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Preprint service for agricultural research relaunched as agriRxiv

The AgriXiv previously on hosted with the Centre for Open Science using its Open Science Framework is now relaunched as agriRxiv – (pronounced agri-archive).

The new and enhanced platform, is now hosted and managed by CABI a not-for-profit intergovernmental organization focusing primarily on the agricultural knowledge creation, creation and dissemination on behalf of the Open Access India/AgriXiv community. With the new host, besides getting the benefit and support on technical and content management, the agriRxiv now gets greater global reach and most importantly the sustainable home, CABI.

The new website is designed with simplicity which helps the researchers and students to submit as well as accessing the preprints across agriculture and allied sciences. Preprints are the first drafts of research articles that authors share with the peer and now with the wider community for feedback before submitting their final version to a journal of their choice. Sharing preprints is not uncommon and through preprints archive search on the COS/OSF, once can search 2,273,858 deposits as of June 03, 2020.

We’re excited to help agriRxiv take its next big step in providing the global agricultural research community with a high quality and sustainable preprint service” says, Dr Andrew Robinson, Managing Director, Publishing, CABI.

He adds, “it’s part of our commitment to ‘open science’ in agriculture and complements our work with governments and research funders to develop open and FAIR data-sharing policies and practices. We also have a pilot Research Collaboration Portal, in development at the moment to help scientist’s network, collaborate and share, in real-time, their data and results about managing the devastating crop pest, Fall Armyworm”.

All of the deposited preprints are made available under a suitable creative commons license by the authors while retaining the copyright. When most funders, publishers and journals now see preprints as a complement to the existing channels for sharing research, the agricultural researchers, especially from the global south can ensure that their research gets wider reach research and can get their work recognized globally.

It is envisaged that the leading academic societies, research institutions and funders, and the editors of agricultural journals will align their policies and promote sharing of preprints. The leading three science academies viz., Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences, The National Academy of Sciences, India recommends sharing of preprints in through ‘Suggestions for a National Framework for Publication of and Access to Literature in Science and Technology in India’. The Open Access India community is also managing the IndiaRxiv for the Indian researchers.

To get involved on the advisory board, or as an affiliate – to help in screening some submissions – please get in touch with agriRxiv/CABI. For more information on agriRxiv, visit www.agrirxiv.org and or follow @agriRxiv on social media.

Edited from the original source: https://www.cabi.org/news-article/cabi-launches-new-agrirxiv-the-dedicated-agricultural-preprint-service-for-agricultural-research/

Cite this article as: Sridhar Gutam, "Preprint service for agricultural research relaunched as agriRxiv," in Open Access India, June 3, 2020, http://openaccessindia.org/preprint-service-for-agricultural-research-relaunched-as-agrirxiv/, accessed on November 27, 2021.

Preprints South Asian Survey 2020

Call all the researchers, scientists and academic faculty, librarians from South Asian countries are invited to participate in ‘Preprints: South Asian Survey 2020‘.

The aim of the survey is to know the awareness, knowledge and perception on preprints in South Asia. Please click the link here to participate in the survey which may take 10-15 minutes.

In order to reach the wider population, the respondents are requested to share the short link https://bitly.com/preprints2020  with their colleagues and friends who may be interested to respond to the survey.

For any questions, you may contact:

Cite this article as: Sridhar Gutam, "Preprints South Asian Survey 2020," in Open Access India, April 15, 2020, http://openaccessindia.org/preprints-south-asian-survey-2020/, accessed on November 27, 2021.

India’s first Preprints Service Launched

To provide a platform for the early career researchers to showcase their research outputs and to seek collaborations for improving upon the works, the Open Access India with the support of the Centre for Open Science had launched IndiaRxiv, India’s first preprints repository.

