Gov’t Investment Turns “Portal de Periódicos” Into a Top Global Virtual Library

CAPES, the governmental agency responsible for developing research and post-graduate education in Brazil, spent R$133.2 million (US$66.6 million) on journals and e-books to fill its Portal de Periódicos (Journals Portal) in 2011 alone — impressive numbers for a country just entering the digital revolution. The platform is one of the biggest virtual libraries in the world, according to the agency, and is used by 326 educational institutions in the country.

Portal de Periódicos currently comprises 31,000 scientific journals and 150,000 e-books in various languages and subject areas. When it was created twelve years ago, it had 1,881 titles.

In 2010, Capes invested R$100 million in Portal de Periódicos. This is approximately equal to 10% of the total sum the federal government invested with book acquisitions. In that year, governmental expenditure was R$1.145 billion, most of it spent on programs providing textbooks and literature for students in public schools and libraries.

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