General Principles of Open Access

The Principles of Open Access are now published:

1. Free knowledge from shackles of economic compulsions – adopt principle that

‘Knowledge unto him who produces knowledge’.

Implies: In essence this completes the cycle of knowledge and spirals it into growth. A scholar produces original thought in a publication, another ensures its quality and another utilizes it to produce more knowledge thus completing the logical cycle. Other cogs of trade and business are quite unnecessary.

2. Making a case for OA material; scholarship is the same no matter where - the principle that

‘Scholarship is the same; priced or open'.

Implies: If there is scholarship reported in priced journals then it is scholarship that is reported in Open Access. Scholarship is transient immaterial of the vehicle that carries it. OA content is not low quality and all that is published in priced journals is not high quality. Therefore skepticism regarding quality of OA content is unfounded.

3. Be optimistic, working towards National Level policies and Mandates, adopt the principle with regard to governments that

‘If one is convinced others will be'.

Something as logical as Open Access will meet with consensus. It is only a matter of time. Persistent lobbying and active advocacy will bring around governments and establishments to accept Open Access mode of publishing.

Socio-economic, cultural and political factors in the world created inequalities. Open Access is one way to bridge the gap by making information resources available freely. Practical problems do exist on the way to establishing it but they are not insurmountable. A systematic and persistent approach to Open Access will pave the way to true ‘Democratization of Knowledge’.

Possibilities

Vast experience of worldwide Open Access experts and practitioners, technological advances present various possibilities towards realizing Open Access in its true intended sense. The possibilities directly correspond to the challenges and opportunities that are to be exploited to create positive avenues for Open Access. Possibilities are many. Repositories do not always need high level funding though it needs motivated personnel and contributors. Today the publishing (commercial) world has shrunk and it is possible to assemble the stakeholders online through organized workflows for management of the whole process that leads to Open Access content. Concrete steps are needed to steer the work towards achieving Open Access to Information:

  1. Adopting Open Mantra* : Use Open Source tools with Open Standards to create Openly accessible Content. *A.R.D. Prasad and Madalli, Devika. Open Mantra
  2. Collaborative platforms: The networked world facilitates collaborative working in Consortium mode that helps adopt standard methods and procedure thus making it possible to achieve overall economy, interoperability and at the same time proofing data. 
  3. Capacity Building: People are the important links and it is necessary to keep the learning process continuous through relevant training. 
  4. Advocacy: Spread the word and advocate for Open Access both in the Top down and Bottom-up approaches. The top-down level implies advocating for OA at Government and decision making levels. If a policy is formulated then the workforce will follow stipulated workflows. Bottom-up approach is in motivating workforce to start repositories and show benefits of OA practically. 
  5. Impact and Evaluation: It is very important to show the impact that OA is progressively making though relevant evaluations and projections periodically

More information at https://drtc.isibang.ac.in//handle/1849/512


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