The IndiaRxiv, read as India Archive is primarily preprints repository in which the first draft versions made by the authors before submitting to the journals for publication can be shared which ensures the date stamping their work for making grant applications or for applying for any positions. This is a remarkable initiative by the community of the open access advocates in India when on the eve of the India’s 73rd Independence Day. The Niti Aayog, the policy think tank of the Government of India envisages that by 2022 when the India will be at completing its 75 years of Independence, five of the scientific research institutions in India should be amongst the top 100 in the world.

This single open platform by 2022 will be providing free (as freedom) access to all publicly-funded research outputs (publications) from India and from Indian scholars abroad. The Open Access India community believes that when research produced by the research institutes is made freely available, it will reach a wider audience having a larger impact and increase in collaborations. The community had partnered with the Centre for Open Science and had launched AgriXiv, first preprints service for agriculture and allied sciences.

In India, the academic body, the Indian National Science Academy supports the preprints platforms and has the opinion that the preprints should be evaluated on par with the peer reviewed publications in the recruitment of postdocs or faculty and also for funding grants.

IndiaRxiv is a noble initiative in maturing open access research and learning ecosystem and it will be fully indexed in the National Digital Library of India to reach every corner of the world within a single click.” – Partha Pratim Das, Joint Principal Investigator, National Digital Library of India Project and Professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Kharagpur

IndiaRxiv is managed by a steering committee comprising of Indian researchers and scientists from various institutes and universities in the country and abroad. It has an advisory board comprising of internationally renowned people who are advocates and supporters of Open Science and Open Access. The community is hopeful that the journal publishers in India and the funding agencies in India will amend their policies to allow the authors to submit preprints to IndiaRxiv which accepts all scholarly works in all the Indian languages. It has a policy to moderate all the submissions and the same will be made available on the license terms of CC-BY-NC-SA or CC-BY-Attribution 4.0 International. Starting from 15th August 2019, the preprints service will be open to all researchers and scholars of India and others who are working on issues related to India. For more information, http://indiarxiv.in/ may be visited.

Cite this article as: Sridhar Gutam, "India’s first Preprints Service Launched," in Open Access India, August 19, 2019, http://openaccessindia.org/indias-first-preprints-service-launched/, accessed on November 27, 2021.

Promote Good practices in publication and authorship by its inclusion in course curriculum – smaitiblog

Promote Good practices in publication and authorship by its inclusion in course curriculum

“Plagiarism”, “undue authorship in publications”, “data manipulations” etc are capturing more and more space in science in the recent yeas. Like a corruption it has also established its deep root in the science society worldwide. As a result, very basic essence of truth seeking through science is becoming a matter of the past. More and more people are falling prey of this disease. Recently, an eye opening paper has been published in Nature (2018) entitled “Thousands of scientists publish a paper every five days”.  (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8).  All though we often talk about “Good Practices” to be followed in our life but ironically very basic of good practices are slipping down in our all activities. And it is also fast vanishing form our science and publications.

To establish a good practices in publications, perhaps the most widely established requirements for authorship are the “Vancouver criteria”  established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in 1988. These specify that authors must do all of four things to qualify: (1) play a part in designing or conducting experiments or processing results; (2) help to write or revise the manuscript; (3) approve the published version; and (4) take responsibility for the article’s contents.

When I discussed about this with the young researchers, I am utterly shocked to know that this was not known to them because either there is no such curriculum in their formal learning process or there was any example set by their peers.

I, therefore, urge before the UGC and also all higher learning institutions to introduce a course curriculum for what is good practices in science starting from Good practices for learning; Good practices for experimental design; Good practices for laboratory maintenance; Good practices for data analysis; Good practices for publication and authorship, etc. Education system must give importance to these learnings to avoid manipulations in science.

I also urge to various scientific societies to take this matter seriously and promote and educate their members about what is right in science.

Source:

Expression of Interest for indiaRxiv Steering Committee

The Open Access India is constituting an advisory and a steering committee to establish and manage preprints repository for India, indiaRxiv with the support of Centre for Open Science. Earlier, the community had launched preprints repository for agriculture and allied sciences, AgriXiv.

