Open access in the Indian context

Arunn at Unruled Notebook has some thoughts:

For instance, shift the entire journal online. It costs pittance to maintain a server space and host web domains and could be incurred life long in one philanthropic nod. Open source software can take care of the entire peer reviewing and publishing process with the editors needing to know how to operate one or two such software. Monetizing with appropriate Google ads on such web journal portals are a way to become self reliant.

Another way to do this is to have local consortium of research schools to maintain web spaces for journals in which their employees are participating as editors or reviewers or even authors. There could be an agreement between the journal editorial board and their respective academic institutions on the extent of financial support in magnitude and time. Guidelines could be charted for suitable cap for preventing any monopoly of institutes and representatives while maintaining the democracy of the publishing activity.

One way I could think of is, to start every open access journal with an editorial board and peer review group that already participated actively in the existing editorial boards of other reputed but closed access journals controlled by middleman publishers. This ensures the fledgling open access journal to quickly gain reputation amongst scientists of that field, once they are informed of the illustrious stars that deck the editorial board of that journal. If this process could thaw a few top scientists in that field to send their work to the open access journal, its future and reputation is ensured in the ensuing avalanche.

Another way I could think of is, instead of setting up a new open access journal, an existing closed access journal could be made into an open access one. This could happen with or without the agreement of the publisher. If the publisher agrees to work with one of the models of open access, then that is a start. We should immediately try that angle. For instance, the publisher could be negotiated to release into open access or the internet, the content of an issue, after two or three ensuing issues have appeared. This model could work for academic research publications with reasonable success.

Else, the journal subscriptions could be bought by academic consortium annually and made available open access.

For instance, in India, the institute of technologies can form a consortium and support open access journals. Annual subscriptions can be paid to maintain the open access status of journals served and participated by their employees.

If the publisher doesn’t agree for any sort of open access, the entire editorial board of a reputed journal could decide to boycott and resign their positions and perhaps start a new journal under a suitable name. The editorial board will provide the required credibility for such a venture to be supported by the scientists in that field to contribute to the journal and its reputation.

Take a look!

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One Response to “Open access in the Indian context”

  1. Er Ramalingam K S Says:

    Idea seems to be good
    But how to pool resources and integrate, is a big question mark.

    I am the present editor of a professional journal called Plant Engineering Journal -PEJ- of the Indian Institution of Plant Engineers from Chennai ,India

    I can convince our Governing Council to do do it if national & international bodies come forward to agree on a M O U in the interest of sharing of Knowledge as well as experience

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