REVENCYT and BDTV: Venezuelan initiatives on digital libraries
Since 2002 in Venezuela, creation of digital libraries has been discussed and promoted in order to diffuse the historical, cultural, audiovisual, and scientific-academic heritage. Projects such as “El Zulia en el Tiempo” and “Luces de Bolívar” treat cultural and historical matters, “Artistas Populares del Estado Sucre” works on audiovisual legacy, and for the scientific-academic areas, the index “SciELO-Venezuela”, both, the index and the digital library of “Revistas Venezolanas de Ciencia y Tecnología (REVENCYT)”, and the Digital Library of Venezuelan Theses (BDTV). This article will focus in the last two mentioned projects of the scientific_academic area, in one hand, for being the first to be completed with the participation of research and academic institutions, and in the other hand, for offering the greater amount of contents. REVENCYT has approximately of 8.776 full text articles and the BDTV has approximately 22.240 thesis and undergraduate and graduate projects from eight (8) national universities.
The presence of Digital Libraries in the world is increasing. This is evidenced by the great quantity of projects that go forward with the supports of governments, communities, foundations and universities. Our country is part of this reality, the government and the national universities support, promote and develop projects orientated to the consolidation of Digital Libraries. Since 2002 in Venezuela, creation of digital libraries has been discussed and promoted in order to diffuse the historical, cultural, audiovisual, and scientific-academic heritage. Projects such as “El Zulia en el Tiempo”i and “Luces de Bolívar”ii treat cultural and historical matters, “Artistas Populares del Estado Sucre”iii works on audiovisual legacy, and the scientific-academic areas are represented by the index “SciELO-Venezuela”iv, the index and the digital library of “Revistas Venezolanas de Ciencia y Tecnología (REVENCYT)”v, and the Digital Library of Venezuelan Theses (BDTV). This article will focus in the last two mentioned projects of the scientific-academic area, in one hand, for being the first to be completed with the participation of research and academic institutions, and in the other hand, for offering the greater amount of contents. REVENCYT has an approximate of 8.776 full text articles and the BDTV has approximately 22.240 thesis and undergraduate and graduate projects from eight (8) national universities.
REVENCYT is a citation index as well as a Digital Library that guarantees search services, publication, diffusion, preservation and evaluation of the Venezuelan scientific-academic journal under national and international standards. As the only Venezuelan national index, Revencyt looks for increasing and improving the national scientific and academic publications.1 With this objective, it is framed within the open access initiative (OAI), promoting at level of publishers and authors the free and open access to all journal produced with governmental funds. This objective was obtained with the accomplishment of several activities such as
- •Diffusion of the Open Access Initiative (OAI) to journals publishers and governmental agencies.
- •Workshops about intellectual property and copyright to journals publishers.
- •Meetings and permanent advising to journals publishers.
- •Modifications of the procedure of enter the Index, allowing the publication of any scientific magazine, as long as it allows access to plaintext articles without economic restrictions.
- •Change of the technological platform, considering plaintext publication and the interchange of metadata using standard OAI-PMH.
REVENCYT: Philosophy of work
REVENCYT have three types of journals, investigation, scientific and technical diffusion, and technical-professional. El ingreso y permanencia están sujetos a una política de admisión y evaluación.
REVENCYT allows the entry of all Venezuelan journals that complete a request. The entry of the journal is done through a format that publishers send by email or regular mail together with the copies of the last two published numbers. Electronics journals requests must indicate the URL of the journal.http://revencyt.ula./informa/requisites.html
Evaluation of the editorial quality
All new entry journal, as well as those already indexed, are submitted to a process of constant evaluation with the purpose of contributing to improving its editorial quality. In that manner, REVENCYT advises editors on the aspects that they must improve or take in consideration in their next issues.
The national and international scientific communities have established certain parameters and criteria for identifying and classifying editorial quality, depending on their level of observance and compliance with them. Following a similar policy, REVENCYT establishes selection criteria, measurement of normalization, and journals presentation. It does not focus on the content of each article, taking into account that this must be evaluated by the Commission of Referees of the journal, whom are specialists in the area and are the adequate people to describe and to decide if an article fulfills the requirements to be published.
Parameters of editorial quality
REVENCYT contemplates a total of 33 evaluation criteria. Depending on the result obtained by a journal in its evaluation, it can qualify as certified or not certified. The 33 criteria used by REVENCYT to evaluate editorial quality are grouped into seven aspects:
- 1.Normalization: presentation and proper identification of both, the journal and its articles are evaluated.
