Maurita van der Graaf and Rob Johnson recently launched an interactive dashboard for visualizing the global prevalence of Open Access (OA) journals. While Europe remains dominant in the list of OA journals per region, regions in the Global South hold the second, third, and fourth spots. (North America, combining the US and Canada, came in fifth). Unsurprisingly, Latin America, with its long history in OA, occupies the second spot.

Latin America has been a leader in innovative, publicly funded Open Access initiatives since the 1990s. Most of the region’s journal publishers are academic institutions, which have embraced the opportunity to disseminate their research through online OA publication — typically Diamond OA that requires no author payments. Government policies reinforce the dominance of OA with various initiatives for national and institutional repositories.

Several regional initiatives have developed over the years that maintain rigorous quality standards and provide platforms for hosting OA journals. Among the most high-profile of these is SciELO, the Scientific Electronic Library Online. Originally established in 1997 in Brazil by the Foundation for the Support of Research of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP), SciELO is a network of fourteen national online journal collections hosting almost 1,800 journal titles from across the region, as well as South Africa, Portugal, and Spain.

While the SciELO network has provided a stable and durable platform for online OA publication, visibility of these titles outside the region remains a challenge — a challenge that SciELO has been working to overcome. To that end, the SciELO-México collection has recently embarked on a collaborative project with UCLA's Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI) to promote increased access to its titles. Since the mid-1970s, HAPI has provided indexing of social science and humanities journals that study Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinx populations in the United States. Many SciELO-México titles are already indexed by HAPI, along with hundreds of other journals from the region and beyond — many available as OA titles. This collaboration aims to supplement HAPI’s indexed content with additional SciELO-México records, increasing the exposure of the Mexican collection to HAPI's users in the United States and around the world. The project is set to launch in early 2021.

The Hispanic American Periodicals Index is now available via EBSCOhost® and EBSCO Discovery Service™.