Since the beginning of ORCID, Latin America and the Caribbean has always been well represented, both by ORCID staff and by researchers and organizations in the region. Though today we have 125 Latin American and Caribbean members, we know that there is still a lot of room to increase ORCID adoption.
Part of ORCID’s mission includes helping researchers around the world claim their contributions and affiliations and connect those, via their ORCID record, with the various systems they use across borders, disciplines, and time. In fact, Increasing Global Participation is one of our four Strategic Themes we outline in From Vision to Value: ORCID’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.
Although ORCID has achieved impressive engagement among researchers and institutions in many parts of the world with 1,350 institutional members in 58 countries and more than eight million researchers with active ORCID records, the work outlined in that Strategic Theme focuses specifically on our efforts to increase ORCID adoption in places such as China, India, and many areas of the Global South, including areas of Latin America and the Caribbean, that are underrepresented in ORCID organizational membership.
We are happy to report that ORCID’s presence in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown over the past year: for the first time ever we welcomed two new Directors from Latin America to the ORCID Board, we launched our first-ever regional consortia program, and welcomed a new consortium from Mexico. Reflecting on our momentum, we can see that Latin America and the Caribbean region is a global leader in developing open research infrastructures, policies, and practices.
Creation of ORCID’s first-ever Regional Consortia program
In the eight years since the first ORCID consortium was established, we have learned that not all countries have the resources to take advantage of our current national consortium program, creating gaps of adoption. In 2023, we launched our Regional Consortia program to enable adoption of ORCID in under-represented regions where there may be insufficient capacity or too few organizations to support a national consortium.
In June, 2023 ORCID welcomed the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) as our first-ever Regional Consortium, led by Consortia in Colombia. Consortia is an organization whose main objective is to improve access to information and high-quality digital scientific tools for university libraries, students, researchers, and other contributors in Latin America. ORCID and Consortia already have a strong two-year collaboration, beginning with the administration of 60 members of the Colombian consortium. The LAC Regional Consortium currently has 69 members represented in four countries (Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, and El Salvador), and greater growth is expected in 2024.
Creation of national consortium (Mexico)
The Mexican Consortium led by eScire with 11 members has the objective of generating a community of practice and supporting the exchange of knowledge. One of the main goals of the consortium is to pool resources to help accelerate member integrations and maximize the usefulness of their membership.
Two Latin American members on the ORCID Board
This year, for the first time in 11 years, two members from Latin America were welcomed to the ORCID Board: María Soledad Bravo Marchant, Executive Secretary of the CINCEL Consortium, National Research and Development Agency in Chile, and César Augusto Rendón Valencia, General Director of Consortia SAS in Colombia.
This milestone was welcome news for the two new Board Directors, and has also been well received among their peers and colleagues in the region, reiterating the values of diversity and inclusion of our organization. If you’d like to read more about them, visit the ORCID Board page.
Building connections for future growth
The “O” in ORCID stands for “Open” which is also one of our founding values. Within this context, Latin America has been one of the precursors of Open Science, trying to make science accessible, collaborative, and transparent. Most of the research published in this region is published using open access, and these publications have mainly been in Spanish and Portuguese. In the region, for many years now, they have made strides to ensure that science is a public good. However, one of the main challenges facing this region is the lack of budget for open infrastructures, which requires international collaboration.
However, with the intensity of current research and adoption of ORCID by researchers in Latin American and the Caribbean, we believe there is potential to greatly increase institutional uptake. So in 2023, ORCID invested significant effort to exchange ideas, reflections, and meeting points with key organizations at a variety of events in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our participation in these events enabled us to share our mission, our commitment to Open Science, and increase the visibility of research in the region, which provided great momentum for our efforts.
Hatun Tinkuy (Lima, Peru)
At the end of 2022, I was invited to an international conference held in Lima in Peru, where topics included ORCID and Open Science. This seminar, co-organized by international organizations and had an audience of 200 people, was aimed at promoting the production and communication of research articles within the national and international academic and scientific community.
Peru is a country that has long been committed to ORCID adoption, since 2015 when the National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC) was the first government funding organization in Latin America to join the ORCID community. At the end of 2018, it adopted ORCID as a persistent international unique identifier for researchers at the national level. In Peru today there are eight institutional members.
PIDs Workshop in LATAM (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
The Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) Workshop was held jointly with DataCite and ROR in April 2023 within the framework of the csv,conf,v7 conference. At the event, presenters successful cases of connections and integrations from the region, and there was interest from nearly 100 attendees representing more than 40 different institutions. We are working to hold more of these types of events, since the attendees were very interested in continuing to collaborate and exchange forums. In March, I’ll be co-presenting a similar PID workshop at the Dataverse Community Meeting in Texcoco, Mexico.
The Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) (Jamaica, Caribbean)
In May, I had the opportunity to speak in this space about Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) and their interoperability to people from all over the Caribbean. Although this topic was unfamiliar to many of the attendees, there was a lot of interest in learning more about the benefits of using PIDs in research workflows. This library event has been held for more than 50 years in the Caribbean, and we plan to continue these conversations here.
Open & Linked Information Framework for Education and Research (OLinFER) (Havana, Cuba)
In June, this event was held with representatives of several countries from international entities, such as UNESCO, FAO, CGIAR, ORCID as well as international universities converging.
The event hosted tables for attendees to discuss topics like Open Science and open education policies, interoperability of information at the institutional and the external level. We were impressed by the number of initiatives taking place in Open Science and the type and volume of research being conducted. We also gave a training course and various workshops within the framework of this event.
BIREDIAL-ISTEC (Montevideo, Uruguay)
In October, I had the opportunity to present a poster and talk about PIDs at this repository event that has been held for more than 10 years in the Latin American region. In addition to the presentation, I was lucky to make connections with people and institutions committed to improving the visibility of the region’s production.
The work continues in 2024 and beyond!
In 2024 we intend to continue building on the momentum gained over the past few years by:
- Growing – Every day we are working to foster the development of communities of practice and scale adoption in underrepresented communities with the help of our consortia.
- Increasing connections – We aim to increase connection both in volume and variety. The development of ORCID integrations with systems and platforms at institutions represents the most tangible example of how to save researchers and institutions an administrative burden.
- Focusing on transparency and trust – We aim to do this by increasing persistent identifier practices and FAIR principles.
- Promoting the adoption and use of ORCID – We will continue promoting ORCID as a key component of the broader open research information infrastructure globally.
- Interacting with the Latin America and Caribbean community – We will participate through workshops, individual conversations, and collaborating with key players in the region.
At ORCID, we are prepared to develop new models of collaboration with national or regional organizations to achieve better discovery capacity and make Latin American research visible. ORCID’s Executive Director Chris Shillum recently said in a interview with Scholarly Kitchen, “We set out to be a global organization that is open to participation by all, and we hope to be able to continue that.”
Personally, collaborating with people who seek the same goal greatly motivates us to continue working for the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. The challenge is not easy, since the region, despite having many commonalities, also experiences much disparity, even in the same city.
It was incredible to share with the Latin American and Caribbean community in person, and I look forward to continuing to work together to build an open and solid research infrastructure in and for the region!