Trieste, Italy, 16 June 2022 – After rounds of discussions and extensive technical evaluation sessions, LA Referencia/RedCLARA, the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks, and ASREN, the Arab States Research and Education Network, have signed an agreement within the framework fostered by COAR, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories and the LIBSENSE Initiative, for ongoing information and infrastructure sharing between the two organisations.

The collaboration involves adopting the LA Referencia open-source discovery software by ASREN, which will launch a regional platform for harvesting, validation, enrichment and publication of metadata of scientific production in the Arab region, raising the visibility of Arabic content locally and internationally. ASREN will share the experience with the other African networks through the EU co-funded AfricaConnect3 project and the LIBSENSE Initiative, potentially leading to similar research discovery portals that further open access and open science in Africa. 

“This agreement offers a great opportunity to share our experiences in Latin America and work together with ASREN and the other African networks to help improve the visibility of Arabic and African content. We look forward to learning from ASREN and improving our open platform for the benefit of all its users.” said Lautaro Matas, Executive and Technical Director, LA Referencia.

Yousef Torman, Managing Director, ASREN says: “This agreement brings us closer to achieving sustainable open science in the Arab region and Africa and supports greater discoverability of Arabic content. We look forward to continuing working with LA Referencia/RedCLARA for the mutual benefit of our communities.”

In the coming months, ASREN will launch its version of the LA Referencia harvester and begin to aggregate content from repositories and other content providers in the region.


About LA Referencia

The Federated Network of Institutional Repositories of Scientific Publications, or simply LA Referencia, is the Latin American network of open access repositories. LA Referencia is integrated by government representatives of public science and technology agencies of the member countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, together with RedCLARA.

LA Referencia was born through the Cooperation Agreement, signed in Buenos Aires in 2012, which reflects the political will to offer in open access the scientific production of Latin America as a regional public good with emphasis on the results financed with public funds. Through its services, it supports national Open Access strategies in Latin America, sharing and giving visibility to the scientific production generated in institutions of higher education and scientific research.

About RedCLARA

RedCLARA is the Latin American Research and Education Network, regional leader and promotor of collaboration and development in education, science and innovation, by means of its e-infrastructure and services tailored for its community needs. RedCLARA provides regional interconnections and connections to the world through its international links and promotes the development of tools, services and research projects to empower regional scientific and educational development and the collaboration within Latin American R&E institutions and of Latin America and the rest of the world with an important focus on less developed regions.

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ASREN, the Arab States Research and Education Network, is a non-profit international organisation, registered in Germany, and operates under the umbrella of the League of Arab States. ASREN is the association of the Arab region National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), as well as their strategic partners that aim to implement, manage and extend sustainable Pan-Arab e-Infrastructures dedicated for the research and education communities and to boost scientific research and cooperation in member countries through the provision of world-class e-Infrastructures and e-services. The goal is to connect Arab institutions among themselves and to the globe through high-speed data-communications networks; boost pan-Arab collaborative research and education projects and activities; and contribute to promote scientific research, innovation and education across the Arab region.

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LIBSENSE is a continent-wide initiative to expand open science in Africa, based on strategies and solutions that work in the African context. Launched in 2017, LIBSENSE brings together major players in Africa to advance open science, bridging across countries and stakeholder communities. At the same time, LIBSENSE engages in South-South collaborations with Latin America and internationally to ensure Africa’s perspective is represented in global discussions and that good practices and standards are applied in the African context.

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