Centre for Internet & Society

Last week Tom Dane spoke with Professor P Balaram, Director of the Indian Institute of Science, about his thoughts on the Open Access movement. A podcast of the interview is available for download in the audio player within this post.


Professor P Balaram has been speaking on the Open Access movement for many years, and his position is nuanced. In this interview Balaram talks about the reasons he holds more hope currently for open-access archives over open-access journals, the importance of understanding the motivations of academics, and an idea for making institutional repositories more exciting.


~ 0:20 - Some of Balaram's views: the difficulty of the 'author pays' model for open-access journals, but our ability to separate this from the project of open-access institutional repositories.

~3:00 - clarifying the misleading idea that Indian scientists 'support' closed -access journals.

~4:30 - on the origins of the Open Access movement: not as an enabler of the developing world, but as an effort by libraries to counteract rising journal costs.

Professor Balaram on Open Access by CIS_India

~5:40 - on the future of the Open Access movement.

~6:00 - comparing open-access to the internet itself.

~6:50 - the importance of the community in expanding open-access, and the task of convincing more academics to support it.

~7:20 - how to make institutional repositories like vibrant and social parks.

~8:10 - the benefit of making repositories professionally competitive

~9:00 - the performance of the repositories at the Indian Institute of Science

~9:30 - the reasons why academics are currently slow to deposit papers, and how technology is making this easier.

~10:00 - the idea of changing the law in India to maintain the copyright of publicly funded work.

~10:50 - on how to make repositories more engaging: with websites, blogs, statistics, and rewards. More marketed, more dynamic, and the importance of imagination.

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