-called most “perfect” voting system in the world. But it has been widely questioned, studied and contested.


Abstract: Elections are indispensable for democracy, but their trustworthiness demands transparency and impartiality from governments, even more so for automated elections. This work presents common criticisms to e-voting systems, focusing on the Venezuelan case, where there have been around 15 elections of this kind in the last 17 years. The Venezuelan government calls it the most perfect voting system in the world, but its results have been questioned, studied and contested.

Full text at Sage Publications

Open Access version (Coming soon!)

Recommended reference: Machin-Mastromatteo, J. D. (2015). The most “perfect” voting system in the world. Information Development, 32(3), 751-755. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666916647140

From Caracas to Lyon: A road toward sustainable development?

UntitledFurther expanding on topics around public libraries (and as a sister issue to a previous column), together with Renny Granda we ask if the Caracas Declaration for the Public Library (1982) and the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development (2014) can allow us to follow a path toward sustainable development from our libraries.


Abstract: We offer elements and reflections to tackle from Latin American societies and public libraries for moving toward sustainable development. From the Caracas Declaration for the Public Library to the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development, there has been a clear and constant plea to the development of Latin America, assuming the value information has for progress and focusing on the access to information, literacy, education and culture as human rights.

Full text at Sage Publications

Open Access version (Coming soon!)

Recommended reference: Granda, R. and Machin-Mastromatteo, J. D. (2015). From Caracas to Lyon: A road toward sustainable development? Information Development, 32(2), 216-218. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666915626830

See also the previous sister column: Granda, R. and Machin-Mastromatteo, J. D. (2015). Regional consensus gave birth to the modern public library. Information Development, 31(3), 314-316. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666915577166

Scientific production in Mexican universities: Rates and expectations toward competitiveness

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Together with Javier Tarango, we analyze issues of scientific production in Mexican universities.


Abstract: This article analyzes emerging issues that Mexican universities are experiencing with scientific production processes, their impact on assessment indicators that determine their level of competitiveness, and the identification of assessment dimensions and criteria related to the activities of professors and researchers. Examples of previous research on universities’ competitiveness are offered to provide suggestions for recognizing the need for legitimized models that allow assessing scientific production in Mexican universities.

Full text at Sage Publications

Open Access version (Coming soon!)

Recommended reference: Tarango, J. and Machin-Mastromatteo, J. D. (2016). Scientific production in Mexican universities: Rates and expectations toward competitiveness. Information Development, 32(1), 107-111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666915613730

Latin American science is meant to be open access: Initiatives and current challenges

Together with Dominique Babini, we summarize the rise of open access in the region and its main initiatives.


Abstract: Latin American open access (OA) initiatives were built upon the foundations laid by the regional cooperative information networks, databases and indexes that started to be developed from the 1970s. OA had an early start in the region in the 1990s, because it preceded the first worldwide OA declaration. This article summarizes the reasons behind the emergence of OA in the region, offers details and data about the most relevant initiatives and discusses some of the current challenges to keep advancing in this arena.

Full text at Sage Publications

Open Access version (Coming soon!)

Recommended reference: Babini, D. and Machin-Mastromatteo, J. D. (2015). Latin American science is meant to be open access: Initiatives and current challenges. Information Development, 31(5), 477-481. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666915601420

From the ashes

From the ashes

523 years ago, one of the major cultural crimes in the history of humanity happened: slaughter, imposition of ideologies and dogmas, apart from a systematic cultural annihilation; all this meant the alteration of the independent development and of the future of the autochthonous Latin American cultures. Current Latin American civilization emerged from this event: From the ashes…


Abstract: About 523 years ago, the territory now known as the Americas was ‘discovered’. This event detonated the conquest and colonization of this ‘new world’, processes that altered the historical development of the indigenous civilizations. This work examines one of the most disheartening consequences of this clash of civilizations: the almost total destruction of the indigenous people’s cultural heritage. This annihilation was driven by the implementation of colonial domination, which implied the establishment of a new socio-political order and systematic and forced religious conversion, which included the destruction of the pictographic codices that were seen as ‘works of the devil’.

Full text at Sage Publications

Open Access version (Coming soon!)

Recommended reference: Machin-Mastromatteo, J. D. (2015). From the ashes. Information Development, 31(4), 383-386. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666915591759

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