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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.

The Twelfth International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2017,Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

 

 

Call for Proposals

 

The Twelfth International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2017, will be held on June 26th-30th, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. The organisers are pleased to issue this call for contributions to the program, with submissions due by 20 November 2016.

In 2017 the Open Repositories conference returns to Australia, where the Open Repositories journey started in Sydney 2006. Repositories have come a long way in the intervening years, having emerged as critical systems for managing, preserving and sharing intellectual, artistic and scientific output. As such, repositories have found a firm placing within scholarly processes and are becoming an integral vehicle to moving towards true Open Science. The OR community has established itself as an important contributor in this space, something we would like to emphasise in Brisbane by promoting the community’s ability to always stay at the forefront of development of both infrastructure and good practice.

For OR2017 the theme is Open : Innovation | Knowledge | Repositories, aiming to reflect how the Open Repository community continues to be at the forefront of developments, sharing knowledge, and working as an enabler of scholarship and open science. OR2017 will provide an opportunity to:

  • showcase innovative repository services as well as innovations in functionality and user experience of repository software;
  • introduce innovative uses of repositories, for example to accommodate new types of content, serve new groups of users, or achieve new goals;
  • analyse drivers for repository innovation, including evolving technologies, changes in scholarly communication processes, as well as policies around open access to research outputs at institutional, national and international levels; and
  • explore and highlight innovation in the wider ecosystem around repositories.

We welcome proposals on these ideas, but also on other theoretical, practical, technical, organisational or administrative topics related to repositories. Submissions that demonstrate original and repository-related work outside of these themes will be considered, but preference will be given to submissions which address them. We are particularly interested in the following Themes (Please check the wesbite for detailed description on themes).

KEY DATES

Readers of this call for proposals who are familiar with the OR conference series will notice that it is issued somewhat earlier than in previous years. This is done to benefit international participants, aiming to provide earlier feedback on submissions in order to leave enough time in advance of the conference to make travel arrangements for a journey to Australia.

  • By 30 September 2016: Submission system opens
  • 20 November 2016: Deadline for submissions
  • 14 December 2016: Deadline for Scholarship Programme applications
  • 03 February 2017: Submitters notified of acceptance (except Interest Groups)
  • 03 February 2017: Registration opens
  • 10 February 2017: Submitters notified of acceptance to Interest Groups
  • 10 February 2017: Scholarship Programme winners notified
  • 21 April 2017: All presenters are encouraged to register by the close of Early Bird, 21 April 2017
  • 26-30 June 2017: OR2017 conference

SUBMISSION PROCESS

Accepted proposals in all categories will be made available through the conference’s web site, and later they and associated materials will be made available in an open repository. Some conference sessions may be live streamed or recorded, then made publicly available.

PRESENTATIONS AND PANELS – GENERAL TRACK

We expect that proposals for full presentations or panels will be two to four pages (see below for Proposal Templates). Successful submissions to the general track in past years have typically described work relevant to a wide audience and applicable beyond a single software system. Panels in the general track are expected to include at least some degree of diversity in viewpoints and personal background of the panelists. In general, sessions in this track will have three full presentations; panels may take an entire session or may be combined with a presentation.

Relevant proposals unsuccessful in the general track may be considered for inclusion, as appropriate, as an Interest Group presentation, developer track presentation, poster or 24×7 presentation.

PRESENTATIONS AND PANELS – INTEREST GROUPS

The opportunity to engage with and learn more about the work of relevant communities of interest is a key element of Open Repositories. One to two page proposals are invited for presentations or panels that focus on the work of such communities, traditionally DSpace, EPrints, and Fedora, describing novel experiences or developments in the construction and use of repositories involving issues specific to these technical platforms. Further information about applications for additional Interest Groups and guidance on submissions will be forthcoming.

24×7 PRESENTATIONS

24×7 presentations are 7-minute presentations comprising no more than 24 slides. Proposals for 24×7 presentations should be one to two pages (see below for Proposal Templates). Similar to Pecha Kuchas or Lightning Talks, these 24×7 presentations will be grouped into blocks based on conference themes, with each block followed by a moderated discussion / question and answer session involving the audience and whole block of presenters. This format will provide conference goers with a fast-paced survey of like work across many institutions, and presenters the chance to disseminate their work in more depth and context than a traditional poster.

