OLIVA The Latin American Observatory of Research Assessment Indicators

OLIVA is an initiative by CECIC operating since June 2019 and funded by the National University of Cuyo (SIIP TIPO4-N°F/038). It is a regional, collaborative and interdisciplinary project which main goal is to create a common framework of indicators to examine the production and circulation of knowledge in Latin America. OLIVA was born as a result of a diagnosis shared by many researchers in the past two decades regarding the difficulties that currently exist today to make our scientific journals visible and valuable for research assessment. In spite of the professionalized repositories existing in the region, one of the main problematic issues is the lack of interoperable systems to collect data from the most important regional indexation databases (Latindex, Scielo and Redalyc). Although these regional initiatives have made great efforts in terms of digitization and indexation, and they offer guarantee of academic quality similar to that of Scopus or Web of Science, the fragmented indicators have been an obstacle to generate an intervention in institutional and individual evaluations. On the other hand, this also has an impact on the consolidation of non-commercial open access infrastructure in a region that is at the forefront in this respect. OLIVA seeks to build a regional corpus at the article level in order to understand in a comprehensive way what is published and in what languages; which collaborative patterns characterize the journals from the region, what kind of differences among disciplines can be observed and finally, what are the features of the publishing institutions of the journals from our region.

During 2020, OLIVA fulfilled its first working stage and has developed a database that contains all the documents published in the Scielo and Redalyc indexed journals from 1909 until 2019. This was possible thanks to the cooperation and support of both repositories and the main results will be published soon in two collaborative reports/papers currently in progress. Once the results of this first steps are consolidated, we are planning to move forward to the second stage which is to include the documents published in journals from Latindex Catalogue 2.0 and DOAJ -both willing to cooperate with us. We hope that 2021 will allow us to advance in the enlargement of the database that could also contribute to create a collaborative system capable of offering regional indicators for the research assessment of the scientific community in the region.

The acronym OLIVA refers to the Latin American Observatory of Research Assessment Indicators, but in Spanish OLIVA resembles the OLIVO (olive tree), one of the main fruits of Mendoza’s land. It is an homage to our local roots and its feminization seemed to us a way to represent us better in the present moment of history.

Main data results: After a meticulous curatorship of the registries in the original databases of Scielo and Redalyc that allowed the unification of the database, the OLIVA team has finished the description of the data base. The challenges were multiple, given the amount of the data and the challenges of standardization. Currently the unified database includes 1.722 journals, 924.212 documents and 2.836.067 author registries.