Anyone who would like to get involved in establishing the regional preprints server for India may share their details in this form by close date, 28th July 2018 31st January 2019.

Why Preprints? Preprints will have the priority of publication with date stamp and will help the scholars/researchers to publicize their scholarly research outputs and get feedback on the work before it gets formally published in peer reviewed journals. They can also showcase their work in the applications for seeking grants in support of their work.

With the support of the Centre for Open Science, Arabic preprints, ArabiXiv; French preprints, FrenXiv, Indonesian preprints, INArxiv, were launched and SciELO Preprints for Latin America, Iberian Peninsula, South Africa is on the way.

Recently, the INSA’s policy Statement on dissemination and evaluation of research output in India had made emphasis on preprints and also had suggested for the establishment of a national preprints repository in India. The Delhi Declaration on Open Access mentions about commitment for Preprints.

For more details on indiaRxiv, you may contact sridhar@openaccessindia.org

Delhi Declaration on Open Access – Signatories

Released on 14th February, 2018

Delhi Declaration on Open Access

This declaration was drafted by a group comprising of researchers and professionals working for opening up access to research outputs for public good in India. The declaration is aimed at scientific communities, scholarly societies, publishers, funders, universities and research institutions to promote openness in science and research communications.

Preamble

The South Asian region, home to 24% of the world’s population faces major challenges such as hunger, poverty and inequality. These challenges become the collective responsibility of scholars and experts in research universities across the country. Consequently, it becomes imperative that  research institutes share scientific research outputs and accelerate  scientific research. The Open Access movement which aims for making all  ‘publicly funded research outcomes publicly available for the public good’ is gaining momentum.

Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness)” –Open Definition.

As per the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), ‘Open Access’ (to scholarly literature) is “free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself”.

Since the launch of the BOAI on 14th Feb. 2002, efforts are being made by various scholarly societies, academic communities and governments to make scholarly content Open. However, due to various reasons, the full potential of Open Access is not realised by the producers (scholars), publishers and readers (scholars and society at large) of this knowledge and the world is still disconnected in terms of sharing the scholarly content openly.

As per the Scimago Journal & Country Rank (SJR), India ranks 9th in the year 2016 producing about 13 lakhs articles. However, 82% of them are not Open Access and the Institutional Repositories in India are sparsely populated in spite of having Open Access mandates in place. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists only 200 out of the 20,000+ journals being published from India.

The historical BOAI is now 16 years old, but still there is a need for all of us to be educated and empowered to realize the power of Open Access to scholarly content and harness it for public good in India. With burgeoning commercial scholarly publications and increasing diversity in terms of availability of & accessibility to the information, we need to create a necessary framework for making Open Access the default by 2025 in India.

To ensure the wide availability and encourage the use of of research data and information for the purpose of addressing multifaceted  challenges, Open Access to publicly funded research and scholarly outputs are to be made available under Open Licenses (e.g. Creative Commons) while duly acknowledging  the intellectual property (work/rights of the creators/producers/authors).

Declaration

We, the contributors and signatories of this declaration, members of the Open Access India,  Open Access communities of practice in India and the attendees of the OpenCon 2018 New Delhi held on 3rd Feb., 2018 at Acharya Narendra Dev College, Kalkaji, New Delhi (University of Delhi) agree to issue this declaration:

