There is a world-wide tendency towards an “open access philosophy” and the adoption of OAI facilities everywhere, including developing countries. We present a case study on how Brazilian academic institutions such as universities and research institutes have responded to this global movement towards OAI This paper reports the results of the first phase of a three-year, cross-sectional study into the growth of OAI systems in a developing country, Brazil. The study looked at four kinds of initiatives with the OAI-PMH protocol, namely, authors’ independent/direct self-archiving, institutional repositories, electronic journals and electronic conference proceedings. Results of the study showed that there are 24 institutions that have implemented one or more kinds of OAI in Brazil. All four types of initiatives have been implemented in the country, mostly within university environments. Compared to other countries, the initiatives identified still represents a slow response of the country, considering what has been observed in other regions world-wide. Initial observations of the OAI in Brazil point to an influence of the participation of Brazilian decision makers in the ElPub conferences over the last two or three years, in most of the initiatives identified. Likewise, IBICT’s (Brazilian Institute for Information on Science and technology) policy, has made and will continue to make a significant contribution to making the promise of open access come true in Brazil.