Building an Infrastructure to Support Researchers - An Interview with Redalyc's Arianna Becerril

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Redalyc was one of our earliest supporters in Latin America and they’ve used ORCID to build an infrastructure that supports researchers. Redalyc offers author profile pages and tools for specific editions of scientific journals, in order to support the sustainability of Open Access in the region.  Read more in this interview with Redalyc’s Executive Director, Arianna Becerril.

Please can you tell us a bit about Redalyc and your role there?

Redalyc is a platform that currently indexes 1,294 Open Access scientific journals published by more than 600 institutions in 22 Latin American countries. The journals that make up the collection go through a rigorous internal quality assessment and are ratified by an international scientific committee. In addition, Redalyc also stores and arranges online the full texts of the articles of the journals that it indexes, of which there are more than 600,000. Among other services, Redalyc offers author pages (AutoresRedalyc) and tools for the marking and digital edition (Marcalyc) of scientific journals in order to support the sustainability of Open Access in the region. We also generate metrics on the production, collaboration, and use of scientific production by country, institution, area of knowledge, and author.

I am part of the team that founded Redalyc in 2003, and I am currently the Executive Director.

When and why did Redalyc first get involved with ORCID?

One of the primary objectives of Redalyc is to provide visibility to scientific journals in the region, so we have developed not only search engines for full-text recovery, but also web pages by category including journal, institution, country, and discipline. However, the Latin American research community also wanted Redalyc to provide services at the author level, in order to be able to disseminate their published articles and access metrics such as downloads and collaborative networks, among others. So, in 2014, Redalyc started to develop author pages (AutoresRedalyc) that, among other things, allow authors to select and integrate their scientific outputs published in journals indexed by Redalyc in their public profile. At the same time, we were closely following the advances of the ORCID initiative and, in particular, the interoperability services already implemented with databases such as Web of Science, through ResearcherID and Scopus.

Latin American scientific production is under-represented in these databases (WoS and Scopus). So when an author from Latin America (especially those working in Social Sciences and/or Humanities) registered for an ORCID iD, there were few works that could be connected automatically to their record through the Search & Link wizard. This meant populating authors’ public profiles could only be done manually. Thus, Redalyc decided to work to integrate with ORCID and offer Latin American authors a way to automatically connect their iD with their works published in journals indexed by Redalyc.

How has Redalyc implemented ORCID?

Redalyc is integrated with the ORCID platform in two ways. First, we have integrated the Redalyc database into the ORCID Search & Link wizard to enable users to retrieve their published works in journals indexed by Redalyc and connect them to their ORCID ID record. Second, it is possible to export the scientific outputs of an author from AutoresRedalyc to ORCID and to see the works registered in ORCID. Users must authenticate their ORCID iD in order to use these services.

Here are couple of videos demonstrating how Redalyc has used ORCID: Conoce AutoresRedalyc - ORCID  and Videotutorial Integración con Orcid.

What impact has ORCID had in your community?

Since the release in January 2016, 30,000 researchers have registered at AutoresRedalyc from more than 3,000 universities around the world; more than 60% have an ORCID iD. In addition, dozens of webinars have been given on how to obtain an ORCID record, which has led to hundreds of researchers being aware of the need to connect their scientific outputs with a single identifier in order to improve their visibility and facilitate scientific evaluation.

What are your future plans for ORCID and Redalyc?

Redalyc is working to optimize and expand the services of AutoresRedalyc, in order to offer more options to registered researchers. And, in conjunction with UNESCO, CLACSO, National University of La Plata (Argentina), University of Antioquia (Colombia), and a dozen other universities and organizations, we have recently formed an alliance called AMELI-CA Open Knowledge for Latin America and the Global South. This is a project to expand Redalyc’s technology and experience to other regions, such as Asia and Africa. This new strategy is being developed in response to the international, regional, national, and institutional contexts of academic publication, to try and find an Open Access,  public, collaborative, sustainable, and non-commercial solution for Open Access in Latin America and the Global South.

This new project in which Redalyc is involved will create a research information infrastructure for Open Science to support scientific journals, repositories, books, systems of evaluation of science and performance of researchers, and other aspects of scientific communication that are sustainable and open. The project will also help ensure that scientific communication remains in the hands of the Academy, preventing the commercial oligopolistic phenomenon that has occurred in other regions of the world.

In this context, Redalyc’s experience with ORCID will be valuable in future discussions and technological solutions for identifying researchers and works,  and could be extended beyond the 22 countries with which Redalyc already works.

What can we do to improve our support for you and your community?

Although Redalyc indexes scientific journals in Latin America, that does not mean that Redalyc only contains scientific production of authors in that region. It has articles from 150 countries whose researchers have published in more than 1,300 journals that are currently indexed. So it’s very important to increase the dissemination and promotion of the ORCID Redalyc integration, to enable a better and wider use of the services we have developed. In addition, it would be very interesting to have access to statistics we can use to monitor the use of the integration.

What’s your favorite ORCID/Redalyc success story?

The impact of the integration of AutoresRedalyc and ORCID is reflected in several journals that now include the ORCID iD and the AutoresRedalyc page in their articles. In addition, both ORCID and AutoresRedalyc are starting to be used in the evaluation systems of the performance of researchers within universities, such is the case of the university UAEM.

What three words sum up ORCID for you?

  • Interoperability
  • Communication
  • Connection

Lastly, what’s one thing everyone should know about Redalyc?

Redalyc is more than an indexing platform for journals and full-text articles. It is an infrastructure that provides technology and expertise to make Open Access to scientific publications a sustainable model, including training editorial teams and providing - free of charge - an electronic edition of journals, produced to the highest publication standards such as XML. Redalyc also seeks to prevent the implementation of the “author pays” (Gold OA)  model, based on Article Processing Charges (APCs), which is used in other regions of the world, since we believe this would be very harmful for countries with low economic resources.