  1. We advocate for the practice of Open Science (sharing  research methods and results openly which will avoid “reinventing the wheel”) and adoption of open technologies for the development of models for sharing science and scholarship (Open Scholarship) to accelerate the progress of research and to address the real societal challenges
  2. We will strive to publish our interim research outputs as preprints or postprints (e.g. Institutional Repositories) and encourage our peers and supervisors to do the same to make our research open and actionable in a timely manner.
  3. We will practice and encourage researchers and scientists to implement openness in peer-reviewing and other editorial services, influence the scholarly societies to flip their journals into Open Access and will contribute for the development of whitelist of Open Access journals in India adhering to the “Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing”.
  4. We will garner support of the relevant stakeholders (scholars, journal editorial teams, university libraries, research funders, authorities’ in-charge of dissemination of scholarship in higher education) for spearheading the Open Access movement.
  5. We will take forward the concept of Open Access to further bring all the publicly funded research outputs (not limited to journal literature alone) to be freely available under open licenses to the public to use, reuse and share in any media in open formats.
  6. We will impress upon policy makers to adopt an open evaluation system for research and an institutional reward system for practicing openness in science ,scientific communications and academic research across disciplines including Humanities and Social Sciences
  7. We will support and work for an alternate reward system in recognition and promotion not in terms of the ‘Impact Factor’ of the journals, but the ‘Impact’ of the articles/scholarship in science and the society and impress upon all the scientists/scholars, research funders, research institutes, universities, academies and scholarly societies to sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).
  8. We strongly agree with the Joint COAR-UNESCO Statement on Open Access ,  Jussieu Call and Dakar Declaration. And will also follow the international initiative Open Access 2020, to develop roadmaps to support sustainable Open Access scholarly communication models which are free of charge for the authors and free of charge availability to the readers.
  9. While learning from South South cooperation on Open Access,  will work for developing a framework for Open Access in India and South Asia: National Policies for Open Access and country-specific action plans will be formulated aimed at making Open Access as the default in India and South Asia, by 2025.
  10. For creating more awareness on Open Access, infrastructure, capacity building, funding and policy mechanisms, as well as incentivizing for the Open Access, we come forward to share success stories, studies and discussions during the Open Access Week.

Adopted on 14th February 2018

Signatories (along with their affiliation):

Anasua Mukherjee, BRICSLICS
Anubha Sinha, CIS India
Anup Kumar Das, Open Access India; CSSP, JNU
Arul George Scaria, NLU Delhi
Barnali Roy Choudhury, Open Access India
Bhakti R Gole, Open Access India
Girija Goyal, ReFigure.org
Javed Azmi, Jamia Hamdard
Kavya Manohar, Open Access India
Neha Sharma
Nirmala Menon, IIT Indore
Sailesh Patnaik, Access to Knowledge, CIS
Savithri Singh, Creative Commons India
Sridhar Gutam, Open Access India
Subhashish Panigrahi, Internet Society, O Foundation
Vijay Bhasker Lode, Open Access India
Virendra Kamalvanshi, Banaras Hindu University
Tanveer Hasan A K, Access to Knowledge,  Bangalore
Waseem A Malla

