Editorial: Vol. 9, No. 4, 2017

Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.00

With the publication Volume 9, number 4, the journal enters 10 years of scholarly Open Access publishing. The year 2018 will celebrated in various ways; there will be Special Issues, awards for authors and more. At the same time, we feel, it is time to introspect the context of the making of the journal and its future. In the year 2008 when the founding editors thought of promoting researches in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities and Open Access utilizing the new web technology, we entered a vast area of emerging technology. So primarily it was our tryst with technology that led us to explore and organize the necessary tools for creating a journal. Now when we look back at what went to the making of the journal, we understand that we were truly inspired by the promise of the web facilitating communications in wholly new way. Of course, we were amateurs in the field of scholarly publishing, but at the same time we were seeking to implement certain international standards and norms at a time when research publication rarely followed those criteria in India.

Along with the promise of instant global communication, the new web technology also brought a curse, the curse of predatory publishing. In an editorial in 2013 we spoke of the controlling measures to be taken in India—the formulation of quality factors and creation of new citation index, in order to save the Indian publication industry from great infamy it was accumulating. After few years the Indian government agencies took up some corrective measures, especially the creation of a dynamic journal list for promotion and appointment of teachers. But confusion and ambiguities still remain as certain deciding key terms like ‘refereed’, ‘national’, ‘international’ ‘impact factor’ etc have not been addressed in any way. So, the use of fake or counterfeit Impact Factors (which is a trademark property of Thompson Reuters) continues to confuse researchers and make the publications more questionable. In order to address this also, India needs a neutral citation index that would provide some quality factors at least in the Indian context.

Much of the confusion and exploitation of the new technology by the predatory publishers can be attributed to the lack of discussion about the principles of Open Access publishing in India. Because of the lack of professionalism and bureaucratic approach to education, the author-pays model quickly became a condemned one, whereas on the other hand, the demands of the API forced many true researchers to go with the predatory publishers. At present, Indian stake holders are in urgent need of formulations of Open Access policies and creation of viable business and academic models in publishing in India. Otherwise, the phenomenon of, what P. K. Nayar has recently called “arranged academia” will continue to plague us evermore.

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