POSTERS

We invite one-page proposals for posters that showcase current work (see below for Proposal Templates). OR2017 will feature digital rather than physical posters. Posters will be on display throughout the conference. Instructions for preparing the digital posters will be distributed to authors of accepted poster proposals prior to the conference. More information regarding digital posters can be found here.

DEVELOPER TRACK: TOP TIPS, CUNNING CODE AND IMAGINATIVE INNOVATION

Each year a significant proportion of the delegates at Open Repositories are software developers who work on repository software or related services. OR2017 will feature a Developer Track that will provide a focus for showcasing work and exchanging ideas.

Building on the success of the Developer Track at OR2015 and OR2016, where we encouraged live hacking and audience participation, we invite members of the technical community to share the features, systems, tools and best practices that are important to you. Presentations can be as informal as you like, but once again we encourage live demonstrations, tours of code repositories, examples of cool features and the unique viewpoints that so many members of our community possess. Submissions should take the form of a title and a brief outline of what will be shared with the community.

Developers are also encouraged to contribute to the other tracks.

IDEAS CHALLENGE

OR2017 will also again include the popular Ideas Challenge. Taking part in this competition provides an opportunity to take an active role in repository innovation, in collaboration with your peers and in pursuit of prizes. The Ideas Challenge is open to all conference attendees – developers, non-developers, and everyone in between. Further details and guidance on the Ideas Challenge will be forthcoming.

WORKSHOPS AND TUTORIALS

One to two-page proposals for workshops and tutorials addressing theoretical or practical issues around digital repositories are welcomed. See below for Proposal Templates; please address the following in your proposal:

  • The subject of the event and what knowledge you intend to convey
  • Length of session (e.g., 2 hours, half a day or a whole day)
  • A brief statement on the learning outcomes from the session
  • The target audience for your session and how many attendees you plan to accommodate
  • Technology and facility requirements
  • Any other supplies or support required
  • Anything else you believe is pertinent to carrying out the session

SUBMISSION SYSTEM

The conference system is now open for submissions. PDF format is preferred.

TO ACCESS THE SYSTEM PLEASE CLICK HERE.

REVIEW PROCESS

All submissions will be peer reviewed and evaluated according to the criteria outlined in the call for proposals, including quality of content, significance, originality, and thematic fit.

CODE OF CONDUCT

The OR2017 Code of Conduct and Anti-Harrassment Policy are available at http://or2017.net/code-of-conduct/.

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME

OR2017 will again run a Scholarship Programme which will enable us to provide support for a small number of full registered places (including the poster reception and conference dinner) for the conference in Brisbane. The programme is open to librarians, repository managers, developers and researchers in digital libraries and related fields. Applicants submitting a proposal for the conference will be given priority consideration for funding. Please note that the programme does not cover costs such as accommodation, travel and subsistence. It is anticipated that the applicant’s home institution will provide financial support to supplement the OR Scholarship Award. Full details and an application form will shortly be available on the conference website. Please click here to subscribe to our mailing list for further updates.

  • Scholarship Programme Application Deadline: 14 December 2016
  • Successful Applicants Notified: 10 February 2017

For the templates and also more on particpation please check

http://or2017.net/call-for-proposals/ and also keep us posted your updates.

 

Open Access in Perspective

stephenpinfield_300wThe “Open Access in Action” series has explored many but certainly not all the facets of this highly disruptive publishing trend. To put the issues in perspective, and to focus on the resulting changes to the role of academic and research librarians, we interviewed Dr. Stephen Pinfield, Professor of Information Services Management at The University of Sheffield.

Professor Pinfield joined Sheffield in 2012. Before that, he was a self-described practitioner of academic information science, serving as CIO for the University of Nottingham. In 2001, he helped set up the U.K.’s first open access institutional repository, followed by the SHERPA project in 2002. In 2006 he set up at Nottingham the first UK institutional central fund for paying APCs, and has authored open access policy papers for The Russell Group. Commenting on his role as an academic with a technical background, he described his research as “at the interface of practice and theory.”

