The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), an international association of repository initiatives, is reaching out to develop its activities in Latin America. As a first step, at the BIREDIAL conference in Bogotá, Colombia on May 9-11, 2011, representatives of COAR, the Latin American organization RedCLARA and the network of CoLaBoRa signed a Memorandum of Understanding committed to work towards the establishment of a regional branch of COAR. Within the worldwide structure of COAR, this regional approach will build upon existing Open Access activities in Latin America and encourage and support the development of new initiatives. At the same time, the new distributed network structure would recognize the national and regional legal, organizational, cul-tural, language and communication challenges.
This regional initiative will be coordinated by CoLaBoRa through its network of national contacts and in close collaboration with RedCLARA and the COAR office.
Florencio Utreras, Executive Director of RedCLARA, and Malgorzata Lisowska, Executive Director of CoLaBoRa note: “This collaboration within the framework of COAR is a great opportunity to extend our network of expertise and use this sharing of knowledge and strategies to further the developments in Latin America.” Norbert Lossau, chairperson of COAR, adds: "We are looking for-ward to close beneficial relationships and activities with our colleagues from Latin America. This will strengthen our common goal to improve global visibility of research outputs through networks of Open Access repositories."
COAR, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, is a young association of repository initia-tives launched in October 2009, uniting over 80 members and partners from 24 countries from throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia, and North America. Its mission is to enhance greater visibility and application of research outputs through global networks of Open Access digital repositories. More information about COAR and its members is available at the COAR web site.
CLARA, Cooperación Latino Americana de Redes Avanzadas (Latin American Cooperation of Ad-vanced Networks), is a non-profit organization whose legal foundation dates back to December 2004, uniting 17 Latin American countries. The CLARA vision is to serve as a Latin American col-laboration system by means of telecommunications-advanced networks for research, innovation and education. CLARA develops and operates RedCLARA, the advanced internet network that was es-tablished in Latin America for regional interconnection and linked to the European GÉANT2 network. More information is available at the web site of CLARA.
CoLaBoRa, the Comunidad Latinoamericana de Bibliotecas y Repositorios Digitales, was initiated in 2009 and addresses the need to liaise institutional repositories and regional OA repository initiatives in Latin American countries. In particular, CoLaBoRa aims to increase the visibility and presence of Latin American authors and institutions in the academic world and on the web. The network unites researchers from 30 institutions in 10 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela.