PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Evaluating Mexican Scientific Magazines in the Digital Age

Ivonne Lujano-Vilchis  

In May 2014, a law for Open Access was approved by the Federal Mexican Government. Mexico is now considered as one of the three Latin American countries that promotes open access to science and technology. In this context, the democratization of knowledge is promoted by the Mexican Index of Popular Science and Technology Magazines (MIPSTM) which, through the evaluation of editorial processes, certifies and funds those magazines that aim at pushing the public communication of science. By 2015, the MIPSTM has included 17 magazines published by State Councils of science and technology and public universities which receive annually more than US$ 6,000 from the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT) in order to afford the production, editing and distribution of its contents. However, the MIPSTM's evaluation model does not include the context of the Digital Age which is based on the use of technological strategies -such as interactive platforms- that promote participation of the public for the social appropriation of scientific knowledge. This study analyzes the 17 indexed magazines regarding the use of multimedia resources; level of communication with the public; interactivity degrees; and publication of current issues. The results indicate that the 17 magazines have a website. However, not all of them share their contents online, and the ones that do are limited to publish materials in PDF format. This kind of publishing practices do not take into consideration the context of Science 2.0 that seeks to promote the relationship of science-society for the collective production of knowledge. A proposal is provided which focuses on restructuring the MIPSTM's evaluation policies in order to enable magazines to make accessible their contents on Open Access and use digital communication strategies.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.