Down Mexico Way – Dr Andrew Cox’s visit to Mexico City

It is always exciting to see a former PhD student again and find out more about what they are doing now, so it was amazing to be able to visit Mexico City and say hello again to Gibrán Rivera Gonzalez who gained his PhD at the Information School in 2013. He is now a lecturer at Instituto Politécnico Nacional, one of the top universities in Mexico. The picture below is of a seminar I gave on the need for qualitative research in the age of big data and AI.

Together we also went to the Entre Pares conference, in Pueblo, organised by CONRICYT (The National Consortium of Scientific and Technological Information Resources). The conference aims to promote scholarly communication in academic communities across Mexico. This year’s event had an impressive programme of presentations on a wide variety of information science topics. There was a track on Research Data Management, reflecting the increasing interest in this topic in the country.

It was good to be able to share some UK experiences around Research Data Management and open scholarship with conference attendees during a session with Dr Miguel Adolfo Guajardo Mendoza from CONACYT (National Council for Science and Technology), and at another event with repository managers.

Gibrán and I also visited the Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas y de la Información (IIBI) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the National Autonomous University of Mexico. IIBI is one of the most important library schools in Latin America, and are doing some very impressive research activities such as publishing the journal, Investigación Bibliotecológica. Archivonomía, bibliotecología e información.

I was struck by how much interesting research is going on in the Spanish speaking world that we are often unaware of here in the UK. Actually, Investigación Bibliotecológica has a parallel version in the English language – very much recommended reading! While we were at UNAM, we also took a chance to visit their fantastic library building.

Everyone we encountered in Mexico was very friendly and welcoming. Luckily we were able to find some time to do some sightseeing! The ancient pyramids at Teotihuacan are very impressive. We also visited Xochimilco to see the amazing chinampas (floating gardens or man-made islands), originally created by the Aztecs. Xochimilco is one of the last remaining areas of lake which existed in Aztec times, most of which is now built over by the vast conurbation of Mexico City.
Dr Andrew Cox, Senior Lecturer
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