Achala Munigal, Hyderabad
Ahsan Ullah, Bangladesh
Akash Singh, National Law University Delhi
Ameen Ansari, MANUU, Hyderabad
Anila Sulochana, Central University of Tamil Nadu
Anoh Kouao Antoine, Ecole Supérieure Africaine des TIC, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Antonio Solís Lima,México
Anup Singh, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangthan, Behin
Aparna K Balan, Kollam, India
Atarino Helieisar, FSM Supreme Court Law Library, Federated States of Micronesia
Bidyarthi Dutta, Vidyasagar University
Binoy Mathew, INELI
Boye Komla Dogbe, Ministère De La Communication, De La Culture, Togo
Cable Green, Creative Commons, United States
Cajetan Onyeneke, Imo State University, Nigeria
Chantal Moukoko Kamole, Universitty of Douala, Cameroun
Chinna Durai
Chitralekha, University of Delhi
Chris Zielinski, University of Winchester, United Kingdom
D Puthira Prathap, Extension Education Society
Dahmane Madjid, CERIST, Algeria
Daniel Bossikponnon, Ministère du plan et du Développement, Bénin
Dare Adeleke, the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Dilip Man Sthapit, TU Central Library/LIMISEC, Nepal
Dinesh K.Gupta, Kurukshetra University
Dominique Babini, CLACSO-Latin American Council of Social Sciences, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Emmy Medard Muhumuza, Busitema University Library, Uganda
Fabian Yelsang, Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Consultancy Services, Ghana
Fayaz Loan, University of Kashmir
Giriraj Halkar, National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi
Giriraj Halkar, National Institute of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi
GJP Dixit, Central Library, Central University of Karnataka
Gorla Praveen, JNTUH-College of Engineering, Hyderabad
Gurpreet Singh Sohal, GGDSD College
H Fakrudhin Ali Ahamed, Chittoor, India
Hamady Issaga Sy, Sénégal
Harinder Pal Singh Kalra, Punjabi University
Hue Bui, Thainguyen University of Sciences, Vietnam
Irazema E. Ramírez Hernández, Benemérita Escuela Normal Veracruzana “Enrique C. Rébsamen”, Xalapa, México
Jacinto Dávila, Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela
Jaishankar K, International Journal of Cyber Criminology
Jancy Gupta, National Dairy Research Institute
JK Vijayakumar
Jonathan Tennant, Open Science MOOC, Germany
Julián Vaquerizo-Madrid, Unidad de Neurología Clínica Evolutiva, Spain
Kamal Hossain, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), Bangladesh
Kasongo Ilunga Felix, Democratic Republic of Congo
Kavita Chaddha, IIM Lucknow, Noida
Kishor Satpathy, Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata, Kolkata
Kojo Ahiakpa, Research Desk Consulting Ltd., Ghana
Krishna Chaitanya, Velaga, the Wikipedia Library
Kumaresan Chidambaranathan, New Zealand
Kunwar Singh, Banaras Hindu University
Leena Shah, DOAJ
Luis Saravia, PERU
M. Humayun Kabir Tutul, National Health Library & Documentation Centre, Bangladesh
Madurai Rangaswamy YB, Tumkur University, Tumakuru
Mahendra Sahu, Gandhi Institution of Engineering & Technology,Gunupur
Maidhili S., Meenakshi College for Women
Manika Lamba, University of Delhi
Mariela Salgado A, Chia, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Maryann Osuji, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
Mayank Trivedi, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, India
Md. Nasir Uddin, BRAC University, Bangladesh
Md. Nazim Uddin, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh
Md. Nurul Islam, International Islamic University Chittagong, Bangladesh
Md. Shahajada Masud Anowarul Haque, BRAC University, Bangladesh
Mina Ketan Parida CETMS, SOA Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar
Mir Sakhawat Hossain, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Bangladesh
Mohammed Abdul Hannan Hazari, QAMER, Hyderabad
Mourya Biswas, Prateek Media
Munusamy Natarajan, CSIR-NISCAIR
Murtoza Kh Ali, Bangladesh
Nagarjuna G, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR
Nasar Ahmed Shah, Aligarh Muslim University
Nibedita Borgohain, Jorhat
Nimesh Oza, Sardar Patel University
Niraj Chaudhary, United States
Nur Ahammad, Independent University, Bangladesh
Pablo Gentili, CLACSO-Latin American Council of Social Sciences, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Parthasarathi Mukhopadhyay, Kalyani University
Poonam Bharti
Prerna Singh, Central University of Jammu
Rabia Bashir, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Pakistan
Rafiq Islam, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Bangladesh
Rajendran Murugan, Department of Education, University of Delhi
Rajkumari Sofia Devi, Manipur University, Imphal, India
Rama Kant Shukla, Delhi Technological University
Ramadas G, Noorul Islam Center for Higher Education
Raman Nair R, Centre for Informatics Research and Development
Ramanuj Konar, Sarat Centenary College
Rangaswam, Tumakuru, India
Rebat Kumar Dhakal, KUSOED Integrity Alliance, Nepal
Revocatus Kuluchumila, AMUCTA, Tanzania
Sabuj Kumar Chaudhuri, University of Calcutta
Sandipan Banerjee
Sanket Oswal, Wikimedia India
Sargu Sudarshan Rao, Osmania University, Hyderabad
Satwinder Bangar
Shahana Jahan, Bangladesh
Shaifali Arora, PhD Student, Indore, India
Shalender Singh Chauhan, Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi, New Delhi
Shamnad Basheer, SpicyIP
Shivendra Singh
Shreyashi Ray, NLU, Delhi
Sivakrishna Sivakoti
Soumen Kayal, Maharaja Manindra chandra College
Srikanth Reddy, CBIT
Srinivasarao Muppidi, Sanketika Vidya Parishad Engineering College
Stephanie Gross, MSLIS from Pratt Institute, USA
Subash Pillai, ICAR-Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research
Sujata Tetali, MACS-Agharkar Research Institute
Sulyman Sodeeq Abdulakeem, Federal Polytechnic Offa, Nigeria
Surjodeb Lulu Hono Basu
Sushil Kumar, Chitkara University, Chandigarh
Susmita Chakraborty, University of Calcutta
Susmita Das, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Bangladesh
Thilagavathi, Thillai Natarajan, Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women
Ujjal Marjit, Kalyani, Nadia, West Bengal, India
Umesh Kumar
Umme Habiba, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh
Víctor Manuel Gutiérrez Torres, Voces de la educación, Xalapa, México
Vinita, Jain, M D College of Arts, Science and Commerce
Virginia Inés Simón, Red Iberoamericana de Expertos sobre la Convención de los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad, Argentina
Vrushali Dandawate, AISSMS College of Engineering/DOAJ
Waqar Khan, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Bangladesh
Wilbert Zvakafa, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe
Yash Paul Sharma, Central Institute of Educational Technology, NCERT, New Delhi, New Delhi
Yasser Ahmed, South Valley University, Egypt
Yohann Thomas, Wikimedia India
Zakir Hossain, International Association of School Librarianship, International Schools Region, Switzerland

