Open Access for Indian Scholarship
India’s scholarship has ancient roots and a glorious heritage. Over the last few decades in particular, due to the way the scholarly communication system overall has developed in
that time, India’s academic output has suffered from low visibility and poor dissemination. At the moment, global visibility is good for Indian articles that are published in the best ‘western’ journals and in Indian journals indexed by the major abstracting/indexing services, such as ISI’s Web of Science. Moreover, for Indian articles deposited in open access collections in India or those that are co-authored with scientists in other parts of the world who have deposited them in Open Access repositories outside the continent, visibility is maximal. This still leaves a lot of Indian output—most of it in fact— virtually invisible to the rest of the world. India’s investment—intellectual, effort and cash—can never hope to gain a good return this way. The article focuses on how open access can help resolve the problems of maximising the visibility, and thus the uptake and use, of Indian research outputs. The mechanisms to provide open access to scholarly communications, impediments to Open Access in India, and how self archiving can provide a boost to open access movement has been highlighted in this document. The author argues that it is important to emphasise that only mandatory policies work well. Policies that just encourage or even request authors to make their work open access do not result in a sizeable level of compliance.
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