Encouraging digitization of knowledge in Peru
October 21, 2011
By Bruno Ortiz (for El Comercio / Life & Future Column, Lima, Peru)
From now on, the academic and research output by Peruvian authors has a name and web space: Amauta, meaning “Inca Scholar”, which is the first centralized Peruvian digital repository available quick and free. "In our country, there may be multiple digital repositories, but this would be the first which houses everything in one place, the work of 12 academic and research institutions that are properly organized," said the technical coordinator of this project, Libio Huaroto Pajuelo. For more information on this subject, read Sandro Medina’scomments.
With this electronic service, in which the latest research is featured, one can find theses and dissertations, research papers, monographs and other academic papers in digital format. "Each university is responsible for publishing and establishing guidelines or requirements for consultation by faculty," said Huaroto, who is Head of Information Systems in the Central Library at San Marcos University in Lima.
So far, the Amauta digital collections contain 3,700 thesis (undergraduate and graduate), and 11,200 academic and research works.
"The main purpose of Amauta, which took a year and a half in its construction and design, is to promote and preserve academic production, and it can be readily accessible to the interested public, as this site was built with free software with international standards for interoperability, "said Huaroto.
The Peruvian repository has its doors open. "Currently, there are 12 universities participating but there are over 100 universities in Peru, so, we need even greater digitization initiatives to bridge the knowledge gap," he said.
The next project will be experimenting with Amauta data storage in the cloud (cloud computing). "The Texas Digital Library in the United States has all of their academic material in the cloud. This network brings together nearly 26 universities. It is an example of which we have noted in a recent conference and we hope to implement in Amauta," he said.
In the region, there are similar digital repositories of theses and dissertations, among which are projects in Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador.
These experiences will be featured in the fifteenth International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, promoted by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), a global network in this area. The event will be held in Lima, Peru in September 2012, organized by San Marcos University and the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences (UPC).
U.S. expert John H. Hagen, of the West Virginia University Libraries, said that with open access digital repositories, not only the investigator or author of the work takes on greater visibility among members of the scientific community, but also the college or university that supports the research. "Open access to scholarly communication facilitates the rapid exchange of knowledge, technology and culture from one country to another," he said.
In 1998, WVU began requiring electronic graduate theses and dissertations. Today they are promoting the use of multimedia, video and other applications because they have gained great popularity among researchers and can express so much more beyond a text-based document.
“El Comercio” is one of Peru’s leading national newspapers, with over 5 million subscribers. http://elcomercio.pe/
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