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Open Access Journals - Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, India 9 April 2011 (Draft) Table of Contents

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Open Access Journals

India had to wait for the arrival of the Europeans and then the printing press before having an indigenous scientific journal. It took 123 years after the first two journals
appeared in Europe in 1665 [Fig. 6 and Fig. 7] for a group of Englishmen living in and around Calcutta to bring out Asiatick Researches in 1788 [Fig. 8]. This was followed by Tables Containing Results of Meterological Observations (Madras, 1796).105 These were the only two journals that were published in India before 1800. Today India can boast of hundreds of STM journals published by government agencies, academies, professional societies and private companies. They cater to different fields and subfields. It is difficult to have an exact number. Many of them are indexed in international indexing and abstracting services, but most have a poor subscription base. Surely making them open access will help improve the visibility and impact of the papers published in them.
As of 17 December 2010, there were 5,897 open access journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals or DOAJ [www.doaj.org] (data accessed on 17 December 2010), and of these 276 are from India. Another database, Open J-Gate106, developed by the Bangalore-based Informatics India Ltd, lists 7,967 open access periodicals worldwide which include 4,773 peer-reviewed journals including 339 peer-reviewed Indian Journals (Fig. 9).

There are a few other Indian open access journals which are yet to be listed in DOAJ and indexed in Open J-Gate. For example, two journals published by the Indian National Science Academy (Indian Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics and Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy) and two journals published by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (Indian journal of Agricultural Sciences and Indian Journal of Animal Sciences) are neither indexed in Open J-Gate nor are listed in DOAJ. DOAJ does not index Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources (formerly known as Natural Product Radiance), published by National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR). In all, there are more than 360 Indian open access journals. A list of Indian open access journals is given in Appendix 2.

Needless to say a vast majority of papers, published in the Indian open access journals, are mostly written by Indian researchers. Incidentally, two Indian journal publishers, viz. Indian Academy of Sciences and MedKnow Publications figure in the top 14 open access journal publishers in the SOAP survey.107

Apart from publishing in Indian open access journals, Indian researchers publish their papers in overseas open access journals as well. For example, in 2009, Indian researchers published 43,044 papers in the areas of science, technology and medicine, as seen from the Thomson Reuters database Web of Science - Science Citation Index Expanded. This is a highly selective database and indexes only 34 of the more than 360 Indian open access journals! Of the more than 43,000 papers, 12.75 per cent appeared in 345 open access journals. A recent study from Finland has estimated that only 8.5 per cent of open access papers were available at publisher sites.108 The SCOAP study carried out in Europe among 50,000 authors107 revealed that about 10 per cent of papers are currently published in open access journals.109 Obviously, Indian scientists publish a substantially larger proportion of their papers in open access journals than the world average.

Open Access Repositories

In the west, the open access movement received considerable support from the academics, witness the signatories of the Budapest and Berlin Declarations and the Bethesda Statement, the founders of PLoS, many Nobel Laureates writing an open letter endorsing the Federal Research Public Access Act, etc. Very few academics have come forward to support the open access movement in India. One of them, Prof. B Viswanathan of the Natioanl Centre for Catalysis Research (NCCR), set up the only repository in the country to have been set up by a scientist. Every other repository was set up and maintained by librarians. Submission of documents to the eprints@catalysis repository is limited to the catalysis research community of NCCR and India. It has more than 1,700 papers,
virtually all of them deposited by one person.

The growth of open access repositories in India (the red line) and the number of new records deposited in them (green bars) in the past ten years, as found in the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) are shown in Figure 10. One notices a large increase in the number of records in 2010 — from about 11,000 in 2009 to over 42,000 in 2010. This was made possible by a few active repositories: EPrints@CMFRI, the repository of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, which was set up in 2010 alone accounts for more than 7,900 records. EPrints@NML, the repository of the National Metallurgical Laboratory, which was established in 2010, has over 2,400 records. Managers of EPrints@IISC, the repository of the Indian Institute of Science, deposited a few thousand legacy papers in 2010 following a drive started in the Institute's centenary year. Thus a large percent of papers deposited are legacy papers. What matters is the number of current papers deposited.

We would take ROAR data with a bit of caution. ROAR lists 64 Indian repositories. Some of these are no longer active and some are repetitions. Then there are a few which are yet to be listed in ROAR. On examining each one of them we found that there are 30 institutional repositories, three subject repositories and five electronic theses repositories (as on 6 March 2011). Besides, a few open access journals have used the repository software (e.g. NISCAIR journals). A list of Indian repositories is given in Appendix 3. Not all of these repositories are confined to journal articles and conference papers. Some include annual reports, newsletters, and other institutional publications.

The IISc repository, the first to be set up in India, has over 25,000 papers. Five CSIR laboratories, four ICAR laboratories, three Indian Institutes of Technology, two DST

laboratories, a society, an NGO, an international institution and a private research institution are among those which have hosted institutional repositories. Four among these institutions, viz. NIT Rourkela, ICRISAT, NIO and IIHR, have an open access mandate. NIT Rourkela was the first in India to adopt an open access mandate [See Box 9, Dspace@NITR].

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