(Keep visiting the Workshop pages for
on Electronic Publishing
A suggestion for a workshop on
electronic publishing for Indian science, technology
and medicine editors was first formally made in April
2001 at a meeting of editors of Academy journals and
a few other invitees. One of the invitees was Prof.
Subbiah Arunachalam of the M. S. Swaminathan Research
Foundation, Chennai. This meeting was called by Prof.
N. Mukunda, Editor of Publications and a Vice President
of the Academy, to apprise Academy editors of the highlights
of the Second ICSU-UNESCO
International Conference on Electronic Publishing
in Science, which took place in Paris in February 2001.
Prof. Mukunda attended the Paris meeting as a member
of the ICSU Committee
on Dissemination of Scientific Information, and
Prof. Arunachalam was an editor of the proceedings of
the Academy meeting both Prof. Mukunda and Prof. Arunachalam
drew attention to two regional electronic journal server
initiatives. These are SciELO,
Scientific Electronic Library Online, a service delivering
full text of journals from several Latin American countries,
African Journals OnLine. The Academy's own beginning
in providing its journals
free on the Internet was reviewed. And, while there
was no proposal for Academy to create an electronic
journal service for Indian journals, the suggestion
was made that Academy could promote the practice of
electronic publishing to other publishing organizations
in India through a workshop. Subsequently, Arunachalam
did the required groundwork of identifying resource
persons and funding agencies.
workshops were proposed, one in Bangalore (South India)
and one in another city, preferably in North India.
We looked for a facility with at least 20 Internet-connected
PCs. The idea was to take maximum advantage of the workshops
and the expertise of the resource persons, and have
20 participants in each workshop. Bangalore has had
such a facility in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
for some years now. This is the Internet School in the
Services Centre of IISc. Academy then explored the
possibility of holding the second workshop at the Inter-University
Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics / University of
Pune in Pune, and the National
Institute of Science Communication (NISCOM) in New
Delhi. But neither had a facility that could accommodate
20 participants, and it was decided that both workshops
would be held at IISc in Bangalore.
persons were identified and requested to conduct the
workshops. All agreed, and Academy wrote to several
funding agencies for financial support. Academy obtained
financial support from the International
Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada,
for the travel of Prof. Leslie Chan of the University
of Toronto, Canada, and Bioline
International. The British
Council offered financial support for the travel
of Barbara Kirsop of the Electronic
Publishing Trust for Development in the UK. It took
a while to find travel support for Dr Abel Packer of
BIREME, Brazil, and SciELO, but eventually Dr Packer
could not come owing to other engagements. Dr Packer
did send a PowerPoint file on SciELO, which was presented
by Chan and Kirsop. Prof. Kapil Paranjape of The Institute
of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, and a member of
the Committee on Electronic
Information Communication (CEIC) of the International
Mathematical Union, also had pressing academic engagements
that forced a last-minute search for a replacement for
him. Prof. Gadadhar Misra and Prof. V. Pati of the Indian
Statistical Institute, Bangalore, and Prof. D. P. Patil
of the Indian Institute of Science then offered to present
the topics that Prof. Paranjape had originally planned.
Dr T. B. Rajasekhar of the National
Centre for Science Information of IISc also gave
a presentation on metadata in the second workshop.
also received financial support from INASP
(International Network for the Availability of Scientific
Publications), plus some literature for distribution
to participants. We also received financial support
from the Council of
Scientific and Industrial Research and the Department
of Biotechnology of the Government of India.
workshops were intended primarily for editors / editorial
support staff / computer support support staff of Indian
nonprofit science, technology and medicine journals
and publishing organizations. The workshop announcement
and invitation were sent to about 70 journals and organizations.
Each journal/organization was invited to nominate up
to four persons or ask their staff to apply directly
on an application form that was sent with the announcement.
More than 50% of the journals invited were medical.
The response was much less than we expected, and there
was no need for selection from among the applicants.
However, in two cases we had to restrict the number
of participants from the same journal/organization to
two. Eventually there were a few cancellations, which
allowed participation of three Academy staff in each
aim of the workshops was to address issues that relate
to establishing electronic editions of journals in parallel
with existing print editions, and to make participants
aware of the rationale, economics, procedures and technologies
of electronic publishing. Open archives was also part
of the content. Considerable time was to be devoted
to hands-on sessions at PCs for creating electronic
versions of journal papers, metadata templates, and
some site management. Participants were asked to bring
along an electronic word processor file of a submitted
manuscript for use in the hands-on sessions. At the
end of the workshops it was expected that participants
would have the ability to produce a searchable electronic
version of their journal. The overarching concern behind
the idea of the workshops is the urgent need to increase
visibility of Indian journals by making them available
on the Internet in formats that take advantage of search
and retrieval procedures.
send comments, suggestions to N.
A. Prakash at the Indian Academy of Sciences.