Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) demands the building of an indigenous network for online research content along with the constitution of a committee to draw up a framework for open access to the scientific research literature in India.
Recently, three foreign publishing giants, namely Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society, which, together, represent more than a quarter of the world’s peer-reviewed scientific, technical and medical literature have sued Sci-Hub and Lib-Gen, foreign websites that provide free downloads of published academic papers in India, for copyright infringement in the Delhi High Court.
Despite an expenditure of 205 million dollars or 1500 crore rupees on journal subscriptions by the Government of India, the issue of comprehensive, last-mile access continues to persist. ABVP believes the adoption of ‘One Nation, One Subscription’ model which suits everyone needs, also suggested by the Principal Scientific Advisor Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, is welcome move but along with this building Indigenous network of online research content must be emphasised.
ABVP strongly suggests that while open-access should be mandatory for publications born out of the utilisation of public research grants, measures must be instituted to enhance the journal impact factor of Indian journals to make them globally competitive.
Nidhi Tripathi, National General Secretary, ABVP, said, “International cooperation along with urgent domestic measures are needed to address the issue of global inequality in access to scientific research journals. Since the access to existing scientific literature will determine the progress of scientific research in India, the contours of the ‘Open-Access’ policy and the ‘One Nation, One Subscription’ model must be drawn up by a dedicated committee of experts to achieve universal access as soon as possible.”