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Friday, January 20, 2006

OA policy recommendation for India

The session on open access at the 93rd Indian Science Congress (Hyderabad, January 3-7, 2006) produced a recommendation for the Optimal National Open Access Policy:
The Government of India [including DST, DSIR, CSIR, DBT, DoD, DAE, DRDO, ICAR, ICMR, UGC, IITs, IISc, and NITs] expects authors of research papers resulting from publicly-funded research to maximise the opportunities to make their results available for free. To this end the Government:
  • Requires electronic copies of any research paper that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and is supported in whole or in part by Government funding, to be deposited into an institutional open access repository immediately upon acceptance for publication.
  • Encourages Government Grant Holders to publish in a suitable Open Access Journal where one exists; the Government will cover the publication costs, if any.
  • Encourages Government Grant Holders to retain ownership of the copyright of published papers where possible.

The session was co-chaired by P.M. Bhargava and Subbiah Arunachalam and the speakers were Alma Swan (keynote, need for OA in developing countries), D.K. Sahu (OA increases visibility and circulation of journals), A.R.D. Prasad (how Indians can improve OA software), V. Balaji (plans for OA in the CGIAR system), S. Srinivas (plans for OA in CGIAR), Naina Pandita (OpenMed, IndMed and MedInd), B. G. Sunder Singh (What DSIR has done so far to support OA in India).

Comment. Congratulations to all involved. Is it reasonable to hope that a conference recommendation like this will be taken up through channels and adopted by the government? A February 2005 conference recommendation that the Ukraine mandate OA to publicly-funded research became a December 2005 parliamentary resolution to the same effect. Yes, it can happen.

Update. See the version of the Indian recommendation that includes an FAQ.