Enhancing the efficacy of the ‘DBT and DST Open Access Policy’

“We need to take serious cognizance of the document titled ‘DBT and DST Open Access Policy’ released jointly by DST and DBT on 12 December 2014. The focus of the document is on ensuring that knowledge created through the use of public funds is available to the public. This document stipulates that papers resulting from funds received from DST or DBT from the fiscal year 2012–13 onwards are required to be deposited in institutional repositories or in designated central repositories (dbt. sciencecentral.in and dst.sciencecentral. in). It stipulates that institutes receiving core funding from DST or DBT must set up institutional repositories. Most of this document discusses modalities, etc. for the repositories, but it makes two interesting statements that we should discuss. One is a view about an outcome of such open access, viz. ‘providing free online access by depositing them in an institutional repository is the most effective way of ensuring that the research it funds can be accessed, read and built upon’. The other statement makes a judgment call on the use of journal impact factors (IF). The document states ‘The DBT and DST affirms the principle that the intrinsic merit of the work, and not the title of the journal in which an author’s work is published, should be considered in making future funding decisions. The DBT and DST do not recommend the use of journal impact factors either as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist’s contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions’. I shall discuss these two statements in some detail …”

Open Access and Institutional Repositories: How Should Subscription Journals Respond? : American Journal of Roentgenology: Vol. 205, No. 2 (AJR)

“Our recent experience with institutional repositories and the impact of open-access policy raise concerns for subscription biomedical journals. We have been notified by only one of the 57 institutions with repositories that it has its own repository regulations that are applied to all authors. Does this mean we need to obtain a list of the repository rules at each of the 57 institutions and check every submission to see whether any of the authors is on the faculty? A daunting task, indeed. As we study the most effective approach to this issue, there are several first steps that we are in the process of implementing. We are currently in the process of modifying portions of the copyright transfer agreement [4] and the author guidelines, including the content requirements of the cover letter.


Our author guidelines follow those set forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors [5]. Our current author guidelines already state that any similar work must be disclosed and documented. Copies of any work that might be considered similar should be included with the cover letter when submitting the manuscript. We will also need to emphasize work included in registries and repositories, making it very clear that any such work should be documented. Before initiating the peer-review process, we require institutional waivers or documentation that authors have opted out of participation in institutional repositories. Failure to provide this documentation can result in copyright issues and even the retraction of articles published in AJR that may be redundant because of institutional licensing issues. This approach requires AJR staff to determine during an initial technical check whether any of the authors of a submission are from institutions with repositories….”