The Latin American Observatory of Evaluation Indicators (OLIVA), which operates at the Center for the Study of the Circulation of Knowledge (CECIC), is a regional, collaborative and interdisciplinary undertaking that aims to generate Latin American indicators of the production and circulation of science, in order to contribute to a metamorphosis of academic evaluation processes. Its starting point was a diagnosis shared with the open access community in the region about the difficulties that exist to make visible and valuable the published production in Latin America and the Caribbean. One of the main obstacles is that there is no interoperability between the different journal platforms, portals and repositories, so it is not possible to collect cross-cutting information, without overlapping, between the journals indexed by the main systems in the region: BIBLAT, SciELO, Latindex and RedALyC. Despite the enormous efforts that these organizations have made to professionalize and digitize scientific publishing, guaranteeing its academic quality, the absence of regional indicators has repercussions on the low valuation of these thousands of indexed journals, which are undervalued in institutional and individual evaluations. Thus, the general goal of the OLIVA project is to comprehensively describe what is published in these journals, in what languages, and in what disciplines. what patterns of collaboration characterize this production, among different countries of the region and the world? what forms of intra-national collaboration can be observed? what types of institutions publish the journals of our region? what are their main forms of management and access, do they charge APC?
In order to answer these questions, OLIVA was built as a collaborative project. Its first stage convened SciELO, Redalyc and the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) with the aim of showing the disciplinary, linguistic and geographical breadth of production in indexed journals in Latin America. In this framework, OLIVA 1.0 was built between 2019 and 2021 as a statistical database that includes data on documents published in journals indexed in the complete collections of SciELO and REDALYC, including articles from 1909 to 2019. The first results of the project, which were able to answer these questions for the first phase of observation and analysis, were published in the Brazilian journal Dados (IESP-UERJ, Brazil) in English DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/dados.2024.67.1.307x and in Spanish DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/dados.2024.67.1.307.
OLIVA 1.0 in Open Data
OLIVA 1.0 is composed of two types of datasets extracted from the journals indexed in Redalyc and SciELO: (1) the metadata of the journals at the time of compilation, including title, ISSN, URL, country of publication, date of creation, disciplinary area, publishing institution and information on APC collection, subscriptions and indexing in databases; and (2) the data of the published documents including the type of document, year of publication, journal, language, number of authors and country of affiliation of the authors. It includes a total of 1,720 journals, 908,982 documents and 2,802,295 authors. As a complement, in this first stage, we worked on intra-national collaboration in a specific case: Brazil. Therefore, Oliva 1.0 includes a third database composed of information from the SciELO Brazil collection at the document level, with the institutional affiliation of each author by country and by state within Brazil.
OLIVA was funded by the AGENCIA I+D+I (PICT 2017-2647) and the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (SIIP TIPO 4-N°F/038) and the researchers leading this project belong to CONICET and UNCuyo. The deposit of the OLIVA 1.0. dataset in the CONICET repository is the result of an agreement between the UNCuyo in pursuance of Law 26.899. The readme that accompanies the deposit of these open data https://ri.conicet.gov.ar/handle/11336/175850 describes in detail the methodology used, the type of data contained in each database, as well as its authors, collaborators, institutions involved and the recommended citation.
In parallel with Oliva 1.0 within the framework of CECIC, another study was carried out to expand this database into what is now OLIVA 1.1, which includes the SciELO and Redalyc journals from Spain and Portugal. With the support of the OEI, its preliminary results were recently published https://oei.int/publicaciones/papeles-del-observatorio-la-evolucion-de-la-produccion-cientifica-en-revistas-indexadas-en-iberoamerica and the dataset is in the process of being deposited.
The next stages of Oliva
Since 2022, OLIVA is moving forward with a third study for inclusion in the database of journal documents from Latindex Catalog 2.0 and BIBLAT, two organizations that also collaborate and are part of OLIVA’s advisory committee. The exploratory study of the 271 journals common to Biblat and Latindex with document-level data coverage between 2015-2019 has been completed. From this work arises the collective article between Biblat, Latindex and Oliva teams that will be published soon. This current stage is funded by SIIP 06/F001-T4 UNCuyo and PICT 2021-0146 of the AGENCIA I+D+I and the dataset resulting from the research will be made available in turn through an agreement with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
We hope that all these advances will make it possible to fully describe the magnitude of the products published in Latin America, both historically and currently. But, above all, we hope that it will contribute to the valorization of more than 4,000 indexed, quality journals, self-managed by the academic community that are published, promoting a collaborative and interoperable enterprise capable of offering evaluation indicators in an open platform for open use, non-commercial for the management of knowledge as a common good.
This name represents the multi-scalarity that is behind all the studies developed by CECIC, because together with its Latin Americanist aspiration and universal dialogue in the open science movement, the word OLIVA rescues the localized rootedness of this project in one of the main fruits of Mendoza’s land.