Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) main page.

Note for navigation with support technologies: in this page you find 3 main elements: search engine (shortcut key 1); the highlights at the main area of the page (shortcut key 2) e main menu (shortcut key 3).

Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
Home  > e-Science  > Projects  > Open Access Repositories

Open Access Repositories

The Open Access Scientific Repository of Portugal (RCAAP) is designed to be used freely by any institutions within the higher educational or scientific systems to house their repository while maintaining their own individual corporate identity and, furthermore, to bring together within one single meta data system the open access academic repositories which exist in Portugal.

Link to Open Access Repositories for Portugal - The project to set up the Open Access Scientific Repository of Portugal (RCAAP) was an initiative of Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) , made possible by the Foundation for National Scientific Computation (FCCN), with the purpose of providing one more advanced level service with regard to the Science and Education Network managed by the FCCN. The project has been financed by the Operational Programme for the Knowledge Society (POSC) and by UMIC itself.

The creation of this repository within the FCCN is particularly appropriate given that high level of connectivity is thus ensured given that FCCN manages the Science, Technology and Society Network (RCTS) and its international link to the European Research and Science Network GEANT2 and so can provide robust service conditions to make good use of the infrastructure which has been installed. This repository reinforces the coherence of other e-Science services initiated and financed by UMIC which are made available by FCCN, such as b-on - Knowledge Library Online, the central infrastructure of the e-U: Virtual Campus , the high definition Videoconferencing (text in Portuguese) service for scientific and higher educational use, the Zappiens – high definition Video Repository with digital management of authors' rights (site in Portuguese), the VoIP - Voice Communication over IP for scientific and higher educational use (text in Portuguese), and the National Point for infrastructure within the National GRID Initiative.

The advantages of dynamising and making Open Access Academic Repositories of information and academic data available have been widely recognised. The OECD underlined these in their 2007 publication OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding. The open access policy of the Welcome Trust is also worth noting, which from October 2006 onwards has required open access to the results of the R&D and projects which it has totally or partially financed, and those of the ESRC – Economic and Social Research Council, the MRC – Medical Research Council and the NERC – Natural Environment Research Council of the United Kingdom, which adopted identical policies at the same time, with the Research Councils of the United Kingdom having adopted a policy to encourage open access to the results of the R&D and projects which it has financed. A growing number of North American Universities have also opted for open access policies regarding academic and scientific content, amongst which is MIT, under the scope of MIT OpencourseWare, and Harvard University. The NIH – National Institutes of Health in the USA have also adopted an open access policy for the research project results which they finance.

Further initiatives with the scope of the European Union include:

  • The European Union Council of Ministers meeting on 23 November 2007 (text in Portuguese), in Brussels about Competitiveness dedicated to Research, under the Presidency of the Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, José Mariano Gago, and with the Science Ministers of the countries of the European Union and the European Commission, represented by the Commissioner for Research, Janez Potočnik, and by the Commissioner for the Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, unanimously approved the proposal of the Portuguese Presidency made up of conclusions concerning the “Openness of Systems to Access to Scientific and Technical Information” (Scientific Information in the Digital Age), the preparation and negotiation of which involved the Director of Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC).
  • On 17 December 2007 the ERC – European Research Council approved the ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access, which established that all publications resulting from projects which it finances would have to be deposited in open access repositories..
  • The project DRIVER II – Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research, of which the Universidade do Minho is a participating member, is taking place from December 2007 to December 2009 with the support of the 7th Research Framework Programme of the European Union. Its activities are seeking to establish a European Repositories Federation.

On 26 March 2008 the European University Association approved the Recommendations of the Working Party on Open Access (Recommendations from the EUA Working Group on Open Access adopted by the EUA Council).

In Portugal the Universidade do Minho was a pioneer in the Open Access Academic Repository movement, having set up RepositóriUM, which in 2007 was followed by: Repository of  the Universidade do Porto (site in Portuguese) , Repository of ISCTE (site in Portuguese) , Academic Repository of the Universidade de Évora (site in Portuguese) , Institutional Repository of the Universidade de Lisboa (site in Portuguese). The Open Access Scientific Repository of Portugal (RCAAP) project will enable coherent integration with the meta data of these repositories, others which may be located in other scientific or higher educational institutions and institutional repositories which use the technology platform provided by FCCN for any scientific or higher educational institution on a cost-free basis for these institutions. It should also be added that on 27 November 2006 CRUP – The Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities joined the Berlin Declaration concerning the Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

By the end of 2009, the RCAAP’s national metadata and search system already included 26 institutional repositories with a total of roughly 37,180 records, compared with 7,300 records in total in the 3 existing repositories by the end of 2007 and only 626 records at the end of 2004 in the only open-access scientific repository in existence in the country, namely that of the Universidade do Minho. In relation to late 2007, the number of institutional repositories grew eightfold in just two years and the number of repositories increased by five. Compared with the end of 2004, the number of institutional repositories increased 25 times over and the number of records 60.

Last updated ( 24/10/2011 )