OAIA_articlebox_header

This feature article is part of our Open Access in Action series, sponsored by Dove Press, which tracks the evolution of important open access (OA) issues through a library lens by presenting regular original articles, video interviews, news, and perspectives. To learn more about how librarians like you are driving practice across the lifestyle of open access, be sure to visit our Open Access in Action hub page.

Library Journal: What are the important differences between those who implement and support open access systems and the faculty members and researchers who use them?

Professor Pinfield: Faculty shouldn’t have to be experts in the mechanics of scholarly communication. They should be carrying out their research—communicating it in ways that are appropriate for their scholarly community and beyond. However, those who provide support, like libraries and IT services, have to understand the research cycle—the processes that researchers go through. Twenty or thirty years ago, librarians had to understand a narrow aspect of scholarly communications: negotiating subscriptions with publishers, storing and preserving collections, and making them available to researchers. Now, librarians need to understand and engage with a much wider range of activities in the research process, in order to provide credible services.

LJ: What are some examples?

Pinfield: Librarians can intervene earlier, encouraging researchers to deposit at the preprint stage, for example. They need to have a clear understanding of the publishing process, and how it may vary from discipline to discipline. They can design workflows that fit the way faculty works—not assume that all faculty have the same requirements and motivations for publishing their research.

Many repositories are designed in isolation from what faculty actually do or care about, creating an unnecessary burden. Librarians have to understand their users, so they can incentivize faculty [by emphasizing] the importance of a deposit [to] increasing usage and citations, for example. Then they can design services to demonstrate that.

LJ: In the article series, we discussed various open access funding models, APCs, Green versus Gold, and the prospect of “flipping” subscription journals to open access. Can you comment on where we are now—and where we’re likely to go?

Pinfield: This is a challenge. If you look system-wide, there’s enough money to pay for APCs—if you look at the whole universe of research funding. The key challenge, of course, is how that happens, and how it affects individual players. The European focus has been on system-wide shifts, mainly because negotiations with publishers happens more at a national level. The U.S. is a very different environment. It’s far larger and more fragmented, so there’s a tendency for large institutions to resist the increased cost implications of APCs. I think that changes will come as we start thinking of the bigger picture for research as a whole. The recent Pay It Forward study points to the possibility of research funders shouldering more of the cost. The benefit of an APC model is that it scales with the funding.

LJ: What is the main resistance to this type of change?

Pinfield: I think the resistance to open access is more on an operational level than it is on principle. When I first became involved in the open access movement, I naively thought we just had to persuade academics it was a good idea and they’d just start doing it. What we didn’t understand then was the level of inertia and vested interests there are in the system. So, we started adding conversations with policy makers and funding entities, who in turn began encouraging more open access behaviors in institutions.

LJ: To what extent is open access adoption driven by differences in academic discipline—such as STEM or the humanities?

Pinfield: Differences in disciplines should not be underestimated. Even within STEM, some disciplines gravitate towards the Green model, while others—like health sciences—tend to be Gold. (That’s not to say that Green and Gold aren’t both valuable. I see them as complementary and interactive in many cases.) In the humanities, there are new models for monographs and open access, so what we’re seeing in STEM may not apply. Martin Eve’s recent book, Open Access and the Humanities, is a good place to start there.

LJ: Let’s get back to librarians. How would you advise them when it comes to open access?

Pinfield: I think these are exciting times for information professionals. It’s an opportunity to be engaged to a much greater degree. As other opportunities for librarians diminish—like the importance of managing large print collections—this is an opportunity to stake out new territory. With open access, we’re now at the stage of how we deliver it, not whether we do so. This puts the focus on the library community.

We’re also thinking about it in a much broader way—in terms of open science and open data, not just open access journal publishing. Becoming more conversant with that sort of strategic vision is becoming increasingly important. Having a professional confidence in these skills will revitalize the library profession. It’s not a narrow, diminishing path, but a wide one.

LJ: Could this be seen as a bulwark against library funding cuts?

Pinfield: Potentially, yes. Collections are still important, but there’s also more emphasis now on delivering services. You can see this now in how libraries are designed—not just as a place to house collections but also as spaces for collaboration, use of technology, and creative activity. That’s all to the good, but it will require agility on the part of the library profession.

