The Ibero-American Observatory of Communication (OIC) is the result of efforts done since late 90's by the Laboratory for Communication Research and Forecasting (LAPREC) at the UAB and the Network for Compared Communication Policies. In 2003 the two institutions merged and created the OIC, an academic research center with an Ibero – American vocation, which promotes cooperative work in the fields of communication, culture and human development. That same year, the Observatory created the LOCALCOM Research Group, composed of different Spanish Universities (Alicante, Malaga, Santiago de Compostela, the Basque Country and Europea de Madrid, under the coordination of the Autonoma of Barcelona). The aim was to develop a new research about the introduction of information technology and changes in communication in the Spanish regions, under the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.
Subsequently, as the result of a first meeting of professors and researchers held in Buenos Aires in July 2008, the OIC decided to create the Ibero – American Network of Communication Studies (Red Iberoamericana de Estudios de Comunicación – RIEC) in order to establish a stable research platform, to encourage mobility for teachers and researchers, to facilitate information exchange on academic topics of mutual interest, to promote the publication of academic manuals (under the frame of the Ibero-American Collection) and the dissemination of specialized journals. Since 2009, this network publishes an academic journal, named “Conexiones. Revista Iberoamericana de Comunciación”.
.In 2009 the Observatory signed a collaboration agreement with the news agency Inter Press Service (IPS) and the Spanish Agency for International Development (AECI). The aim was to carry out empirical analysis to study and evaluate the behavior of media in supranational contexts open to new questions. As a result of this agreement the Research Group on Information was created and the book ‘La prensa y la cooperación’ was published by Comunicación Social (Sevilla-Zamora, 2010).
In 2011, the OIC promotes, together with fifteen universities, the creation of the Euro – Latin American Network for the Modernization of Higher Education Institutions (Red Euro-latinamericana de Modernización de las instituciones de educación superior – REMI). This network aims to develop new educational strategies for university education in communication in Latin America and in Europe, based on processes of developing teaching and learning skills for integration and social inclusion.