The Knowledge Societies Division, UNESCO supports this Declaration.

To sign the declaration, please fill in the form: bit.ly/ddoa2018 and your name will be added to the declaration.

Contact:
Sridhar Gutam, Convenor, Open Access India
Email: sridhar@openaccessindia.org or gutam2000@gmail.com
Phone: +91-9005760036/+91-8002678768

Cite this article as: Sridhar Gutam, "Delhi Declaration on Open Access – Signatories," in Open Access India, February 14, 2018, http://openaccessindia.org/delhi-declaration-on-open-access-signatories/, accessed on November 27, 2021.

Making Indian science more open and accessible

Making Indian science more open and accessible

Manupriya

Sridhar Gutam is a senior scientist at ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru. He is also the convenor of Open access India, an organisation advocating open access, open data and open education in India.

Sridhar Gutam
Sridhar Gutam   (Photo: Vamsee Krishna )

 

Ever felt frustrated about a paywall stopping you from downloading a paper or disadvantaged because you were expected to pay a hefty amount to publish your work in a journal of repute. To curb this unnecessary expenditure and to make research more accessible, the DBT and DST launched an open access policy that mandates researchers, to submit their research papers in government repositories a maximum of six months after publication. The ICAR and CSIR too have similar expectations from their researchers. However, despite the clear directive, Indian researchers have deposited an abysmally low number of papers in these repositories.

Why has the acceptance been so low? Why are Indian researchers letting this opportunity of making Indian research open and accessible pass by? IndiaBioscience spoke to Sridhar Gutam, convener of Open Access India to find answers to these questions:

Let us begin with the benefits of adopting open access publishing.

Two clear benefits are– it cuts down the overall costs of publishing a paper and more importantly it makes research fully accessible for anyone interested in it.

