Innovation

SpicyIP Tidbit: India’s DBT and DST Call for Comments on Draft Open Access Policy with Respect to Public Funded Research


open-accessIndia’s Departments of Biotechnology (DBT) and Science and Technology (DST) have come out with a draft policy for ensuring that the output of public funded research is published in a freely accessible platform.

The Draft Policy states, “since all funds disbursed by DBT/DST are public funds, it is important that the information and knowledge generated through the use of these funds are made publicly available as soon as possible.” The policy envisages that grantees publish their work in an open access journal, and should they choose to publish in a subscription journal, the work must also be deposited in an online repository. This repository should be the grantee’s institution’s repository, and in the absence of such facility, in a repository to be created by the DBT/DST.

To mitigate potential copyright infringement claims, the Policy recommends that if and when the DBT/DST- funded author wishes to publish the work in a non-open access journal, the author must inform the publisher that they would retain the right to place the full-text of the final author version in the institution’s IR and DBT/DST Central. This can be achieved by attaching to the copyright transfer agreement the DBT/DST author addendum. My concern here is the imbalance of bargaining power between the author and publisher (especially of reputed journals), as the publisher can just refuse to publish the article on those terms.  How far can a government recommendation influence the behavior of publishers?

The DBT/DST is not the first to take this Open Access route. The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) also have open access policies. This is truly commendable when compared to technology transfer practices in countries such as the USA, where the Bayh-Dole Act encourages universities to seek patent protection over the fruits of public-funded research, leading to fragmented ownership of such research. India is making the right move by moving away from this model in this case (the much-criticised ‘Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008, known as the ‘Indian Bayh-Dole Act‘ is fortunately still a Bill).

The DBT/DST Draft Policy is still open for comments and suggestions from the public. You may send them to [email protected] by 25th July, 2014. The draft policy is available here

 

 

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Spadika Jayaraj

Spadika Jayaraj

Spadika is a student of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Apart from Intellectual Property Law, she is also interested in Law and Technology issues.

3 comments.

  1. AvatarProf. P.Tauro & A.S.Rao

    Why not all research data be on Open Access?

    It is a well known fact that publishing research work is expensive both for the Investigator as well as publisher. But what is not realized is that most of the
    research conducted is done with support from the taxpayer but he does not get a chance to see the work published without paying. The winner in this game is the publisher who uses the copy right to make money. This is rather unfortunate and not correct when all cost of doing research including the processing cost of the manuscript, is paid through the tax payers money. In US, some universities have now asked their scientists to publish their work only in open access journals and have also asked their libraries not to subscribe to journals which
    are not on open access. It is time now that all countries do this since the tax payer/reader has already paid for the work through taxes and has been cheated for long.

    Reply
  2. AvatarProf. P.Tauro & A.S.Rao

    Why not all research data be on Open Access?

    It is a well known fact that publishing research work is
    expensive both for the Investigator as well as
    publisher. But what is not realized is that most of the
    research conducted is done with support from the taxpayer
    but he does not get a chance to see the work published
    without paying. The winner in this game is the publisher
    who uses the copy right to make money. This is rather
    unfortunate and not correct when all cost of doing
    research including the processing cost of the manuscript,
    is paid through the tax payers money. In US, some
    universities have now asked their scientists to publish
    their work only in open access journals and have also
    asked their libraries not to subscribe to journals which
    are not on open access. It is time now that all countries
    do this since the tax payer/reader has already paid for
    the work through taxes and has been cheated for long.

    Reply

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