Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Survey of OA in India

Can Open Access offer science where no one is left behind?, September 1, 2006. Excerpt:

India is making noticeable progress in the field of 'Open Access', a growing global trend which could help it get out of the trap which blocks researchers from here reading what other Indians have published.  Yet, a lot more still remains to be done, say experts working in the area.

"Nearly a hundred journals have already taken the Open Access route," says Chennai (South India)-based Subbiah Arunachalam, an information scientist once called India's and the developing world's "great advocate for open access".
Open Access (OA) implies the free online availability of research-oriented scientific and scholarly journal articles. It picked up globally since around 2002.

"Journals of the Indian Academy of Science, the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), the Mumbai-based (medical publishing) MedKnow, NIC-Medlars and the Calicut Medical Journal, among others, have gone the Open Access route," Arunachalam told APC.

In early 2006, the Bangalore-based information company Informatics (India) Ltd, launched Openj-gate. This portal covers 3500+ English-language [OA] journals. Some 2000 of these are peer-reviewed.

But much [more] is needed. Says Arunachalam: "Research performed in India, funded by Indian taxpayers, is reported in a few thousand journals, both Indian and foreign. Since some of these journals are very expensive. Many Indian libraries -- including sometimes the author's own institutional library -- are not able to subscribe to them." ...[Cutting discussion of many OA successes.]

Interestingly, some major global commercial publishers had promised to offer access to countries having less than $1000 per capita incomes. But they went back on their word, on the plea that they enjoyed sizeable subscriptions in India.
So, will this solve the dilemma of having so much science, and yet so little of it -- for a world which is "developing" but where the gap is simply growing?