While the scientific community defies boundaries, creates new knowledge and ideas, much of this was traditionally inaccessible to the larger audience due to costly subscriptions of peer-reviewed journals and e-libraries. The ‘open access’ (OA) movement started in the early 90s, aims to provide unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research
This movement has gone a long way in dissolving the social inequality caused by restricting access to academic research. It has particularly opened up the research space in developing countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Brazil etc. who earlier found it challenging to purchase access to many journals and sustain costs of academic publishing due to their financial capacities.The biomedical domain pioneered open access publishing with journals like the BMJ, Journal of Medical Internet Research, and Medscape, who were created or made their content freely accessible as early as in the late 90s.
Recently, the Indian Ministry of Science has followed suit and made OA compulsory for all the scientific work funded by the ministry. All work published by funding received after April 2012, will hence be collated in a central repository; www.sciencecentral.in. The prime mover for OA in India, Mr. Subbiah Arunachalam of Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, further opines that article processing charges be reduced as well to prevent additional drain of research funds.
This is definitely a big step forward in the right direction for Indian science, and we hope that, as intended to, it enables scientific growth, percolation of research into tertiary education and maximum visibility to Indian research.
More on this can be found at http://www.natureasia.com/en/nindia/article/10.1038/nindia.2015.9