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.

As of July 2015, DOAJ indexes 576 OA journals which are published in India. 69 OA digital repositories are registered in OpenDOAR. 14 OA policies are registered in ROARMAP which are at the institutional and funder levels.

In December 2014, India’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) released a new Open Access Policy. Under the new OA policy, researchers who receive or have received funding since 2012 or use resources from these departments are mandated to deposit, within two weeks after acceptance by a journal, copies of the final papers and supporting data in institutional repositories where the information can be accessed by the public. This is a big step for the promotion of open access scholarly communications in India as DBT and DST are the nation's two top most scientific departments. The Open Access India community has welcome this Open Access policy with the hope that it will accelerate the development and adoption of a National Open Access Mandate in India.

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 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. However, the recent establishment of an OA Policy by DBT and DST in 2014, has raised much awareness among the scientific community and the Indian Government regarding the need for it to be made a national movement towards opening up the local scientific research output. 

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.

Open Science and Open Data-Related Projects

  • Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) PlatformOSDD is a CSIR-led team India Consortium with global partnership with a vision to provide affordable healthcare to the developing world by providing a global open scientific platform where scientists can collaborate & collectively endeavor to solve the complex problems associated with discovering novel therapies for neglected tropical diseases like Tuberculosis, Malaria, Leishmaniasis etc.
  • Online LabsThis virtual scientific lab aims to serve as a comprehensive, encyclopedic reference about online labs in a variety of subjects, particularly virtual laboratory simulations for science education. The directory categorizes useful listings for online lab simulations, virtual science experiments and free educational software. Online Labs currently feature resources in Chemistry, Physics and Biology to help learners identify free and commercial virtual science labs. It also offers online educational resources and information about simulations and free software in Anatomy, Geology, Astronomy, Design and Math.
  • Virtual LabsThis is a collaborative initiative of five scholarly institutes, namely, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Amrita University, Dayalbagh University, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Karnataka, and College of Engineering (COE) Pune. The Virtual Labs initiative provides remote-access to labs in various disciplines of Science and Engineering. These Labs cater to students at the undergraduate level, post graduate level as well as to research scholars and enable them to learn basic and advanced concepts through remote experimentation. It also offers additional web-resources, video-lectures, animated demonstrations and self-evaluations.

Past and Future OA related Activities

  1. Publishing (Open) Data, ISI CODATA Workshop, Bangalore, India, March 7, 2015.
  2. Preparing Data for (Open) Publication, ISI CODATA Workshop, Bangalore, India, March 7, 2015.
  3. February 28, 2015: India Open Data Summit organized by Open Knowledge India. The event comprised of talks and workshops relating to Open Data, Open Science, Open Research and Open Education. The summit was held at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
  4. Workshop on Open Access: Chennai, India, May 2014. INASP contributed to this workshop organised by the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, in conjunction with the Electronic Publishing Trust.
  5. Data Citation: A Critical Role for Publishers, SciDataCon 2014, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India, November 5, 2014.
  6. Publishing Open Research Data, SciDataCon 2014, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India, November 2, 2014.
  7. March 22- 23, 2014: "Workshop on DSpace: Open Source Software for Building Digital Repositories/ Libraries" held at Cochin University of Science and Technology.
  8. August 4-5, 2014: "National Conference on Scholarly Communication and Intellectual Property Rights (SCIPR-2014)" held at the School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada, India.
  9. IEEE International Conference on Technology for Education T4E-2012, July 18 – 20, 2012 at IIIT-Hyderabad, India
  10. UNESCO Open Access Seminar, New Delhi. March, 2011.
  11. The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and CSIR Conference on Open Access 2009
  12. INSA Brainstorming meet on open access, FOSS and copyright law for scholarly communication and literary work, 2008
  13. Workshop on Electronic Publishing and Open Access Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 2006
  14. NCRA Workshop on DSpace : an open source digital library software, 2006
  15. Annual Meeting of the Indian Science Congress Association held at Hyderabad in January 2006, Session on Open Access
  16. IIM Kozhikode series of workshops on building Digital Repositories using GSDL and DSpace (2005 onwards)
  17. MSSRF organized two three-day workshops on setting up institutional repositories using e-prints software, 2004.
  18. Annual General Meeting of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), held at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune - Session on Open Access, 2003.
  19. 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
  20. The International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL), Bangalore, India, 2001
  21. 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).




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