This paper draws on the results of recent research into digital publishing in Latin America sponsored by the European Commission's ALFA programme. It outlines the growth in publishing in the region. It aims to stimulate reflection on the impact of a system in which most of the publishing is supported by institutions rather than commercial companies, and considers authors' aspirations for their work to achieve recognition, attitudes towards peer review and other aspects of journal quality, the indexing and availability of full text journals, and the sustainability of institutionally supported publishing. Examples are drawn from publishing in the field of librarianship and information sciences on which the original research project was focused.