- 2.Duration: evaluates discontinuity or interruption of the publication in the last two years.
- 4.Distribution: evaluates different means used by the journal to distribute their copies.
- 5.Collaboration: evaluates publication of articles from foreign authors.
- 6.Content: publication of original articles.
- 7.Editorial committee and council of arbitrators: its existence is evaluated.
The application of the evaluation criteria to journals in REVENCYT, allows its classification in four categories: Very Good, Good, Regular, and Deficient. Only the journals in the two first categories obtain the REVENCYT Certification.
Admission promise (Commitment of renewal)
As soon as the journal is admitted into REVENCYT, the editor is committed to:
- 1.Send periodically print and electronic format of the last published issue.
- 2.Keep updated the journal data.
- 3.Authorize the publication of articles in full text.
The analysis is done from the year 2003 which is the date on which REVENCYT began to publish full text articles. The results are shown in the following table:1
Table 1. REVENCYT Facts
|Full Text Articles||0||552||2105||4443||5498||8776|
Until the year 2002 REVENCYT only offered referential information in CD-ROM. Full text publication began in 2003. Results show a constant growth of the full text publication and the elimination of the abstracts reception in 2007. In addition, a growth in the requests to enter to the index is observed. Adjustments toward higher requirements to journals certification in 2007 resulted in a drop in this item.
REVENCYT is not only in charge of the evaluation, certification and dissemination of these publications, but it is also constantly promoting and raising awareness on open access initiatives. Consequently, REVENCYT is actually the only recognized national index by Venezuelan researchers and publishers, alongside government agencies and university programs such as the Researcher Encouragement Program (PEI) and the Researcher Promotion Program (PPI).
It was pointed out that editorial quality evaluation results done to any publication by REVENCYT are used in their certification and classification in one of the four repository's established categories, however, they are also used to show to editors which features and elements of the publication are needing improvement. Journals that comply with standards are included in the Accredited Publications Registry from the National Fund for Science, Technology and Research (FONACIT) and other worldwide indexes, databases, registries and electronic libraries, such as SciELO.
The initiative for the creation of The Digital Library of Electronic Thesis of Venezuela begins in 2002 with the participation of 12 universities. These universities reached an agreement that allowed the consolidation of the model of such digital library, which contemplates: free full text viewing, training of human resources, examination and further consulting on the technology platform, use of standards to guarantee the interoperability of the digital library, revision and adaptation of free software for the project's implementation and revision of the laws of Intellectual Property and copyright. Last but not least, the revision of the institutional standard for the delivery of theses and degree projects. It was considered important to include the publication of degree projects; however, users are warned on the characteristics of this production, and allowed to have it for specific needs.
General Data of the BDTV Project
Thesis Project Results
A free, fully functional platform for the electronic publication of thesis is offered to the institutions that request its installation. This platform was developed by IBICT of Brazilvi, and adapted, improved and translated to Spanish by the University of Los Andes, Venezuelavii. Currently, 11 institutions are executing ETDs projects with a total content of 22,240 full text theses. Three of these institutions are metadata providers.
The following table illustrates the total amount of thesis published from 2003 to 2007 by most of the 11 Universities that are participating in the venezuelan ETDs initiative.2
Table 2. Number of ETDs by Institutions
|Universidad de Los Andes(ULA)||362|
|Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV)||13|
|La Universidad del Zulia||148|
|Universidad de Carabobo(UC)||7.311|
|Universidad de Oriente(UDO)||79|
|Universidad Centro Occidental Lisandro Alvarado(UCLA)||1125|
|Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB)||--|
|Universidad Nacional Abierta(UNA)||619|
|Universidad Nacional Experimental del Táchira (UNET)||123|
|Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC)||787|
|Universidad Rafael Belloso Chapín||11.673|
REVENCYT is an initiative that compiles most of the scientific and technological journals of Venezuela. Additionally, it guarantees national and international visibility of the journals and its preservation for future generations.
The BDTV initiative is an ongoing project with satisfactory results as part of a work of national joint investigation of 11 universities. Participation of professionals from several disciplines along with an updating process on training and development of capabilities of human resources guarantee the viability of the project. This is supported by the high number of electronic theses and dissertations available to the general public.