Open Access Journal Publishing in the Agricultural Sciences

Thomas Abraham; Nagaraj Vaidya; Vimal Kumar; Sridhar Gutam; Aneeja Guttikonda

Abstract


Open Knowledge Society (OKS) is doing a survey on scholarly research communication and the prospects of open access (OA) to the scholarly research dissemination. For this, we we have choosen a case study of National Agricultural Research System (NARS) of India for exploring the possibility of OA in publishing agricultural research. In Indian NARS, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) apex body at the centre, has a number of constituent establishments of agriculture research centers and at the state level, various state agricultural universities (SAUs) were established by their respective states. With over 90 ICAR research institutes and 42 agricultural universities spread across the country, this is one of the largest NARS of the world. Mainly the agriculture research output comes from publicly funded projects and many of the research centers and universities publishes research journals (peer-reviewed) and magazines even in local languages. Apart from these there are many professional societies in agriculture and related sciences publishing peer reviewed journals. But majority of these journals are traditional print journals due to which they are less visible to the outside world or for that matter to other fellow researchers who has no subscription of the journals nor his library. In Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), from India there are only 5 journals in the area of agriculture and animal sciences. Here is a lot of potential for the intervention and OKS sees that through Open Journal System (OJS) software, the research output can be made available to world. OKS would like to bring this point forward and hope it can bring some change and create awareness about OA publishing in Agricultural research in India. The survey reveled that there are more than 100 journals which are being published in India on agricultural research by the universities, research centers and professional societies. But these publishers are not aware of the goodness of online open access publications. There is a need for creating awareness among the authors and publishers to embrace the latest Internet technologies for publication of research journals by persuasion campaigns. OKS is keen to promote Open Access Publishing (OAP) using OJS by helping institutions to setup their journals and also build an indexing system for Indian agricultural journals. The result would definitely help Indian researchers and the end user farmer community and also helps other developing countries to improve their knowledge base.


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