Federated Search Service for OAI-compliant, Open-Access Repositories in India

Many of the research institutions and universities across the world are facilitating open-access (OA) to their intellectual outputs through their respective OA institutional repositories (IRs) or through the centralized subject-based repositories. The registry of open access repositories (ROAR) lists more than 2850 such repositories across the world. The awareness about the benefits of OA to scholarly literature and OA publishing is picking up in India, too. As per the ROAR statistics, to date, there are more than 90 OA repositories in the country. India is doing particularly well in publishing open-access journals (OAJ). As per the directory of open-access journals (DOAJ), to date, India with 390 OAJs, is ranked 5th in the world in terms of numbers of OAJs being published.

Much of the research done in India is reported in the journals published from India. These journals have limited readership and many of them are not being indexed by Web of Science, Scopus or other leading international abstracting and indexing databases. Consequently, research done in the country gets hidden not only from the fellow countrymen, but also from the international community. This situation can be easily overcome if all the researchers facilitate OA to their publications.

One of the easiest ways to facilitate OA to scientific literature is through the institutional repositories. If every research institution and university in India set up an open-access IR and ensure that copies of the final accepted versions of all the research publications are uploaded in the IRs, then the research done in India will get far better visibility. The federation of metadata from all the distributed, interoperable OA repositories in the country will serve as a window to the research done across the country.

Federation of metadata from the distributed OAI-compliant repositories can be easily achieved by setting up harvesting software like the PKP Harvester. In this paper, we share our experience in setting up a prototype metadata harvesting service using the PKP harvesting software for the OAI-compliant repositories in India.

URL : http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/43176/

Open access versus subscription journals: a comparison of scientific impact

Authors : Bo-Christer Björk, David Solomon


In the past few years there has been an ongoing debate as to whether the proliferation of open access (OA) publishing would damage the peer review system and put the quality of scientific journal publishing at risk.

Our aim was to inform this debate by comparing the scientific impact of OA journals with subscription journals, controlling for journal age, the country of the publisher, discipline and (for OA publishers) their business model.


The 2-year impact factors (the average number of citations to the articles in a journal) were used as a proxy for scientific impact. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) was used to identify OA journals as well as their business model.

Journal age and discipline were obtained from the Ulrich’s periodicals directory. Comparisons were performed on the journal level as well as on the article level where the results were weighted by the number of articles published in a journal.

A total of 610 OA journals were compared with 7,609 subscription journals using Web of Science citation data while an overlapping set of 1,327 OA journals were compared with 11,124 subscription journals using Scopus data.


Overall, average citation rates, both unweighted and weighted for the number of articles per journal, were about 30% higher for subscription journals. However, after controlling for discipline (medicine and health versus other), age of the journal (three time periods) and the location of the publisher (four largest publishing countries versus other countries) the differences largely disappeared in most subcategories except for journals that had been launched prior to 1996.

OA journals that fund publishing with article processing charges (APCs) are on average cited more than other OA journals. In medicine and health, OA journals founded in the last 10 years are receiving about as many citations as subscription journals launched during the same period.


Our results indicate that OA journals indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus are approaching the same scientific impact and quality as subscription journals, particularly in biomedicine and for journals funded by article processing charges.

URL : http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/73

Use of Web Resources for Scholarly Research in Language and Literature: A Study among Research Scholars in Aligarh Muslim University, India

This paper assesses the level of awareness and use of web resources by the research scholars of languages and literature in Aligarh Muslim University, India. Further the paper aims to highlight the problems faced by research scholars while accessing web resources, their opinion about the features and usefulness of the e-resources. The study was conducted through a well structured questionnaire administered among the research scholars in the department of English, Hindi, Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Modern Indian Languages and Comparative literature and Culture.

A random sample of 250 respondents collected during the months of June to August 2011 has been taken for analysis. This paper restricts the study exclusively to use of web resources by research scholars of Language and Literature in Aligarh Muslim University. The scope of the study can be extended to other Indian Universities also.

The study reveals that web resources have became an essential part of the research works in AMU. Almost all the services and resources available on Web are utilized by the researchers and Google is the widely used search engine in the University. Many attempts have been made to study the use of e-resources by research scholars in various universities in India, but this is the first of its kind among the researchers of Language and Literature with some suggestions for improvement of web resources and services.

URL : http://irjlis.com/use-web-resources-scholarly-research-language-literature/

Multi-Stage Open Peer Review: Scientific Evaluation Integrating the Strengths of Traditional Peer Review with the Virtues of Transparency and Self-Regulation

The traditional forms of scientific publishing and peer review do not live up to all demands of efficient communication and quality assurance in today’s highly diverse and rapidly evolving world of science.

