Friday, July 11, 2008

Indian Institutes of Science Director favors open archives

Padmanabhan Balaram, director of the highly prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India and editor of India's leading (open access) science journal, Current Science, explains why he favors the open access archives approach to open access, in SciDevNet.

Most scientific journals are published in Europe and the U.S., and Indian scientists tend to publish in these journals. The question is how to ensure research publicly funded is freely available to researchers in developing countries. In Padmanabhan's view, open archives is the solution. Researchers need to publish in the most prestigious journals; almost all allow author self-archiving. The OA publishing approach paid for through article processing fees has drawbacks; for the researcher in the developing country, the cost can be astronomical, and the idea of begging for waivers does not appeal.

IISc already has more than 10,000 articles in its institutional repository; this number is soon expected to exceed 20,000 articles. This is a very significant size and growth rate for any repository, an inspiration for us all!

Update July 11: to clarify, Balaram is discussing the relative advantages of two different forms of open access: open access archiving (also called the green road), and open access publishing (also called the gold road). Balaram uses the phrase "open access" where "open access publishing" would be more accurate.

Thanks to Subbiah Arunachalam.