India proposes a plan for nationwide open access

Margaret DeLacy's picture


Below is a link to a story by Smriti Mallapati that appeared in Nature on September 30 2020 entitled "India pushes bold ‘one nation, one subscription’ journal-access plan"

The story outlines a complex series of issues and options but the excerpt below gives the gist. 

"The government [of India] wants to negotiate with the world’s biggest scientific publishers to set up nationwide subscriptions, rather than many agreements with individual institutions that only scholars can use, say researchers consulting for the government. . . .India is not proposing the same open-access terms for articles that its researchers publish. Instead, the researchers advising the government want authors to archive their accepted manuscripts in public online repositories. . . .  open-access advocates in India say Plan S doesn’t work for the nation because many open-access journals impose up-front article-processing charges (APCs) “


[Margaret's comment]

In many Western European countries, the researcher's institution pays the APCs envisaged by Plan S.  Of course that leaves independent scholars out in the cold. However, I wonder whether India have it both ways--universal access for its citizens with no publishing subsidies from its authors?  India is not a small producer or consumer of scholarly work--according to the article, India was the third-largest producer of science and engineering articles in 2018, publishing more than 135,000 documents.