I would like to emphasise here that there is a difference between available and accessible. Even if someone is able to download a research paper, it is possible that the data is available in a form that may not be truly accessible. Take for example a spreadsheet in a PDF– if you want to work further with it, you have to first type the entire thing on your computer and then begin the work or if you know computer programming, you have to write a script to scrape the data. In open access repositories, data is often available in .csv or other open formats and is much easier to work with.

I can give you another example from a study we did. We found that during 2008–2010, 1833 papers were published from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). All of these papers were available to subscribers of the Consortium for e-Resources in Agriculture (CeRA). However, public access to this e-resource is meagre. As a result the research was available but not accessible.

Why have Indian scientists been slow in embracing the open access repositories, despite a clear directive from government funding agencies?

The first reason I would say is ignorance about the usefulness of such repositories. I have often been asked, “how would I benefit from uploading my work in such a repository”? Once people start using these repositories actively they are bound to generate viewership for papers listed on them. Since access is completely free of cost, with time, more and more people will start gravitating towards it, increasing viewerships further. The number of citations and the possibility of people collaborating increases too as nobody is stopped from accessing a paper.

The other problem is with the way research is assessed in our country. Even today, the application forms that research assessment committees will have you fill have questions like– what is the impact factor of the journal you have published your work in or what is the rating of the journal? They should instead be asking how much of your work is available in open access repositories? How well has it been cited and accessed by people across the globe? It is the impact of research and not the impact factor, that should be assessed. The 2014 Dora Declaration provides guidelines on good practices in research assessment. Though DBT and Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance  are signatories on the DORA declaration, in India, we are yet to fully embrace its guidelines.

Scholarly societies too fall into the trap of impact factors and viewerships generated by big publishing houses. For example, few of the societies hosted in ICAR (I don’t want to name them) signed up to be hosted by Springer. Most likely, this tie-up was fuelled by a desire for higher viewership. The question is why didn’t they choose to be available on ICAR e-publication platform instead? That would have assured high viewership too. Publishing in a high Impact factor journal or with a well known publisher is not the only way of ensuring viewership for your work.

It is in such cases that we are trying to make a difference through our advocacy work. Our attempt is to make researchers and scholarly societies aware about open access policies that can lead to wider dissemination and greater impact of the published work.

There’s also the issue of copyrights. After publication, a research paper’s copyright is transferred from the authors to the publishers. Would it be legal to put such papers in open access repositories?

The simple and legally viable solution to this problem is the ‘author’s addendum’. While submitting their research papers authors can choose to include this addendum which allows them to retain rights to submit their work in open access repositories. Most journals now recognise and accept this addendum.

The other option is to archive the pre-prints– the first draft of the manuscript which a researcher submits to a journal. Again, most journals are open to accepting work that has been archived in a pre-print server. Pre-prints can be submitted to open access repositories. To this end, we (Open Access India) have started AgriXiv– a pre-print archive for agriculture research. It is hosted by Centre for Open Science using the Open Science Framework. However, even for AgriXiv the acceptance has been very low.

I also would like to add that nowadays several questionable publishers are marketing themselves as open access publishers. They usually charge a good amount of processing fee and are willing to publish whatever you submit without peer review. In such a scenario, two resources that can aid researchers in making an informed decision about whether a journal is authentic or not are– Think Check Submit and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

What other activities is Open Access India involved in?

Open Access India started as an online advocacy group on Facebook in 2011. We have grown quite a bit since then in scale and reach. Our members include scientists, students and even librarians. Apart from online advocacy we now conduct webinars, workshops and meetings to make researchers aware of the usefulness of open access. We also run a student ambassador programme, wherein we select students, young researchers and librarians from across India, train them about open access and then help them disseminate the knowledge further.

We work in close collaboration with Open Access Nepal, Open Access Bangladesh and Open Access Pakistan. In fact, we are now hoping to start an open access forum for all SAARC countries to help scientists (especially, early career researchers) in the sub-continent share their work openly and legally.

