Estudo Geral is the name of the Digital Repository for the Scientific Production of the University of Coimbra, an initiative that intends to provide access to the digital scientific contents from authors of the University of Coimbra (master degree and Ph.D. thesis, scientific articles, etc.). Its creation falls within the movement Open Access to the scientific literature, which originated several Declarations and Recommendations, from which stand the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Scientific Knowledge.
The Board of Rectors of the Portuguese Universities (CRUP), that subscribed the Berlin Declaration, issued, in November 2006, a Declaration manifesting its support to the principles of the movement, and recommending the creation of Institutional Archives, and the definition of institutional politics for the deposit of scientific and academic publications. CRUP also suggested the creation of a single access portal for the national scientific literature, that was created in 2008 - The Scientific Open Access Repository of Portugal (RCAAP), sponsored by UMIC and operated by FCCN. The University of Coimbra takes part in these initiatives. The subscription of its principles was made by the Rectory at the beginning of 2007. The University of Coimbra, similarly to other large national and international universities, is very interested in increasing its presence in the worldwide network, for it is increasingly an issue of knowledge and culture.
ESTUDO GERAL purpose is to enhance the visibility, the access and the dissemination of the results of the scientific research and, more widely, of the academic activity of the University of Coimbra. It does so by making available not only the post-graduation works as well as the remaining scientific production of the academic community, providing, when possible, the full text.
This project was developed by SIBUC (Joint Service of the Libraries of the University of Coimbra) – in compliance with the directive to integrate all the digital resources of the University, stated in the Report “Reorganização e Reestruturação das Bibliotecas da Universidade de Coimbra" [Reorganisation and Restructuring of the Libraries of the University of Coimbra] and it has the cooperation of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute from the University, and the Foundation for Science and Technology. In a first stage, the archive of the scientific production was performed only by SIBUC. In a second stage, as soon as the project was open, the authors could perform a self-archive of their documents. In present, it is organized by scientific communities per area of knowledge.
Taking advantage of the same computer platform, and with the double purpose of favoring the access and promoting the dematerialization of documents, the Academic Department of the University of Coimbra (Students Division) and SIBUC have established a partnership to make the scientific production of the candidates to the doctoral examination, aggregation examination and similar examinations available online. Thereby, the jury (and the candidate) have remote access, through the use of a password, to the digital documents. After the examinations, the digital documents will become available, based on the author’s authorization, in full or partially, in the Estudo Geral.
All issues concerning copyright have been safeguarded. The authors from the University of Coimbra are encouraged to grant authorization – not exclusive – of displaying digital documents in Estudo Geral. With the grant of this non-exclusive authorization, the authors maintain their copyrights.