Dr. M. G. Sreekumar            

             

Director-Libraries

Jio University, Mumbai

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The Changing Landscape of Scholarly Communication Ecosystem:

Looking at the Contours of Green, Gold and Diamond Routes

Abstract

The developments in technology, especially in ICTs (information and communication technology), are tremendous and the magnitude of changes that have been effecting the scholarly communication landscape has been phenomenal. In reality, scholarly communication system has largely been facilitated by publishers, the for-profit ones as well as others. Publishers obtain the copyright from authors while accepting their scripts for publication, and paradoxically, the author or his/her university/institute will not have access to the article unless they have a subscription to the journal. On the other side, the spiralling costs of scholarly journals and the shrinking library budgets are of grave concern to the academic and research fraternity regardless of geographic conditions. The affected actors in the game, the authors and institutions are now trying out OA (Open Access) alternatives for scientific publication and communication with a view to get rid of the clutches of the publishers. Open Access, as it is self-explanatory, intends seamless and free online access to all scholarly works emanating from the scientific fraternity worldwide. OA initiatives, through its prominent arms the Golden route (Open Access Publishing-OAP), the Green route (Open Access Archives-OAA) and the Diamond route (absolutely free and devoid of restrictions) are indeed poised to revolutionize the scholarly communication ecosystem, which is a vast departure from the centuries old norms of the publishing process. This paper highlights the importance and the broad spectrum of benefits the Open Access movement offers to the academic and research community, especially policy formulations that would lead to mandating open access to all publications resulting from publicly-funded research. It also discusses the various OA transformation models of practicing and promoting OA, which could be emulated by institutions and organizations in meeting the growing challenges that they face now in terms of budgetary constraints and in their earnest efforts to providing assured access to a (near) comprehensive body of information and knowledge to their own communities.