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Launched: 2012
Record Updated: Apr 19, 2024
Discovery system

The Federated Network of Institutional Repositories of Scientific Publications, or simply LA Referencia, is a Latin American network of open access repositories. Through its services, it supports national Open Access strategies in Latin America through a platform with interoperability standards, sharing and giving visibility to the scientific production generated in institutions of higher education and scientific research.

From the national nodes, scientific articles, doctoral and master's theses are integrated, coming from more than a hundred universities and research institutions from the ten countries that now form LA Referencia. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.

This experience is based on technical and organizational agreements between public science and technology agencies (Ministries and Oncyts ) of the member countries, 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.


LA Referencia gives visibility to the scientific production of higher education and research institutions in Latin America, promotes open and free access to the full text, with special emphasis on publicly financed results.

Key Achievements

Some of the achievements at a technical and institutional level are:
  • We are a federated network with 11 member countries and presence in international discussions linked to open science.
  • A consolidation of a regional aggregator portal with metadata validation and enrichment in accordance with OpenAIRE guidelines (aligned with Europe).
  • OAI-PMH interoperability service added by OpenAIRE, BASE and other regional aggregators, making Latin American production visible in Europe.
  • More than 5 million metadata records on regional scientific production
  • Regional usage statistics service compatible with OpenAIRE, in collaboration with FECYT/RECOLECTA from Spain.
  • Open software platform published on Github installed in LA Referencia´s country nodes, Portugal (RCAAP/FCT-FCCN) and Africa
  • Regional collaboration and participation in international projects (SCOSS, COAR Notify, OpenAIRE)
  • Technical Attributes

    Open Code Repository


    Maintenance Status

    Actively maintained

    Technical Documentation

    In Progress

    Content Licensing

    Different Creative Commons Licences and custom intitutional licences

    Standards Employed

  • Directrices Driver 2.0
  • OpenAIRE Guidelines for Literature Repository Managers 3
  • Dublin Core
  • Hosting Options & Service Providers

    Hosting Strategy

    Not applicable

    What other tools and projects does your project interact with?

    OpenAIRE, COAR Notify, Redalyc, SciELO, ROR, CORE, BASE, CVLattes, DSpace, Vivo

    Community Engagement

    Code of Conduct

    In Progress

    Code License


    Additional Information

    Organizational History

    LA Referencia originated as a project coordinated by the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks (RedCLARA) and funded by the Public Goods Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) from 2010 to 2013. It involved the collaboration of scientific and technological institutions alongside a portion of the Network Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in the region.

    Initially, its focus was on establishing agreements and policies related to federated access, standardized policies, interoperability standards, and a technology pilot.

    In this context, LA Referencia emerged from the Cooperation Agreement signed in Buenos Aires in 2012. This agreement reflected the political determination to provide the scientific output of Latin America openly, emphasizing the regional public benefit of works financed with public funds.

    Following the conclusion of the IDB project in 2013, the network transitioned into a permanent initiative sustained by the national authorities in Science and Technology across the region, with the backing of RedCLARA. The primary goal remains the establishment of an open access strategy for scientific publications based on national policies and the development of services intended for the public good


    Organizational Structure

    Business or Ownership Model

    Non-profit organization

    Full-time Staff



    Primary Funding Source


    Funding Needs

    LA Referencia’s operations have been financed exclusively with the annual contributions of the member countries, with occasional grant funding for innovation or the development of new functionalities. This budget supports the development and ongoing maintenance of the aggregation software in the central node and the country nodes. But if we think in the expansion of services, technological updating and consolidate a platform for the implementation of Open Science public policies, LA Referencia requires an additional funding source, otherwise may be in the risk of falling behind the current challenges.