They need to be advanced and complemented by interactive and transparent forms of review, publication, and discussion that are open to the scientific community and to the public.

The advantages of open access, public peer review, and interactive discussion can be efficiently and flexibly combined with the strengths of traditional scientific peer review. Since 2001 the benefits and viability of this approach are clearly demonstrated by the highly successful interactive open access journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP, www.atmos-chem-phys.net) and a growing number of sister journals launched and operated by the European Geosciences Union (EGU, www.egu.eu) and the open access publisher Copernicus (www.copernicus.org).

The interactive open access journals are practicing an integrative multi-stage process of publication and peer review combined with interactive public discussion, which effectively resolves the dilemma between rapid scientific exchange and thorough quality assurance.

Key features and achievements of this approach are: top quality and impact, efficient self-regulation and low rejection rates, high attractivity and rapid growth, low costs, and financial sustainability.

In fact, ACP and the EGU interactive open access sister journals are by most if not all standards more successful than comparable scientific journals with traditional or alternative forms of peer review (editorial statistics, publication statistics, citation statistics, economic costs, and sustainability).

The high efficiency and predictive validity of multi-stage open peer review have been confirmed in a series of dedicated studies by evaluation experts from the social sciences, and the same or similar concepts have recently also been adopted in other disciplines, including the life sciences and economics.

Multi-stage open peer review can be flexibly adjusted to the needs and peculiarities of different scientific communities. Due to the flexibility and compatibility with traditional structures of scientific publishing and peer review, the multi-stage open peer review concept enables efficient evolution in scientific communication and quality assurance.

It has the potential for swift replacement of hidden peer review as the standard of scientific quality assurance, and it provides a basis for open evaluation in science.”

URL : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3389610/

The data paper: a mechanism to incentivize data publishing in biodiversity science


Free and open access to primary biodiversity data is essential for informed decision-making to achieve conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development. However, primary biodiversity data are neither easily accessible nor discoverable.

Among several impediments, one is a lack of incentives to data publishers for publishing of their data resources. One such mechanism currently lacking is recognition through conventional scholarly publication of enriched metadata, which should ensure rapid discovery of ‘fit-for-use’ biodiversity data resources.


We review the state of the art of data discovery options and the mechanisms in place for incentivizing data publishers efforts towards easy, efficient and enhanced publishing, dissemination, sharing and re-use of biodiversity data.

We propose the establishment of the ‘biodiversity data paper’ as one possible mechanism to offer scholarly recognition for efforts and investment by data publishers in authoring rich metadata and publishing them as citable academic papers.

While detailing the benefits to data publishers, we describe the objectives, work flow and outcomes of the pilot project commissioned by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility in collaboration with scholarly publishers and pioneered by Pensoft Publishers through its journals Zookeys, PhytoKeys, MycoKeys, BioRisk, NeoBiota, Nature Conservation and the forthcoming Biodiversity Data Journal.

We then debate further enhancements of the data paper beyond the pilot project and attempt to forecast the future uptake of data papers as an incentivization mechanism by the stakeholder communities.


We believe that in addition to recognition for those involved in the data publishing enterprise, data papers will also expedite publishing of fit-for-use biodiversity data resources.

However, uptake and establishment of the data paper as a potential mechanism of scholarly recognition requires a high degree of commitment and investment by the cross-sectional stakeholder communities.”

URL : http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2105/12/S15/S2

A Study of Open Access Journals Using Article Processing Charges

Article Processing Charges (APCs) are a central mechanism for funding Open Access (OA) scholarly publishing. We studied the APCs charged and article volumes of journals that were listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals as charging APCs.

These included 1,370 journals that published 100,697 articles in 2010. The average APC was 906 US Dollars (USD) calculated over journals and 904 US Dollars USD calculated over articles.

The price range varied between 8 and 3,900 USD, with the lowest prices charged by journals published in developing countries and the highest by journals with high impact factors from major international publishers. Journals in Biomedicine represent 59% of the sample and 58% of the total article volume.

They also had the highest APCs of any discipline. Professionally published journals, both for profit and nonprofit had substantially higher APCs than society, university or scholar/researcher published journals.

These price estimates are lower than some previous studies of OA publishing and much lower than is generally charged by subscription publishers making individual articles open access in what are termed hybrid journals.

URL : http://www.openaccesspublishing.org/apc2/preprint.pdf