Why I Won’t Review or Write for Elsevier and Other Commercial Scientific Journals – The Wire Science

“To the argument that shunning such journals will compromise science, I can only point out to many journals of repute published by scientific societies and academies worldwide (such as the Indian Academy of Sciences) that make all their published papers free (diamond/platinum open access) and are able to run their journals with modest subscriptions and advertisements. There have also been initiatives like Amelica and Coalition-S. The alternatives are there for us to adopt as scientists and scholars if we wish.

I realise that, for early-career scientists, publishing in some of these journals is still important because of the undue importance still given to them by academic institutions in their scientific recruitment and recognition policies. I, too, have published in these journals and realise I am implicated in the perpetuation of this system. I will respect the views and needs of students and others I collaborate with on where they seek to publish in or review for. But as a token of protest, I declare that where it concerns my own work I will not submit a paper to these journals or review a paper for them, until such corporate predatory practices end. I do realise that my action is a mere token and not enough. There is more I myself need to do to make science universal, free, and accessible….”

Article processing charge may be a barrier to publishing

Abstract:  Recently most of the journals charge a fee known as article processing charge (APC) for publication of an article. These charges can vary from journal to journal. This publication fee is often paid by the author, the author’s institution, or their research funder organization. Though low- and middle-income countries are usually exempted from APC, India does not come under the category of waiver by most of the journals that ask for the APC. Most of the Indian institutes do not pay for publication and research thus individual researcher suffers huge financial burden due to APC. Hence, less affluent institutions, scholars, and students are unable to publish their work due to these barriers. These articles highlight the challenges faced by authors and solutions for publishers and journals to avoid APCs.

A Martyr and a Warrior: Guerilla open access movement and the continuing battle for radical access to scholarly literature

“Anubha will reflect on the arc of the guerilla open access movement, and its turning points such as Aaron Swartz’s prosecution, Libgen’s and Sci-hub’s missions, and more. She will also highlight the movement’s connections and relevance for Indian researchers….

 

 

Arul will be providing an overview of the legal issues involved in the litigation initiated in India by three major publishers against Sci-Hub and Libgen. He will discuss the specific facts of the case and examine whether there are any legitimate grounds for granting a “dynamic injunction” against Sci-Hub ad Libgen. As part of the remarks, he will discuss the factors that a court needs to take into consideration while deciding on an injunction application. During his remarks, he will also touch upon some of the important lessons for the global community from the prosecution of Aaron Swartz in the US and the tragic end of that prosecution.”

The Monopoly of Journal Subscriptions and the Commodification of Research – The Wire Science

“So the final question is whether the government of India should try to address the basic problem of proprietorship of knowledge, and its subsequent commercialisation, by negotiating for a better deal from journal proprietors for access at less exorbitant fees; or should it examine how to change the law to give proprietary ownership to the creators of the knowledge?

The earlier bulk subscriptions negotiated by Uruguay and Egypt, cost them about Rs 48 per capita, while India currently spends about Rs 12 per capita. For India to arrive at an agreement at the same rate as Uruguay and Egypt would mean an expenditure of roughly Rs 6,500 crore (or $890mn). As it is, in India, public funding for research is scarce and becoming scarcer by the day through market-friendly policies. Changing the law, on the other hand, would either mean modifying existing legal provisions or at least passing legislation with respect to publicly funded research and its products within India as well as free access to such research globally….

Meanwhile, we must be quite clear that Sci-Hub and Library Genesis are providing an enormously useful service to scholars all over the world. It will be a long time before any official agency in India will be able to provide a comparable service. The best we can hope for is that the court cases against them languish for as long as possible as they do for much less laudable causes.”

The SHRUG; Development Data Lab

“The Socioeconomic High-resolution Rural-Urban Geographic Platform for India (SHRUG) is a geographic platform that facilitates data sharing between researchers working on India. It is an open access repository currently comprising dozens of datasets covering India’s 500,000 villages and 8000 towns using a set of a common geographic identifiers that span 25 years….”

Big Data for Justice. An open-access dataset of 80 million legal case records

“The 7000 odd courts that make up India’s lower judiciary processed more than 80 million cases between 2010–2018. That huge backlog and scarce resources plague Indian courts is well-known. But which districts bear the greatest burden? Where has delay in due process been the most crippling? Are the benches diverse — do they mirror the underlying population of a state? Have crimes against women been on the rise — are specific districts particularly notorious? These just scratch the surface of pressing questions on law and order in India, that can now be answered in a matter of minutes using the largest open-access dataset on judicial proceedings in the world….”

Sci-Hub Case : Founder Elbakyan Takes ‘Fair Dealing’ Defence; Says Academic Journals Exploitative

“Online repository of science articles, Sci-hub, has taken the defence of ‘Fair dealing’ before the Delhi High Court in a suit for injunction filed by publishing houses Elsevier Ltd, Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., and American Chemical Society over alleged copyright infringement. The website’s founder, Alexandra Elbakyan has submitted that the platform is engaged in providing free access to research publications and scientific material, for the benefit of the students and researchers and the consequent benefit of the public….

Thus, it is claimed that the suit is barred by Section 52(1)(a)(i) of the Copyright Act. The provision provides that ‘Private use including research’ of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work amounts to fair dealing and shall not constitute an infringement of copyright….”

Sci-Hub Case : Founder Elbakyan Takes ‘Fair Dealing’ Defence; Says Academic Journals Exploitative

“Online repository of science articles, Sci-hub, has taken the defence of ‘Fair dealing’ before the Delhi High Court in a suit for injunction filed by publishing houses Elsevier Ltd, Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., and American Chemical Society over alleged copyright infringement. The website’s founder, Alexandra Elbakyan has submitted that the platform is engaged in providing free access to research publications and scientific material, for the benefit of the students and researchers and the consequent benefit of the public….

Thus, it is claimed that the suit is barred by Section 52(1)(a)(i) of the Copyright Act. The provision provides that ‘Private use including research’ of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work amounts to fair dealing and shall not constitute an infringement of copyright….”

Science Policy, Competition and Profits

How much India is spending on journal subscriptions? how difficult is it for Indians to access publicly funded research? A nationwide subscription proposal comes with a lot of financial and moral baggage.