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After 10 days of blackout, CNPq re-establishes partial access to the Lattes platform – 08/03/2021 – Science

After ten days of a blackout, the Jair Bolsonaro government re-established on Tuesday night (3) partial access to the Lattes platform. It is now available to consult the researchers’ résumés, but the functioning of the system has not yet returned to normal.

It is not possible, at this time, to update the resumes, but the option of printing and downloading is available, informed the CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), responsible for the system.

​”The work of restoration of accesses is still in progress, including new updates to the database, which will be made in the coming days, including, in the résumés, the photos and the number of citations”, says a note from the agency.

A failure in the technology area left Lattes and the Carlos Chagas platform, also from CNPq, out of the air since the 23rd of last month. The CNPq had promised to restore everything on Monday (2), but there were delays.

The Lattes database has updates made until 6 pm on July 23, according to the agency. The Carlos Chagas platform has not yet been reestablished.

According to CNPq, accesses must occur through direct access to the curriculum from the Lattes ID (typing, in the browser address field “lattes.cnpq.br/[número do ID]”) and by means of textual search by address: Buscatextual.cnpq.br/buscatextual.

The address lattes.cnpq.br is not yet available. The article was able to access some of the platform’s résumés through textual search.

The systems blackout, according to official information, was caused by the burning of a device in equipment that has the function of controlling the servers where the platforms are hosted. This would have occurred when migrating the data to a new server.

In an email obtained by the report, a CNPq official reported, on the 26th, that the council’s main server had been reached and that the equipment would be out of warranty and without a maintenance contract. This would prevent an immediate repair and would bring the need to hire an outside company, as it actually happened.

Questioned by Folha, CNPq and the Ministry of Science did not respond about the operation being without warranty and maintenance.

Lattes is a database with all researchers’ resumes, and actions such as the approval of grants depend on consulting the platform. On the other hand, Carlos Chagas is responsible for operating public calls and notices to promote research, management and payment of grants.

The deadlines for actions such as the submission of proposals, rendering of accounts and the validity of the scholarships were suspended and extended. CNPq has promised to release new dates as soon as the systems are restored, but that hasn’t happened so far.

In addition, there is still no forecast for the restoration of the Carlos Chagas platform.

With the systems down, researchers feared the loss of information. The CNPq guaranteed that data was backed up and, according to three researchers consulted by the report this evening, the main information would have been preserved.

But the unavailability of platforms caused inconvenience. Physics researcher Marcia Barbosa, a professor at UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), says that the blackout delayed, for example, filling out the Sucupira system, for postgraduate evaluation and managed by another federal agency, Capes (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Persons).

Barbosa says that the blackout also affected other processes, such as choosing tickets for graduate studies. Faculty career advancement requests may also have been compromised at universities.

But, for her, the most serious thing is the insecurity regarding the maintenance of all information held by the CNPq, especially on the Carlos Chagas platform.

“When a server goes down, we see what we can see, but behind what is publicly accessible, there is a lot of information, from requests for granting grants, the history, the rendering of accounts data. We have no idea if everything is there,” he says.

Employees of the CNPq itself point to the failure as a reflection of the budget drop that the CNPq is experiencing. This was rejected by the president of the organization, Evaldo Vilela.

Marcia Barbosa says that CNPq needs to have data security and an infrastructure that can respond quickly to failures. For her, resources are needed to ensure this security.

“There had to be backup and immediate exchange, it couldn’t take that long. If they have backup, it means they don’t have the machines to run. And that’s economy,” he says. The professor is one of the main Brazilian researchers in the field of physics and has already been named by UN Women, in 2020, as one of the seven scientists who shape the world.

In 2021, the agency has the lowest budget since at least 2012, even in nominal values. The agency’s updated allocation for the year is R$1.2 billion – between 2013 and 2015, for example, the executed budget exceeded R$2 billion.

Questioned by Folha, the CNPQ also did not respond to questions about which companies were hired to work on the restoration and how much the procedures cost.

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