Monday, 14 December 2009

Venezuela's 'Technology Mecca'

Lesson from Venezuela

An article describing the establishment and progress over a decade of the Institutional Repository of the Universidad de Los Andes (IR-ULA) in Venezuela is of interest to all organisations in the developing world (or elsewhere) planning the establishment of an IR. The article provides guidelines/recommendations based on ULA's experience.

The ULA, a 200-year old, geographically isolated university, is now considered to be a ‘Technology Mecca’ in Venezuela. Starting in 2000, the IR now holds some 19,000 records and has attracted 40,000,000 visits to its portal. See here for statistics of usage.

According to an UNDP report, ‘. . . . this small town can be considered an innovation territory where signs of technology appropriation can be detected and where ICT are statistically significant within the Latin America context’. It is clear that the early acceptance of open access has put the ULA on the world map and provided global recognition for its research activities.

Note: the ULA web site is in Spanish, the statistics pages in Spanish/English.

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