[LIS-Forum] Excerpts of Conference on ‘Scholarly Communication in India in the Age of the Commons (Open Access)’ organized by ICAST, NAL

DINESH SIDDAIAH dinesh.ncet at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 09:06:28 IST 2009

Dear Friends,

Excerpts of Conference on ‘Scholarly Communication in India in the Age of
the Commons (Open Access)’ organized by ICAST, NAL, Bangalore on 26th March

The inaugural session of the conference begin with worm welcome by Dr. I. R.
N. Goudar, Head of ICAST.

Prof. Subbaiah Arunachalam, CIS, was briefed the significance of conference
in the present scenario. Dr. A. R. Upadhya, Director, NAL was highlighted
the importance of open access movement and its impacts on scholarly

Keynote address on ‘Journals, open access, copyright, repositories – some
viewpoints from a academy’ was delivered by distinguished Vice President of
Indian Academy of Sciences, Prof. N. Mukunda. He begins his speech with the
Darwinian ideas of evolution and how it relates to open access movement. He
emphasized on the number of research publication and how difficult to get
the full text articles which are under the clutches of copyrights. Prof.
Mukunda was also inaugurated the DRC at NAL.

Dr. Poornima, Dy. Head, ICAST was the comparer of all the sessions of the
conference and also briefed about the DRC at NAL.

The first conference talk starts with Prof. John Willinsky of Stanford
University on ‘Global and Local for Making Research and Scholarship Publicly
Available’. He has quoted the Charles Darwin’s discovery of science and
contributions of Newton. He has explained the today’s implications of
openness and research publication of openness. He expressed that, he was
very pleasure to speak in India about open access. This is because of Indian
scientist convincing tactics on OA. He has quoted the example of Agropedia –
the open access online resource. He says that Agropedia has great
contribution for agriculture. He was raised the  importance of open
educations movement, open knowledge resources, open source software and
mentioned some of the institutions and society’s open access movement
(MIT’s, IIT’s, NAL etc.,). He said that, broadly open access software’s are
available in 25 languages which are open to people of idea.  He explained
how IPR of Science is open to public and increase ness of open science. He
has pointed out the role of scholarly societies in OA movement and need to
build the effective secondary education in India. He has argues on
scientific judgment to access the quality of OA journals. He has concluded
with some of the aspects of human rights, how the OA movement reduce the
cost of learning resources and increased quality.

The second speaker was Dr. D. K. Sahu, MD & CEO of Medknow Publications, he
spoke on ‘Economics and Citation Impact of Open Access Journal Publishing in
India’. He has presented some of the facts and problems such as lack of
qualities, low citations, low impact factors of developing countries
journals article. He was emphasized on publicizing model and how research is
converting into knowledge. He disclosed how the open access publishers
sharing cost of publication. Most of their revenues and expenses are through
advertisement (print & web), institutional membership of printed journals
etc. He has made graphical representation of economics, visibility, research
impact, imprint quality of some of the Medknow published journals. He says
that, at present Medknow published 81 open access journals from eight
countries and provides immediate free access to the full text articles. He
concludes that fee-less-immediate-free model journals from the developing
world could gain more readers, authors and improved citations.

Prof. Leslie Chan of University of Toronto was the third speaker of the
conference on the topic ‘From Institutional Repositories to a Global
Knowledge Commons’. He has pointed out that, how OA enables peer to peer
sharing networked information economy and he has highlighted the user driven
innovations, dissemination of information through philanthropy.  He has
remembered the OA initiatives & contributions of late Prof. T. B.
Rajashekar. He has explained the some of the benefits of OA, which includes,
*global dissemination*cross disciplinary enquiry*new tools for
discovery*greater control of intellectual output*improved citation
ratio*fastening innovation* etc. He has mentioned few reputed OA publishers,
they are *Bioline Intl.*Medknow*Public Library of Science* and he was quoted
few self archives, they are *arxiv.org*eprints at iisc*opendoar*.

The last speaker was Dr. Sunil Abraham, Director – Policy, Centre for
Internet Society, Bangalore. His topic was ‘Academic and Scholarly
Communications in the Realm of Laws: Copyrights, Patents, and the PUPFIP
bill. He has pointed out the fair dealing of IPR, translations, reproduction
of broadcast signals and importance of scholarly communication on society
and the law. He explained the implications of Protection and Utilization of
Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill (PUPFIP). He says that, this bill
covers all research done in pursuance to government grants and *IP
intangible property* *copyrights*trademark*patent*design*semiconductor
design*plant variety*.

The last and final session of the conference was panel discussion. The topic
of discussion was ‘Scholarly Communication and Openness: Emerging Trends’.
Prof. P. Balaram, Director of IISc., was panel chair and Prof. Wiilinsky,
Prof. Chan, Dr. A. R. Upadhya, Mr. N. V. Satyanarayana, CMD, Informatics and
Prof. Arunachalam were the members of panel.

Prof. Balaram opines in discussion that, authors will be happy if articles
accepted in reputed journals and most of them will not worry about
copyrights. He says that lawyers are most worrying factors in OA movement.
Prof. Willinksy opined that, IR are very much necessary and are not
sufficient as of now. Dr. Upadhya viewed that, success of OA movement will
depend on government policies and OA gives freedom for users than publishers
and authors. He also opines that, IR are first hand information.
Mr. N. V. Satyanaraya said that, the subscription rates of commercial
journals are rising continuously and rate never comes down so far. He has
given the costly royalty statistics of authors of commercial publications.
He explained the author based model, how commercial publishers making money
and cost based consumer behavior. He opines that, author is a major stake
holder and author has to take decision in controlling the prices. He has
mentioned the importance of IR National Standards especially for Standards
for Archives. And also he opined that, OA are real challenges to authors.
Prof. Arunachalam said that, National Knowledge Commission has to take
initiatives of OA.

Finally, the panel concludes that ‘Exclusivity should be broken’ and
‘providing access to scholarly communication is important than pricing’.

The conference ends with honoring panelist and vote of thanks by Mr.
Satyanarayana of NAL.

The conference was well organized and there were around 300 participants
from academic, industry, institutions, societies, publishing and other
related disciplines.

This conference will open wide doors for open access movement in India.

 Thanking You,


Dr. Dinesh K. S. MLISc., Ph.D.
Selection Grade Librarian,
Nagarjuna College of Engineering & Technology,
Devanahalli, Bengaluru - 562 110.
Ph: +91-9845102382,
Email: dinesh.ncet at gmail.com
Official Blog: libraryofncet.blogspot.com

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