Open Access Initiatives in India: an Evaluation
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Developing countries have embraced open access with a view to promoting visibility of research done in these regions. Open access initiatives described in this paper are based on interviews with information professionals responsible for creation and maintenance of online research repositories in India. Open access journals, e-print archives and e-theses repositories are covered with an emphasis on the sciences including the physical sciences, mathematics and the biomedical sciences. Existing repositories were identified from the Registry of Open Access Repositories located at http://archives.eprints.org. Key contacts were facilitated by well-known local open access advocates. Participants were contacted by e-mail and sites visited wherever possible. Many universities in India are at present lacking in infrastructure for establishing institutional repositories, so most of the institutions visited were research institutes and informatics centres. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to ascertain the background of participants, institutional culture, software selection, nature of funding, submission policies and future plans of these repositories. Also covered were promotion methods, user feedback and institutional support. Barriers to setting up institutional repositories are identified in this paper. Special features are described. Based on participant feedback a list of best practices is presented. The study has definite implications for the role of Canadian librarians in the promotion of Canadian research.