This study aims to analyze Open Access (OA) publishing trends and policy perspectives in India. Different aspects, such as the growth of OA journals digital repositories, the proportion of OA availability to research literature and the status of OA mandates and policies are studied.
Data for analyzing OA trends were gathered from multiple data sources, including Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), OpenDOAR, SCImago and Web of Science (WoS) databases. DOAJ and OpenDOAR were used for extracting OA journals and digital repository data. SCImago Journal and Country ranking portal and WoS database were used to obtain Indian publication data for assessing the proportion of OA to research literature. ROARMAP was used to study OA mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders in India. OA mandates and policies of major regulatory bodies and funding agencies were also reviewed using secondary sources of information and related websites.
India ranks number 15 and 17 globally for OA journals and OA repositories, with 317 journals and 98 repositories. Although India’s proportion to OA publications is 23% (7% below the world average of 30%), the annual growth rate of OA publications is around 18%. Although the governing bodies and institutions have made efforts to mandate researchers to adopt OA publishing and self-archiving, its implementation is quite low among Indian researchers, as only three institutions (out of 18 listed in the ROARMAP) are defined the embargo period. Funding agencies in India do not provide financial assistance to authors for the payment of Article Processing Charges despite mandates that research is deposited in OA repositories. India lacks a national OA policy but plans to implement a “one nation one subscription” formula to provide OA to scientific literature to all its citizens.
The study has certain limitations. Because much of India’s research output is published in local journals that are not indexed in WoS, the study recommends conducting further analyses of publications using Scopus and other databases to understand the country’s OA publishing proportion better. A further study based on feedback from different stakeholders through a survey may be conducted for formulating a national OA policy.
The study is the first that used multiple data sources for investigating different facets of OA publishing in India, including OA journals, digital repositories, OA research output and OA mandates and policies for publicly funded research. The findings will be helpful for researchers and policymakers interested in promoting OA adoption among researchers worldwide.