Open Access Week

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Allama Iqbal Library, University of Kashmir organized a “one day seminar on Open Access Resources” on 18th December, 2012 to create greater understanding about the benefits of Open Access Resources in scholarly communication and to highlight different Open Access Resources in various subject fields. The seminar was attended by the University Officials, Academics, Research Scholars and students, besides various College Principles and Librarians of colleges and other universities of Kashmir division. There was no registration fee and all the arrangements were made by Allama Iqbal Library.

The seminar was inaugurated by Prof. Talat Ahmad, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, University of Kashmir. In his inaugural address he emphasized the need to make use of electronic resources and their remote access. Prof. Talat Ahmad said Open Access Resources have become inevitable in view of the limited space available in libraries and other institutions now.  He further said that teachers and research scholars should publish their work in indexed journals to increase their visibility to the outside world.

The welcome address and introduction of the seminar was given by Dr. Abdul Majid Baba, University Librarian, University of Kashmir. He mentioned about the usefulness of the seminar in understanding the effective use of Open Access Resources and their availability on the Internet. He further mentioned about various steps taken by Allama Iqbal Library in the direction of Open Access movement.

The key note address was delivered by Prof. Wajih Ahmad Alvi, University Librarian, Islamic University of Science and Technology. Prof. Alvi highlighted the transition of knowledge from handwriting, printing to skywriting. He further stated that the advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its enabling capacities have revolutionized all human enterprises, their institutions and the services. Naturally it had an impact on the whole gamut of production, access and archiving of information worldwide. There emerged electronic formats for packaging information and the accessing scenario also changed from physical to online. Highlighting the role of Open Access Resources, he mentioned several Open Access programs which are now fully operational worldwide. One of the major programs is the digitization of traditional printed books. We have Project Gutenberg, Google Books, Internet Archive, Bookboon to quote but a few.

In the case of journals where we encountered many chronic and critical problems the scenario has changed a great deal. We now have thousands of Open Access journals as listed in Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Under the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) we now talk in terms of Green and Gold Roads to publish, archive and access journals; the former advocates Self-archiving e-print of finally accepted version on Institutional Repository or some Central Repositories on the Web to showcase one’s contribution, while the later favours Publishing in an Open Access journal. At the end of his address he mentioned some dark spots most frequently talked about on Open Access.

Prof. Zafar Ahmad Reshi, Registrar, University of Kashmir presented an impressive Power Point Presentation (PPT) on “Quality of Open Access Journals”. In his presentation, he highlighted the veritable revolution of scientific journal publishing enabled by the emergence of the World Wide Web. He further shed light on the journey of Open Access journals through time. He concluded his presentation by stating that the “Results indicate that OA journals indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus are approaching the same scientific impact and quality as subscription journals, particularly in biomedicine and for journals funded by article processing charges”.

During the second session of the seminar, various PPTs on the theme of the seminar were presented by faculty members, Librarians, Research Scholars and Students. In these presentations, different aspects of Open Access were thoroughly discussed. Various Open Access Resources were highlighted and their usage and effectiveness in different disciplines was demonstrated. The participants appreciated the organizers of the seminar and desired to have more programmes of similar in nature to be organized in future also.

The seminar concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr. Abdul Rashid Lattoo, Sr. Assistant Librarian, Allama Iqbal Library, University of Kashmir.

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