New: Scholarly Publishing, Freedom of Information and Academic Self-Determination

On February 1, 2015, the global information and analytics corporation Elsevier and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) established the agreement UNAM-Elsevier contract DGAJ-DPI-39-081114- 241, which saw the transfer from UNAM to Elsevier for the “production and hosting, advertising and support” of 44 Mexican open access academic journals published by UNAM.

On Saturday 25 November 2017 we published a pre-print that documents said contract and describes a Freedom of Information Request enquiring the total cost of the contract and its corresponding response. It also shares a series of considerations that, based on this case, can be helpful to other institutions that may face similar circumstances in the future. We conclude scholarly publishing and academic self-determination are interdependent and a crucial point of future debate for the future of University presses and Open Access worldwide.

You can download the document from figshare at

Cite as:

Priego, Ernesto; McKiernan, Erin; Posada, Alejandro; Hartley, Ricardo; Rodríguez-ortega, Nuria; Fiormonte, Domenico; Gil, Alex; Logan, Corina; Alperin, Juan Pablo; Mounce, Ross; Eglen, Stephen; Trigueros, Ernesto Miranda; Lawson, Stuart; Gatto, Laurent; Ramos, Adela; Pérez, Natalia (2017): Scholarly Publishing, Freedom of Information and Academic Self-Determination: The UNAM-Elsevier Case. figshare.

I made a remote presentation on this article at OpenCon Santiago 2017, held at the Universidad Autónoma de Chile, on Saturday 25 2017. With many thanks to co-author Ricardo Hartley for making it possible.
Open Con Santiago 2017 logo

#scholarAfrica: Hello, Nairobi

A view of the Nairobi skyline CC-BY Ernesto Priego
A view of the Nairobi skyline

I am in Nairobi for the Promoting Discoverability of African Scholarship workshop organised by the OpenUCT Initiative in collaboration with the Carnegie Corporation of New York. I am very grateful to Michelle Willmers, the Carnegie Corporation and everyone at UCT for inviting me to participate.

The speaker line-up includes:

Bruce Becker (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, UbuntuNet Alliance, CHAIN-REDS, South Africa and Italy)

Michelle Willmers (OpenUCT, Cape Town)

Tezira Lore (International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi)

Firoze Manji (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Senegal)

Kaitlin Thaney (Director, Mozilla Science Lab, New York)

It is a real privilege to be here. As a Mexican and Latin American I cannot but verify the close connection we have with African cultures in general and in specific with the challenges and opportunities in terms of academic dissemination, discoverability and recognition. The kinship is both moving and inspiring, and for me a reminder of how much remains to be done to bring that relationship to the fore and learn more from each other.

Kaitlin Thaney (Director, Mozilla Science Lab, New York), who is here to present at the workshop as well,  has written a post you should read, here.
If you are interested in the kind of apporach we’ll be taking the following resources may be of interest:

Follow the discussion on #scholarAfrica