BURA: an open access multilingual information retrieval and representation system for Indian higher education and research institutions.

Author:Roy, Bijan Kumar
Position:Burdwan University Research Archive - Essay
  1. Introduction

    Advancement of information and communication technology (ICT) has brought many changes in library environment by transforming the traditional publishing system into electronic publishing system. Several open access (OA) publishing models have emerged and the way of information production, acquisition, dissemination and its preservation have also changed (Roy, Biswas & Mukhopadhyay, 2016a). The main objective of this OA movement is to solve the problem " serials crisis" faced by different libraries by providing Gratis OA (free to view) and Libre OA (free to reuse and rework) to all public funded research outputs. The open access repositories (OARs) as a green road to OA have emerged as a new publishing platform due to the problem of the present system of scholarly publishing. Jones, Andrew & MacColl (2006) have rightly identified the following elements that led to the development of OARs such as--e-thesis archives; faculty practice of e-prints on personal web pages; subject repositories; need from institutions for presentation of research outputs in various form and format; OA aims etc. In SPARC position paper, Crow (2002) defined an institutional repository (IR) as "a digital archive of the intellectual product created by the faculty, research staff, and students of an institution and made accessible to end users both within and outside of the institution, with few if any barriers to access".

    India has more than 750 universities of some kind in each of the 29 states of India as well as three of the union territories (www.ugc.ac.in). It includes State, Central, Private and deemed to be Universities. All these institutes have been generating valuable knowledge resources in the form of theses, dissertations, project reports, courseware, pre-prints, etc through research and development activities. But seamless access to this scholarly information is the biggest problem of Indian Universities. In a study (The Open Citation Project, 2004), it was found that near about 80-85% of digital intellectual output of universities is never made accessible to the public. There is no such mechanism for holding and sharing such public funded research results globally. Existing information retrieval (IR) systems are not able to access these public funded research outputs. In this context, a Web-enabled distributed IR system is required for perpetual access of these OA knowledge resources. The solution named BURA may become an alternative platform and one of the easiest ways to facilitate OA to scientific literatures available in different form and format. The objective of the paper is to describe key features and functions of the proposed model - BURA.

  2. Literature Review

    A good number of literatures including journal articles, seminar papers, reports, projects etc are now available on evaluation of India OARs (Choudhury & Choudhury, 2014; Das & Chatterjee, 2015; Roy, 2007; Roy, 2014b; Roy & Mukhopadhyay, 2011; Sengupta, 2012; Thaker & Oza, 2010). Roy, Biswas & Mukhopadhyay (2012a) provided an overview of Indian OARs and compared in respect of contents types, objects uploaded, software used etc. In another paper, they gave an overview of current state of OARs in Asian countries with special reference to SAARC countries (Roy, Biswas & Mukhopadhyay, 2012b). In their current study, they compared OARs against different criteria and showed ranking of Indian IDRs in World's repositories along with several policy issues (Roy, Biswas & Mukhopadhyay, 2013). Several experts have shared their practical experiences in developing and maintaining IR at their own institution using OSS (Doctor, 2007; Doctor & Ramachandran, 2008; Jayakanth et al., 2008; Krishnamurthy, 2005; Sutradhar, 2006; Anuradha, 2005; Narang et al., 2005; Singh & Pandita, 2005; Shewale, 2012). Cherukodan, Santhosh Kumar & Humayoon Kabir (2013) described design and development of a digital library at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) using DSpace. Beena & Archana (2011) also described the real time experiences of managing and sharing of intellectual wealth of academia of CUSAT using OSS. Another study (Vijayakumar, Murthy & Khan, 2006) proposed a prototype model for Indian universities to preserve electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Krishnamurthy & Kemparaju (2011) reported the use of IR in Indian universities and research institutes. Khaparde & Ambedkar (2014) discussed growth and the development of ETDs in India along with policy framework for building ETD archives. Whereas, Jayakanth, Minj & Dastidar (2012) reported that many academic and research institutes have made it mandatory to set up IRs using OSS.

  3. Open Access Repository Movement in India

    The first IR was built in the School of Electronics & Computer Science at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, in 2000 (http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/) and after then more than 3300 OARs have been developed in different countries (OpenDOAR, 2016; ROAR, 2016). The number of OARs is increasing rapidly not only in some developed countries like United States, United Kingdom but a few developing countries like Japan, Brazil, India are also in a good position. In April 2004, there were only four (4) IRs in India and this number had climbed to eighty (80) in 2016 (December) with an average increase of six (6) new repositories per year (OpenDOAR, 2016).


    OpenDOAR recorded near about 3300 (as on December, 2016) OARs all over the World and India being an Asian country ranks 10th position (after Poland) (Fig. 2) and 2nd position in Asia (Fig. 3) only after Japan in terms of total number of repositories registered in OpenDOAR database. But as per ROAR database (ROAR, 2016), India having 105 repositories, out of 3600, possesses 6th position in the World. Again if we consider all OARs in terms of percentage (%) of OAI-PMH compliant repository, India possesses 4th position in Asia21 and 5th position in the World (OpenDOAR, 2016).



    Table 1 (column--2 shows year-wise addition of OARs and column--3 shows cumulative growth of OARs) gives an overall growth of OARs in the country during last six years starting from December, 2010. It is found that the growth rate of OARs was quite low in all the years except 2010-2011 and 2012-2013. Though ROAR represents something different from OpenDOAR database and total number of OARs varies from OpenDOAR. In preparing this table, we have faced several technical and non-technical problems. Some of the OARs have not been registered in any databases like OpenDOAR or ROAR. Even some OARs have been placed in both the databases in different name. So, actual figure may vary and we have excluded those OARs from our study.

  4. Need of OARs for Indian Higher Education and Research Institutions

    Several experts (Bailey et al., 2006a; Crow, 2002; Kircz, 2005; Gibbons, 2004b) described the importance of maintaining IRs in higher education systems. The benefits of having IR in universities are multifaceted and is helpful for improving teaching and learning (Lynch, 2003; Day, 2003; Manuel & Oppenheim, 2007); maximizing...

To continue reading