Apart from the sub-continent, how is the acceptance for open access in the rest of the world?

There’s a definite shift happening towards open access publishing. The OA2020 Initiative, which has been accepted by more than 560 institutions worldwide, is working towards a global transition from current publishing models to an open access system. The Open Access India has also signed up for the initiative. Publishers too have begun tweaking their system to fit in the changing environment. Sherpa Romeo – an online resource that analyses publisher copyright policies– says  80% publishers on its list now allow archiving work in some or the other format. Many communities are coming forward to discuss, practice, and share success stories of the Open Access movements happening around the world.

Thesis Commons launched

The Center for Open Science (COS)  launched ‘Thesis Commons‘, a free, cloud-based platform for the submission, dissemination, and discovery of graduate and undergraduate theses and dissertations. It is built on an open-source infrastructure called the Open Science Framework (OSF) by which the authors can share their electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) easily and quickly.

The COS also launched various co-branded preprints repositories of them is ‘AgriXiv‘, a preprints repository for agriculture and allied sciences which is administered by the Open Access India community.

Thesis Commons has a steering committee of experts and advocates for open scholarship representing institution, library, and researcher stakeholder communities and is backed by COS’s preservation fund, which ensures that all data stored on its services would be preserved and accessible for 50+ years in the event of COS curtailing or closing its services.

For more information on Thesis Commons, please contact Matt Spitzer at matt.spitzer@cos.io

India Celebrates Open Access Week

oaw-commit-indiaThe Open Access India community while committing itself for putting Open in Action is celebrating this year’s Open Access Week by organizing series of Webinars on various topics related to Open Access during 24-30, October 2016 daily in the afternoon at 1:00 – 1:30 PM (IST) using Google Hangouts and YouTube Live. For the updates at Google+.

The detailed schedule is as follows:

Date

Day

Topic

Speaker

24 Oct Mon Open Access (Basics) Devika Madalii
25 Oct Tue Open Access and DOAJ Vrushali Dandawate
26 Oct Wed Open Access@CSIR-NISCAIR G. Mahesh
27 Oct Thu Want to make your research OA so where do you publish? – Make DOAJ your starting point for finding quality peer-reviewed OA journals Leena Shah
28 Oct Fri  TBA  TBA
29 Oct Sat  TBA  TBA
30 Oct Sun Open Access India Sridhar Gutam

Please sign-up here for the webinars. You may access the slides after the presentation at SlideShare and watch recorded live at YouTube.

Call for Members: Open Access India Working Group

oai-wgThe Open Access India is looking for new members to join its Working Group to plan and work for ‘Open Access the Default by 2020‘ in India. The Open Access India community of practice is formed to advocate Open Access, Open Data and Open Education among the students, researchers, teachers, professors, scientists and policy makers.

Therefore, the working group members are expected to actively participate in the group communications and discussions about Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. The members would engage with the research and academic community by conducting talks or seminars at their respective work/study places. They would also support and guide the Open Access India Ambassadors and write blog posts on the issues related to Open Access, Open Data and Open Education in India and the World. The working group would participate in weekly/monthly calls and share/discuss the work plan.The Open Access India is a voluntary community of practice and the participation in the working group or for that matter any role is voluntary. Any member of a working group may step down at any time. Upon constitution of the new working group, the members may elect/select the working group chair and co-chairs.

To submit an expression of interest, please fill-out the form here by mentioning a short motivation paragraph outlining work, experience and interest on Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. The current working group members may also express the interest. The deadline for submissions is 10th October, 2016. A week before the Open Access Week 2016, the new working group would be in place.

Please note that participation in the Open Access India is voluntary. Feel free to get in touch with sridhar[at]openaccessindia[dot]org if you have any questions. For the current working group constitution, please visit About Us on Open Access India website.

Adopted from Call for Members: FOC Working Group “An Internet Free and Secure” (February 2016). Accessed on 20 September 2016.

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