The Open Access movement is a fairly new concept to the research community in Pakistan. There are currently 104 OA journals published in Pakistan which are indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and 371 journals indexed in the Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD).  Researchers from Pakistan are also found to publish their articles in International OA journals. 150+ OA articles have been published with BioMed Central- an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the Open Access publishing model – by researchers from The Aga Khan University, University of the Punjab, Dow University of Health Sciences, Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology, Pakistan Medical Research Council Research Centre, among others. Pakistani Medical Journals and Drugs Database (Pakmedinet) is a non-funded local initiative to promote Pakistani based medical research and medical journals on the internet in open access. As of July 2015, the database indexes 78 medical journals published in Pakistan.

As of July 2015, 03 OA digital repositories are registered in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR): (i) the Pakistan Research Repository of the Higher Education Commission Pakistan (HEC), which hosts PhD theses produced in the country in a wide range of academic disciplines (Physical Sciences, Biological & Medical Sciences, Social Sciences, Agriculture and veterinary Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Technology , Business Administration & Management). This is also the very first OA digital repository set up in the country to promote international visibility to the research originating from higher educational institutes in Pakistan.(ii) AHKRC Digital Library of the Institute of Rural Management (IRM), NRSP (National Rural Support Programme)- this repository provides users with access to various collections relating to Agriculture and Rural Development in Pakistan; (iii) eCommons institutional repository at Aga Khan University; and (iii). Collections of PhD theses are also accessible at the University of Karachi and University of the Punjab.

Enabling Environment

While OA has the potential to transform Pakistan into a developed country, its slow promotion at the governmental level has resulted in only very few OA advocacy efforts by volunteers and institutions. The lack of efforts to develop repository interfaces in Urdu, which is the national language of Pakistan is one such setback. Iqbal Cyber Library, launched in 2003, is the most remarkable Urdu website providing Open Access. Urdu Street is another one-stop digital portal for users for accessing literature in the fields of Biological Sciences, Mathematics, Environmental & Earth Sciences, Physics and Chemistry, among others.

Open Access Policies

01 institutional OA policy is registered in the Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP).



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