Originally posted at http://lj.libraryjournal.com/openaccessinaction/?ref=oaia-postlink

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.

This OA Week “Open in Action “, become a ScienceOpen Activist!

Become a ScienceOpen Activist and change the world of scientific publishing! Apply to become part of our think-tank and our voice in the community.

Scholarly Publishing and science are frustratingly slow when it comes to change. Newton’s lab-books from 300 years ago probably look similar to what PhD-students still scribble in today!

Old habits die hard in research. Other than social media, scholarly communication is still largely focused on publication in journals where anonymous peer review delays the liberation of newly gained knowledge by months, if not even years.

We are still using systems that have operated for decades and centuries. But do they really still work? Research studies can be irreproducible; billions of public funding lock up knowledge behind pay walls and embargos became a bargaining chip between authors and their publishers.

Many people know this. The Open Access movement has provided a practical way forwards and has moved way beyond simply portraying an idealist view of the world to demonstrating it. But why isn’t Open Science our reality right now?

The ScienceOpen answer: we need more activists!

We need your help: Apply now to become a ScienceOpen Activist:

World famous ScienceOPENer
World famous ScienceOPENer
  • You know best what needs to be done: tell us about Open Science discussions at your institution.
  • Give us your ideas on how to improve ScienceOpen: be the first to test implemented features on ScienceOpen
  • Join a community of doers: through frequent Webinars and an Activist camp in Berlin in December you will get to know like-minded people
  • We will give you the right tools: activists receive items such as stickers and some ScienceOPENers (inspired by this viral video!)
  • Create a bigger network: ScienceOpen has been around for over a year, so join the platform and get to know the network

Regardless of whether you are an early career researcher or a senior scientist, have a background in natural sciences or study languages, work as a librarian or for a funding agency, you can apply here. Please also share why you are enthusiastic about Open Science.

Let’s take it to the next level. And make change happen.

Viva La Revolucion!

 

Originally posted at http://blog.scienceopen.com/2015/10/this-oa-week-become-a-scienceopen-activist/

Letter to UGC on Impact Factors and DOAJ

Open-Access-1Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As you may be aware that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has set up a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. V.S. Chauhan, Member, UGC and former Director, ICGEB (New Delhi) to prepare the list of journals in which authors should be publishing in-order to gain score for Academic Performance Indicators (API) system. It is reported that this attempt is being made to address the sub-standard publishing by the authors from colleges/universities. It is also mentioned in the news that they may use give weight-age to the journal’s Impact Factor. (Source: The Hindu)

On the other hand earlier in December 2012, The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) an initiated by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) had put forth a recommendation that “the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations” and had asked the individuals and organizations to sign the DORA declaration.

This call was taken by the DBT/DST and may subscribing to the DORA had mentioned in their Open Access policy that they may not consider Impact Factors in career assessments, promotions or appointments (of individuals in research and academics),

It is proposed that as the DOAJ is improving in terms of quality and services, shall we approach UGC and request it to consider giving weight-age to the DOAJ Indexed Journals while recommending the List of Journals and giving points for publishing in DOAJ Indexed Journals?

If you agree that Open Access should be given weight-age in API Score and Impact Factors should not be used for assessment/appointments/promotions, then please send an email to Dr. V.S. Chauhan <virander[at]icgeb[dot]res[dot]in>

Cite this article as: Sridhar Gutam, "Letter to UGC on Impact Factors and DOAJ," in Open Access India, July 20, 2016, http://openaccessindia.org/letter-ugc-impact-factors-doaj/, accessed on May 1, 2017.

The “Balancing Act” of Copyright & Open Access

To understand the interplay between Copyright law and Open Access, it is essential to consider the justifications for Copyright law. Copyright law emerged out of the belief that there is a need to protect the Science and the Arts in order to encourage their progress. In fact, many countries mention this need for copyright in their constitution (such as the US constitution). The idea is that creators need to capitalize off their work, which would motivate them to keep producing work. They would have a ‘copyright’, which is several exclusive rights for the use and distribution of their work. But since art, science and literature enrich society, and therefore should be open to all eventually, copyrights are not permanent. Therefore, copyright law has described to be a balancing act between the rights of the creator and of the public. Issues debated upon within the context of Copyright law, such as the length of a Copyright, are essentially related to how open or closed the work should be.

