Open Access Initiatives in India - an Evaluation

  • Leila Fernandez York University


Developing countries have embraced open access with a view to promoting visibility of research done in these regions. Open access initiatives described in this paper are based on interviews with information professionals responsible for creation and maintenance of online research repositories in India. Open access journals, e-print archives and e-theses repositories are covered with an emphasis on the sciences including the physical sciences, mathematics and the biomedical sciences. Existing repositories were identified from the Registry of Open Access Repositories located at Key contacts were facilitated by well-known local open access advocates. Participants were contacted by e-mail and sites visited wherever possible. Many universities in India are at present lacking in infrastructure for establishing institutional repositories, so most of the institutions visited were research institutes and informatics centres. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to ascertain the background of participants, institutional culture, software selection, nature of funding, submission policies and future plans of these repositories. Also covered were promotion methods, user feedback and institutional support. Barriers to setting up institutional repositories are identified in this paper. Special features are described. Based on participant feedback a list of best practices is presented. The study has definite implications for the role of Canadian librarians in the promotion of Canadian research.

Author Biography

Leila Fernandez, York University
Leila Fernandez works as a science librarian at York University in Toronto, Canada. Since 2002 she has been Head of the Steacie Science and Engineering Library at York University. Her interests are in the areas of scholarly communication pertaining to libraries. In 2005 while on sabbatical, she received a librarian fellowship from the Shastri Indo Canadian Institute which allowed her to spend four months in India studying the development of institutional repositories resulting in this publication.
Theory and Research