Sharing of Knowledge among Faculty in a Mega Open University

Authors : Sujata Santosh, Santosh Panda

Developments in ICTs and knowledge societies have revolutionized the traditional paradigms of education. There is a lot of emphasis on a culture of sharing and collaboration in the education scenario of today though educators have certain inhibitions about sharing of knowledge, ideas and resources.

The present study was undertaken to explore the sharing behaviour of the faculty of the National Open University in India. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire on knowledge sharing behaviour and barriers to sharing from 62 faculty members belonging to various disciplines.

The findings suggested that sharing was less preferred voluntarily and in networks; publishing was most preferred knowledge sharing mechanism; sharing of learning materials was more encouraged in the institution; and borrowing from Internet was more preferred.

The important perceived barriers included lack of recognition and absence of organizational knowledge sharing culture. The findings have been discussed in relation to related research and the existing institutional context.

URL : Sharing of Knowledge among Faculty in a Mega Open University


Open Access Temptations: Buyer Beware

Backlash against « megapublishers” which began in mathematics a decade ago has led to an exponential growth in open access journals. Their increasing numbers and popularity notwithstanding, there is evidence that not all open access journals are legitimate.

The nature of the « gold open access » business model and increasing prevalence of « publish or perish » culture in academia has given rise to a dark underbelly in the world of scientific publishing which feeds off academics’ professional needs.

Many such « predatory publishers » and journals not only seem to originate out of India but also seem to have been patronized by academics in the country. This article is a cautionary note to early-career academics and administrators in India to be wary of this « wild west » of the internet and exercise due discretion when considering/ evaluating open-access journals for scholarly contributions.


Sweat, Skepticism, and Uncharted Territory : A Qualitative Study of Opinions on Data Sharing Among Public Health Researchers and Research Participants in Mumbai, India

Efforts to internalize data sharing in research practice have been driven largely by developing international norms that have not incorporated opinions from researchers in low- and middle-income countries. We sought to identify the issues around ethical data sharing in the context of research involving women and children in urban India. We interviewed researchers, managers, and research participants associated with a Mumbai non-governmental organization, as well as researchers from other organizations and members of ethics committees.

We conducted 22 individual semi-structured interviews and involved 44 research participants in focus group discussions. We used framework analysis to examine ideas about data and data sharing in general; its potential benefits or harms, barriers, obligations, and governance; and the requirements for consent. Both researchers and participants were generally in favor of data sharing, although limited experience amplified their reservations. We identified three themes: concerns that the work of data producers may not receive appropriate acknowledgment, skepticism about the process of sharing, and the fact that the terrain of data sharing was essentially uncharted and confusing.

To increase data sharing in India, we need to provide guidelines, protocols, and examples of good practice in terms of consent, data preparation, screening of applications, and what individuals and organizations can expect in terms of validation, acknowledgment, and authorship.

URL : Sweat, Skepticism, and Uncharted Territory

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Study of Open Access Publishing in Social Sciences and its Implications for Libraries

The Open Access Movement (OAM), which started as a gradual realisation by authors mainly in biomedical sciences to make available results of public-funded research projects to the public without much barrier pertaining to cost, permission, copyright obligations, etc., gradually gained momentum across the world and India was no exception to it.

Though the movement was confined mainly to science, technology and medical fields in India, since last few years, a number of open access repositories and open access journals in Social Science subjects have started appearing.

The present study which is confined to the open access Social Science journals published from India as mentioned in the Directory of Open Access Journals, identified 60 open access Social Sciences journals in India.

The study also analysed the journals on the basis of certain parameters as to trend of open access journals in Social Sciences, and was found that most of open access journals in Social Sciences appeared between 2009 and 2014 and about half of the journals charge authors for publishing their papers in the journals and only a few are published under Creative Commons Attribution.

Lastly, the paper discusses about implications of open access publishing on Social Science research libraries made few suggestions towards encouraging open access publishing in Social Science subjects in India.

URL : Study of Open Access Publishing in Social Sciences and its Implications for Libraries

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Indian research going global: A study on the status of open access publishing

« Aims to measure quantitatively the scholarly journals which were produced with full immediate open access (OA) from 2003 to 2013. Focuses on the amount of India’s contribution to scholarly literature through the repositories of their institutions, amount of literature produced in various disciplines and the open source software’s (OSS) used for it. Aims to know the current status of open access publishing in India. A survey of the open access journals indexed in the Directory of Open access Journals (DOAJ) and the repositories indexed in the Open DOAR is followed for this study. India started making its journals open access in 2003 with about 13 journals in a year and has reached about 197 journals till September 2013, which shows a growth of 15 fold of the open access journal output within a year. The percentage of the multidisciplinary repositories is highest with 43% and the repositories of the disciplines such as Technology, Chemistry and Chemical Technology and Physics and Astronomy are 18%, 15% and 14% respectively among the 64 repositories listed in OpenDOAR. With about 650 open access journals and about 64 open access directories, India has made important contributions towards the growth of Open access publishing. »


Digitization, Internet publishing and the revival of scholarly monographs: An empirical study in India

« This research shows the growing utility of internet-based digital models in reviving the crisis-stricken traditional print monograph publishing. The rising prices of scientific journals in the past three decades forced academic and research libraries to resort to cutbacks on monograph budgets. The declining sales to libraries and rising production costs led to a significant drop in global demand for print monographs, rendering monograph publishing financially unattractive. Combining the flexibility of digitized content with the global reach of the Internet, three emerging digital models — print on demand, bundled e-books, and e-consortia — are beginning to revamp the monograph publishing business. »


Knowledge Management and Electronic Theses and Dissertations in Libraries: Perils and Solutions in Indian Perspective

« ICT is a great facilitator for Knowledge Management. ICT enables creation of digital repositories for sharing knowledge transcending many limitations. Digital Repository (DR) is one of the components of KM in Libraries. DR of in-house research is becoming a priority item in universities and research institutions. The paper highlights the major challenges in creating a DR of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) for university/research institution. Discusses the constraints on ETD initiatives and possible solutions. Suggests that LIS professionals should up problem-solving steps based on research in the area of KM in Libraries. »