However, copyright law is ‘one-size-fits-all’, which is supposed to cover everything from the latest blockbuster movie, to a cutting-edge paper on Genetic Engineering. And there lies the problem.

While making money from their creations is great for musicians, artists and writers, it’s altogether different for researchers. Musicians, artists and writers usually depend upon earning from their work for sustenance, but researchers are already funded by their government or institutions. The global GERD/GDP ratio (Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP) is 1.70% in 2013.  This means that USD 1.5 trillion are being spent worldwide on research- money that could be used to support a number of other services such as healthcare, education or pension. This massive funding means that researchers are often well-compensated for their work.

In any case, researchers make no money from sending their articles to journals. In fact, journals don’t pay their authors, peer reviewers or editors either. Then why do authors sell their work to journals? As Peter Suber puts it, “Scholars write journal articles for impact, not for money”. Scholars choose to publish their articles in high-profile journals because they want the most people to read it, and to benefit from it. This model used to work. But today, journals have become so expensive, that not even the most well-funded institutions can afford them. From 1986 to 2006, the average journal cost increased by 180% while the consumer price index rose by 84%. This means that the prices of journals have been growing at more than twice the rate of inflation. This is termed as the “serials crisis” as libraries were unable to manage their volume of subscriptions with the increasing costs of journals. Because of these prices, University libraries are buying half of the academic books that they did in the 1980s, which ultimately limits the number of  people that can access these journals. Very often, authors cannot even share their own work after publishing it in a journal.

Why does copyright law allow this situation to arise? It is because the copyright is transferred to publishers when articles are published. For an author of a novel, since they would negotiate a contract with royalty, this transfer enables them to make money, even though the copyright is transferred. Since researchers do not wish to earn from their articles, they usually transfer it to journals for free, along with the copyright. Being for-profit companies, who have a monopoly over articles since they have the copyright, publishers can be selective about what they publish, charge prohibitively high fees for access, and make the profit that was intended to benefit the author. However, this is changing through the Open Access movement.

Authors were compelled to publish with conventional publishers before the information technology age, but digitization of research has made it almost cost-free to transfer research. It is probably best explained by the Budapest Open Access Initiative “An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment. . . . The new technology is the internet”. This is what has fueled the growth of Open Access, a better way for researchers to share their work. With Open Access, the original aim of research to reach the widest possible audience is being met.

The Open Access movement does not thwart copyrights, but allows a person to choose the kind of copyright they want, from a variety of types, and therefore have the freedom to share to differing extents. The growth of this movement has allowed the scientific community to share their work in the manner that they wish to rather than be obliged to transfer a standard-length and standard-protection copyright. So even if copyright law is not the best fit for researchers, it’s being adapted in creative ways all over the world, to make it compatible with the aims of scientific research.

References:

  • “The “Wild West” of Academic Publishing” By Craig Lambert

Harvard Magazine, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2015. Available online at this link.

  • “Open Access” By Peter Suber

MIT Press 2012. Available online at this link.

This blog was originally posted on the WSIS KC Community Website.

India’s New IPR Policy

The Indian government published the National Intellectual Rights Policy in May 2016. The policy has been formulated keeping in mind that there is a lack of awareness with regard to the obtaining of Intellectual Property Rights in India. The aim of India’s IPR policy is to promote the “knowledge economy”, which the policy defines as “an economy that creates, disseminates and uses knowledge to enhance its growth and development.” This is a goal complementary to Open Access, which aims to effectuate openness in obtaining, publishing and processing research, in order to create a knowledge based society. IPR could be perceived as a restriction on open access because it allows those who invent and innovate to have exclusive rights to the usage of that invention. However, IPR is necessary to encourage creativity and innovation, by allowing inventors to earn from their inventions, but the existing legal regime could be tweaked in order to support Open Access. More information about IPR and the alternatives to the existing IPR regime is here. India’s policy is framed in order to increase the prevalence of IPR. There is even a provision for the creation of special courts for IPR enforcement, which would encourage the usage of IPR.

