Driving on the Green Road: Self-Archiving Research for Open Access in India

Article excerpt

Introduction

In last few years there has been a sea change in the scholarly communication process due to the impact of Internet and the spread of 'open access' philosophy. Internet has emerged as a wonderful tool for providing unparallel opportunities for expanding availability of research information to everyone. As a result of gradual but growing acceptability of the open access philosophy, a large number of open access repositories (both subject and institutional based) have been coming up. According to ROAR (Registry of Open Access Repositories) there are more than 33202944 journal articles, theses, databases, conference proceeding available most of them are free. OpenDOAR and ROAR (Repository Service providers) has registered 1800, 2242 institutional and subject repositories. Similarly, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), an open access journals service provider has listed more than 6337 journals which are freely available through Internet connection. Other example will be Open J-gate, open journal systems and PubMed central. These are a few of the indicators which explain the mounting growth of Open Access resources day by day. Open access philosophy is shaping the new brave world of scholarly communication where the gap between haves and have-nots of research information is reduced. The road to new scholarly communication which can be called as open access to scholarly resources is fulfilling by two ways, open access repositories and open access journals. Open access repositories which also called green road is showing lot of possibilities for cent percent open access. India's growth with regard to open access to scholarly information can be measured through a recent survey which has ranked top 1200 repositories for supporting and advocating open access. The survey found 20 Indian repositories which are in top 1000 figured in the list of top 1200 repositories.

Self Archiving: The Green Road to Open Access

According to Harnad (2004) Self-archiving is one of the two general methods for providing open access. The other one is publishing in an open access journal. The former is called as "green" and the later as the "golden" road to open access. Self-archiving was first explicitly proposed universal practice by Stevan Harnad in his 1994 posting "Subversive Proposal". The Green Road is meant for continuing publishing in subscription based journals but the author of each article makes it Open Access by self archiving a copy of the author's peer reviewed final draft (the post print) in the author's OA institutional Repositories (IR). The green road of open access will be fulfilling through creating institutional repositories. An institutional repository is a digital collection of institution intellectual output. About 91% of peer-reviewed journals surveyed by eprints already endorse authors self-archiving of preprint and/or post-print versions of their papers.

Scientific Knowledge and India

India is one of the oldest civilizations with rich culture and diverse knowledge base from the ancient Harappa and Mahenjodaro civilization. It is one of the world's largest educational systems. It has a strong institutional framework for research in science, technology, humanities, and social science education and research with more than 2,900 R&D organizations including many labs in government and private domain (Lalitha Kumari, 2008). It is the third largest scientific and technical manpower in the world with about 300 private and government universities, 45,000 and more colleges. The scientific output of all these agencies is quite substantial with India occupying the 13th rank among the top 146 countries in the world (Arunachalam, 2004). According to Web of Science India has produced 24659 in 2004, 27350 in 2005 and 30641 in 2006 articles, and the number is continuously increasing.

Barriers of Research Communication

In spite of its strength in research both at individual and institutional level, India is not yet placed in the top list of qualitative research publications. …