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Estudo Geral : the Open Access digital repository of the University of Coimbra

Estudo Geral is the name of the open access institutional repository of the University of Coimbra, an initiative that intends to provide access to the digital scientific contents from theirs authors (articles, conference proceedings, books, chapters, master degree and Ph.D. thesis, etc.). It was created 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) subscribed the Berlin Declaration, manifested their support to the principles of this Movement, recommended the creation of institutional archives, and the definition of institutional politics for the deposit of scientific and academic publications. 

The Scientific Open Access Repository of Portugal (RCAAP) was created in 2008, a portal aim to collect, aggregate and index Open Access scientific contents from Portuguese institutional repositories. Therefore RCAAP constitutes a single entry point for searching, discovery and recall of thousands of scientific and scholarly publications  distributed by several Portuguese repositories. 

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. More recently it was raised the vice rectory for Open Science in the University of Coimbra.

Estudo Geral purpose is to enhance the visibility, access, and 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 the former Joint Service of the Libraries of the University of Coimbra (SIBUC) with the collaboration of the Institute of  Interdisciplinary Research of the University, and the Foundation for Science and Technology. In the first stage, the archive of scientific production was performed only by SIBUC. In the second stage, as soon as the project was open, the authors could perform a self-archive of their documents. At present, it is organized by scientific communities per area of knowledge.

Taking advantage of the same platform, and with the 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 thesis of the candidates to doctoral examination, or the publications of the candidates to 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 in part, in the Estudo Geral.

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 this grant of non-exclusive authorization, the authors maintain their rights.