However, some aspects of the policy could be improved upon to have better social impact. For example, one of the objectives of India’s IPR policy is to “Get value for IPRs through commercialization”. This objective states that value and economic reward for IP holders is obtained is through commercialization of IPR. While commercialized rights do protect investors, it is important to recognize that commercialization sometimes means lack of access to information. For example, say an IP holder sells her rights to a large corporation, then this means that they would not be in charge of their own rights. Therefore, a researcher may not have the legal right to share his work even though he may wish to see his research be utilized by others worldwide. The IPR policy does not prevent this utilization, of course, but a blanket promotion of commercialization may inadvertently discourage open access. To illustrate, to encourage commercialization would effectively discourage the usage of APF or repository system of sharing research. The policy also aims to commercialize even publically funded research, infact suggest that R&D institutions should reward researchers on the basis of IPR creation. This may not meet the policy’s aims, as IPR driven research is not always socially beneficial research. Moreover, publicly-funded research is slowly moving into the field of Open Access all around the world. For example, the EU recently announced that all publically funded research should be OA by 2020. Infact, the principles of this policy might not be directly aligned with the goals of the Indian government as well. Prime Minister Modi has expressed the ideas India ruling the 21st century, calling it the ‘era of knowledge’. Various institutions in India, such as the Department of Science and Technology have applied an open access policy across their departments. In 2012, India released the “National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy”, which tries to improve data management through open access. Such positive steps are benefitting Indian scientists and researchers.

The strengthening of the IPR system in India could be improved by taking into consideration the larger societal requirement of sharing of research. An IPR system is beneficial for the holistic development of knowledge, but it is not enough. Research and innovation is complementary and complex, and greater protection for the innovator is not always the best approach. This is the most apparent in the sciences, since research is often expensive and time consuming. In developing countries, sparse resources would be wasted in situations where two laboratories may produce duplicative research. A system which would implement IPR without compromising Open Access would serve the interests of the nation better, and truly make India a knowledge producer.

This blog was originally posted on the WSIS KC Blog. 

Next steps for Open Access India: Becoming a Scholarly Society for Open Access

RegisteredTM.svgSince July 2011, the Open Access India as a community of practice is advocating for open access to public funded research through various social media platforms especially via Facebook and Twitter. However to reach the unreached it had launched its public access website and to work more for Open Access, Open Data and Open Education, it had made partnerships with other agencies and organizations working for the openness.

To take forward the movement of open access in India and to increase the momentum, it needs to get registered as scholarly society and it is now working for it.

Anyone having interests and are committed for Open Access in India are invited to be part of it. The draft MoA and the form for submitting the details can be accessed here and here respectively. The young researchers, students who may get involved as Ambassador can submit their details here.

Familiarizing Open Source Seed Concept in India

OpenSourceSeedsThe GNU/Linux, the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movements around the globe and Creative Commons had influenced people to share their creations openly and freely. The BiOS is such kind of initiative which is sharing all its biological innovations openly. Now the same concept of sharing the biological materials openly for public good.

In Agriculture, the seed is the fundamental input and access to quality seed is becoming restricted to people by financially, technically and legally. To overcome this, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) was formed and it aims to free the seed. The OSSI had pledged to make the seed free and is permitting the buyers/consumers to use in any ways they want but asks them not to restrict the others use with patents or by any other legal means.

In order to familiarize/popularize the philosophy of Open Source Seed/Free the Seed concept, the Open Access India and IndiaSeeds.in jointly took an attempt to seeds which are almost free of any legal IPR rights. For this as a test crop, Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) has been selected and the excess seeds which were purchased from a farmer by name Undavalli Trimurthulu in West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh for cultivation are being distributed to people for general cultivation or for research purpose.

These Qunioa seeds are being sent to the recipients under Open Source Seeds MTA (material transfer agreement) incorporating the text adopted from The OSSI Pledge. The MTA says “You have the freedom to use these Open Source Seeds in anyway you choose, In return, you pledge not to restrict other’s use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this Open Source Seeds MTA with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives. If anyone are interested to join the OSSI or share their seeds through The OSSI Pledge in India, they may contact Open Access India, IndiaSeeds.in or the OSSI collaborator in India, the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.