India Open Access Workshops: Press Release

From: Leslie Carr <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 14:03:56 +0100

      Prior Subject thread:
      Workshop on Open Access

Executive Summary:

    (a) Indian Open Access Workshops a Great Success
    (b) Open Source Development Company offers pPrints Support for Very
        Modest Fee
    (c) Further plans to promote Eprints across India, China and Brazil.

The Open Access workshops in Chennai, India 2-4 May 2004 and 6-8 May 2004
were conceived and organised by Subbiah Arunachalam, on a suggestion
from Prof. M S Valiathan, President of the Indian National Science
Academyand held at the Bioinformatics Centre of the M S Swaminathan
Research Foundation

The workshops were attended by 50 scientists, research managers and
librarians from a wide range of research institutions from India
(below). The aim of the workshops was to enable each organisation to
set up an institutional EPrints archive; we confidently expect to see at
least a dozen sustainable, populated archives to appear within the next
three months. More than 150 people applied for the available places which
were limited by the requirement to provide hands-on access to computers
for instruction in the practical aspects maintaining an EPrints archive.

The workshops covered essential background (Open Access philosophy, the
theory of the Open Archiving Metadata Protocols, issues of document and
metadata formats) but majored on the practical aspects of using,
installing and configuring EPrint archives, with a particular focus on
the budgetary and management resources required for setting up a pilot
project within each organistaion to establish an institutional archive.

The participants were all highly motivated and technically very
competent. Indian researchers and institutions are particularly keen
not only to obtain more access to high quality research, but also to
provide access to high quality Indian research which they feel is
under-represented in international journals. Many of the participants
have Linux servers, excellent network infrastructure and a large number
of publications to hand, and consequently anticipate no difficulty in
setting up an EPrints server themselves, or in arranging institutional
support for doing so.

One of the participants was the head of an Open Source Software company
operating in the not-for-profit and NGO sector with whom we are in
discussion about a service for installing, configuring, maintaining and
upgrading EPrints archives.

The organiser of the workshop, Professor Subbiah Arunachalam from the
MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, is next organising a meeting of
government officials representing India, China and Brazil to discuss
national and international policies for promoting Open Access and
Research Archiving. I have been invited to the annual ICCC Electronic
Publishing conference in Brazil to give a keynote, to meet Brazilian
government officials and to run a workshop on EPrints Archiving.

Research Institutes attending Workshops
Bose Institute, Calcutta
Central Electro Chemical Research Institute, Karaikudi
Central Institute of Psychiatry, Kanke
Central Leather Research Institute
Central Potato Research Institute
Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture
Entomology Research Institute
Indian Agricultural Research Institute
Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute
Indian Institute of Technology (reps from each of 5 cities)
Indian National Science Association
Indian Institute of Astrophysics
Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode
International Crops research Institute for the semi-Arid Tropics
M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation
National Academy of Agricultural Sciences
National Brain Research Centre, Nainwal
National Chemical Laboratory
National Informatics Centre
National Institute of Nutrition
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology
Tuberculosis Research Centre

Anna University
Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai
Deemed University
Govind Ballabh Pant University Of Agriculture and Technology
Kerala Agricultural University
Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University
Shivaji University
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
University Of Madras
University of Delhi
University of Kalyani

Other Organisations
Mahiti (software developer for civil sector
National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP, National Co-ordinator
of 104 partners), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
Les Carr
Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia (IAM) group
Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
Received on Mon May 10 2004 - 14:03:56 BST

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