Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs | Open Access Scholarship / Littérature savante en libre accès

Abstract – Open access journals have been developing in India for several decades for promoting the visibility of research done in various streams. OA to science has been encouraged by government sponsored repositories of student and doctoral proposals, and numerous Indian journals are distributed with OA. There is a need to build mindfulness among Indian scholastics with respect to publication practices, including OA, and its potential advantages, and use this methodology of distribution at whatever point doable, as in openly supported research. This research also showed that a well doing publisher in India gets acquired by  European publisher Wolters Kluwer and becomes commercialised. The number of journals with “title not found” or “risky URL”, for example leading to a scam website, is surprising as one might assume that the motivation for this publisher’s society, university and commercial partners is that such partnership would result in high quality services. Most Medknow journals do not charge publication fees. The journals with publication fees are increasing the cost up to 50%. For documentation and a link to the underlying dataset, see Morrison et al. (2019).

The International Open Access Movement and Its Status in Pakistan

Abstract:  The objective of this study is to analyze the present status of the open access movement in Pakistan, identify challenges, and make recommendations for the effective use of this publishing model. The article looks primarily at the open access movement in Asia, with special reference to Pakistan, India, and China. Findings show that, since the emergence of the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001, the open access movement has developed rapidly at the international level. From the Pakistani perspective, gold open access, in which articles or monographs are freely available in their original form on publishers’ websites, developed quickly. However, green open access, which relies on authors to self-archive their articles in institutional or subject repositories, has been relatively slow to develop. A lack of support from educational institutions, libraries, library associations, and funding bodies may explain the slow growth of green open access in Pakistan. The author recommends that Pakistani universities, research institutions, and funding agencies develop open access policies, set up institutional repositories, and encourage publishing in open access journals and self-archiving in institutional repositories. 

Sharing cultural heritage in India – Open GLAM – Medium

“The Heritage Lab’s mission is to make museums accessible to people in terms of knowledge and content. We started with choosing objects and creating freely accessible educational content around them for teachers to use in the classroom. Most of the time we have to seek permission to reproduce these object images on our website….

For teachers, developing independent lesson plans (based on the city they are located in) is quite tough because they have zero access to openly reusable Indian museum resources, and their students cannot reproduce these objects in different formats. So teachers and students end up sourcing Indian material from non-Indian, open access institutions like the New York Public Library, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the British Library and Dublin’s Chester Beatty Library.

On a positive note, every year we host Art+Feminism Edit-a-thons (established in 2017) and we get a lot of support from participants in making museum content (images and text) freely accessible on Wikipedia. We would love to do more in terms of creatively re-using museum artworks, but that’s not possible in the current framework….”

Please share Open Principles in Science and Education ideas and philosophy | RDA

“May i request all who are taking part in various events globally on science and education to also make use of the opportunity to promote Open Principles in Education by sharing GeoForAll ideas and welcoming all interested to be part of this. 


I first came across GIS by serendipity. More than twenty years back (in 1994) , I was a student in Civil Engineering in India and by pure chance I came across a short article in a magazine in my college library on the amazing Geographic Information System that is used by town planners. That was the first time I heard about the wonderful technology called GIS! At that time there was no GIS in the college where I did my undergraduate degree. My dream that time was to get opportunity to do my final year undergraduate project using GIS. I still remember the struggles  I faced to just get access to learning GIS as very few universities had GIS that time in India as it was very expensive. I spend nearly two years going around different universities and places knocking so many doors to just to get access to GIS. Unfortunately in spite of all my best efforts I failed that time…


I was disappointed but I carried on working with hope and faith. I did my final year undergraduate project in design of a hospital building! (structural engineering project). Still I kept looking for opportunities to get access to GIS. Years later (after I finished my undergraduate degree), I finally got opportunity to learn GIS through another project and my search for learning  GIS lead me to so many new opportunities . As some wise people told me, FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning. So when I think back, even though my efforts  to get access to GIS in my undergraduate years failed, I learned lot of things from those experiences. In fact, if I had not gone though those experiences , I might not have got the determination to do everything in my abilities to keep the doors of GIS education open to all so that no student anywhere should go through what I went through.


When GeoForAll was started , I faced lot of ridicule and opposition from some folks but I also got lot and lot of amazing support and help from so many amazing colleagues globally. Thanks to all our amazing colleagues, we have now truly made GIS education opportunities open to all. …”

Open and Shut?: The OA Interviews: K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India

“It is, however, clearly problematic that cOAlition S has remained an essentially European initiative. For this reason when, in February, the Indian Government’s Principal Scientific Adviser, Professor VijayRaghavan posted a series of tweets saying that India was joining cOAlition S the news was greeted with great excitement by cOAlition S members, as well as by Plan S supporters like the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas.


