India has seen rapid and drastic growth in digitized and born digital data. Major part of the information produced may be attributed to government research establishments such as CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) laboratories, institutes of higher learning mostly universities, both central and state level universities and reputed institutes such as IITs (Indian Institute of Technology), IIMs (Indian Institute of Management). R&D organizations such as Regional Research Labs, Industrial R&D divisions also contribute to scientific data.

There is as such no mandate to dictate that publicly funded research should be reported in OA journals and repositories. However it can be said that open access acceptance is growing both in public sector information as well as in academic institutional mandates. According to Registry of Open Access Repositories in India, there are over 70 repositories.

Enabling Environment

There is a fairly large educated and urban populace that is at a certain level of awareness of technology and literature in scientific organizations, R&D institutes and universities in India.

Also the fact that English is a commonly the medium of instruction in Higher education and also serves as a common language for technical communications - written or oral, enables rapid growth of information in English.  India was deemed an agrarian economy but research is reported in all sectors such as Industrial, Fundamental Sciences and Academics, Agriculture, Management, IT among several others.

More than other factors its impressive level of technical workforce at various levels in the metros and other cities is emerging. The effect percolates to ICT deployment for scientific and academic repositories CMS platform and journals.

Potential Barriers

The main barrier to OA in India is undoubtedly the absence of a National mandate on OA publishing. The National Knowledge Commission recommendations include a statement of OA in its report but 3 years after the recommendation no formal move has been made towards OA mandates. On the contrary it is still the belief that resources such as research articles in OA are not standard and do not have the authority stamp of 'peer reviews'.

Indian scientists and researchers report in national journals of academies and institutional repositories and are not cited. Among the reason for this are lack of awareness of citations (Arunachalam & Madan, 2011), poor subscriber base and preference of the scientists to publish in foreign journals that have much higher impact factor that the Indian counterparts. Lack of funding and mandate towards publishing in institutional repositories could be one more reason.

Funding Mandate

A steady growth has been recorded in the number of research and scientific publications owing to increased allocation to research and science. Reportedly India allocated about 36.1 billion USD on R&D in 2011. There are at least two nationwide consortia in India providing access to thousands of journals for academic and technical institutes.

UGC-INFONET provides access to scholarly content to about 200 Indian Universities. UGC facilitates modernization of university campuses with state-of-the-art campus wide networks and has set up its own nationwide communication network named UGC-INFONET with INFLIBNET as its executing and coordinating agency.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has set-up the "Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Sciences and Technology (INDEST) Consortium". The Ministry provides funds required for subscription to electronic resources for (48) institutions including IISc, IITs, NITs, IIMs and a few other centrally-funded Government institutions through the consortium headquarters set-up at the IIT Delhi. Besides, (60) Government or Government-aided engineering colleges and technical departments in universities have joined the Consortium with financial support from the AICTE. However UGC-INFONET and INDEST mainly provide access subscribed and priced content in a consortium mode that helps the members through negotiated costs paid by the consortium.

Another notable effort (center funded) is Shodhganga of the INFLIBNET providing an OA platform for thesis and dissertations in Indian Universities. The UGC Notification (Minimum Standards & Procedure for Award of M.Phil/PhD Degree, Regulation, 2009) dated 1st June 2009 provides for submission of electronic version of theses and dissertations with an aim to facilitate open access to Indian theses and dissertation to the academic community world-wide. As per the Regulation, the responsibility of hosting, maintaining and making the digital repository of Indian Electronic Theses and Dissertation (Shodhganga) accessible to all institutions and universities is assigned to the INFLIBNET Centre.

List of Publications

Past and Future OA related Activities

  • IEEE International Conference on Technology for Education T4E-2012, July 18 – 20, 2012 at IIIT-Hyderabad, India
  • UNESCO Open Access Seminar, New Delhi. March, 2011.
  • The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and CSIR Conference on Open Access 2009
  • INSA Brainstorming meet on open access, FOSS and copyright law for scholarly communication and literary work, 2008
  • Workshop on Electronic Publishing and Open Access Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 2006
  • NCRA Workshop on DSpace : an open source digital library software, 2006
  • Annual Meeting of the Indian Science Congress Association held at Hyderabad in January 2006, Session on Open Access
  • IIM Kozhikode series of workshops on building Digital Repositories using GSDL and DSpace (2005 onwards)
  • MSSRF organized two three-day workshops on setting up institutional repositories using e-prints software, 2004.
  • Annual General Meeting of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), held at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune - Session on Open Access, 2003.
  • 2003-2011 -- 50+ technical workshops conducted by ARD Prasad and Devika Madalli across India and Sri Lanka (1 in Thailand). OSS for Open Access Repositories. Practical Training on use of DSpace
  • The International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL), Bangalore, India, 2001
  • Conference on Advances in Information Access and Science Communication held at M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, (MSSRF) on 16 – 17 September 2000, (a tribute to Dr. Eugene Garfield on his 75th birthday).

(Modified on October 2013)

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