With open source movement steadily catching up among the enthusiasts in Sri Lanka there are variety of initiatives and projects taken up. University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka has repository with journals being published in Applied Science, Arts, Management and Science, and Medical Sciences. Open source based applications are starting off in a small scale for use in schools and higher educational institutions. OSS based projects like Hanthanalinux, Lanka Linux User Group and Sri Lanka FOSS work for the benefit of communities to deploy technology in a cost effective way. The National Science Foundation (NSF) directory of Open Access Journals register shows 38 journals published from Sri Lanka. The National Science Foundation is one of the key organizations encouraging and supporting building repositories by hosting national and regional workshops. Out of a total of 19 OA repositories listed in NSF, some of the most notable ones are the National Science Foundation’s Digital Repository, International Water Management Institute Repository and University of Sri Jayewardenepura Open Access Repository.
As of May 2015, there are thirteen Open Access Journals published in Sri Lanka which are indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Two of these OA journals are also indexed in the Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD); namely, the Sri Lanka Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Wayamba Journal of Animal Science. Sri Lanka Journals Online (SLJOL) lists a total of 60 journals published in Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka, there is significant room for more awareness raising, capacity building, and sensitization programmes involving all stakeholders in order to create an open data environment to facilitate universal access to information, knowledge and community heritage. The National Science Foundation under the ministry of Technology and Research funds R&D initiatives through grants. There are several open access journals (on OJS platform) hosted in disciplines such as Agriculture, Medicine, Humanities and Sciences. While repositories host scientific and academic publications there is also contribution on Buddhism and cultural topics in open access repositories.
Technology diffusion, strengthening the information architecture of higher education is required to facilitate open access through networking among institutional repositories (IR), subject repositories, personal webpages and online journals. Print form publishing is still prevalent. Lack of awareness of OA benefits among research community is noticed. Attitudes of institutional management need to be changed. Training and development of technical workforce is equally important for starting digitization projects for Sinhalese and Tamil content. Lack of infrastructure is a big cause of concern, as long civil war has caused hardships to the population, environment and economy, although rehabilitation is taking place slowly. There is the need for the establishment of a national OA policy.
The economy of Sri Lanka is governed mainly by the Government, semi-governmental organizations, the private sector and various non-governmental organizations. Approximately 45 government departments and 280 statutory bodies contribute to the handling of economy in Sri Lanka while, 17311 NGOs support the economic, socio-cultural, political and educational activities in the country. No national plan is available for the support of OA (Arachchige, 2009). At present, there is no national OA policy. The Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies (ROARMAP) and MELIBEA lists zero institutional OA policies from Sri Lanka.
Past and Future OA related Activities
- The Ubiquity Partner Network: Global Support for Publishing, Sri Lankan Journals Online Workshop, Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 2, 2015.
- June 26, 2014 - AuthorAID workshop " Scientific Medical Writing Made Easy" facilitated by Dr B.J.C. Perera.
- March 25-27, 2014 - "Introduction to e-resource management workshop"; Partners: INASP, University of Colombo.
- July 23, 2013 - Workshop "Pedagogical skills training for librarians"; Partners: INASP, University of Colombo.