The news was greeted with less enthusiasm back home in India, with concerns raised about the cost implications, the likely impact on small journals and publishers, and the way in which it would allow commercial publishers to continue to profit excessively from the research community – see, for instance, here, here and here.


Following Prof. VijayRaghavan’s tweets, however, radio silence set in, with no confirmation that India had formally joined, or any updates on the status of its plans. For this reason many ears pricked up last Friday when, during a lecture he gave at IISc Bangalore to mark Open Access Week, Prof. VijayRaghavan commented, “We are not committed to whatever Plan S does or does not do.” This sufficiently piqued the interest of Vasudevan Mukunth that he sought out Prof. VijayRaghavan and asked for clarification, which led to an interview in The Wire where it was confirmed that India no longer plans to join cOAlition S.


As I had been trying to interview Prof. VijayRaghavan for some months, I too was piqued by his comments and so took to Twitter to again invite him to answer the questions I had sent him in June. He agreed and below are his answers to an updated list of questions I emailed over to him….”

Interview: ‘Everyone Wants Change as Long as It Doesn’t Happen’

“We are not joining Plan S. Plan S is itself evolving, and the terms that we are trying to push is something that we will ask Plan S to push for in their format.

[I asked him in a follow-up email to clarify this point; his reply follows:] Since February 2018, some water has flowed under the bridge. We have done substantial work here and had consultations with government, individual scientists and the academies. Our directions now and the next steps are what I spoke about in my lecture. Plan-S has also taken its steps and moved in some new directions. We are in touch with Plan-S, at present, to the extent that they have presented their current directions at our meeting by video and responded to clarifications we asked.

As we move along, I expect there will be overlap in our directions to open-access. However, our directions will be entirely determined by the interests of Indian academia and of India, for which our understanding of and collaboration internationally with groups such as Plan-S is important….”


India Not Joining Plan S, Pursuing More Nationally Focused Efforts: K. VijayRaghavan

“In February 2018, K. VijayRaghavan, the principal scientific adviser to the Government of India, announced through a series of tweets that the Government of India, which funds over half of all scientific research undertaken in the country, will be joining an ambitious European effort to lower the costs of scientific publishing and improve public access to the scientific literature.

However, at a talk he delivered in Bengaluru on October 25, VijayRaghavan said that India will not be enrolling with this initiative – called Plan S – and that it is pursuing a parallel effort to negotiate with journal publishers….”

Free Tamil Ebooks: For Android, iOS, Kindle and PDF readers.

From Google’s English: “All the latest books in Tamil are not available to us as ebooks. is working on a noble service for publishing ebooks in Tamil. All the Tamil ebooks that the group has provided so far are on PublicDomain. But these are very old books.

No recent books are available here….

Recently, various writers and bloggers have started writing about the latest events in Tamil. They fall under a range of topics such as literature, sports, culture, food, cinema, politics, photography, commerce and information technology.

We are going to put them all together to create Tamil ebooks.

The ebooks created will be released under the Creative Commons license. By publishing this book, the rights of the author who wrote the book are legally protected. At the same time, you can give those ebooks free of charge to whoever wants them.

So readers who read Tamil can get the latest Tamil eBooks for free….”

Virtual Conference on Open Access

“Open access is a broad international academic drive that pursues free and open online access to academic information, such as publications and data within the legal agreements.

In this virtual conference a panel of experts will discuss and highlights the need and significance of open access movement in today’s fastest growing scholarly world.”

Research outputs find a home at IndiaRxiv – IndiaRxiv

“Open Access India partners with the Center for Open Science to launch IndiaRxiv on the eve of India’s 73rd Independence Day as the country joins the global march for open science.

Open Access India and the Center for Open Science have collaborated to launch IndiaRxiv, India’s first preprint service. IndiaRxiv began as a vision for a single open platform that could provide free access to all publicly-funded research outputs (publications) from India and to provide Indian scholars with a way to share their scholarly outputs. Today, on the eve of India’s 73rd Independence Day, we are happy to introduce IndiaRxiv. Beginning 15th August, 2019, the preprint service will be open to all researchers and scholars of India and others who are working on issues related to India.

IndiaRxiv is being  launched not only for scholars to share their articles and read the work published by their peers, but also to provide public access to the latest research, allowing authors to gather feedback and ideas and build upon existing work….”