Open Research Publishing in the India Alliance Gateway

05 Dec 2018

Open Research Publishing in the India Alliance Gateway


By Shahid Jameel, CEO, Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance and Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research, Wellcome Trust, UK

Since the launch of the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance gateway on Wellcome Open Research platform at the Fellows meeting in New Delhi, there has been a real drive from the India Alliance (IA) community to publish their research on the platform.

This gateway is Indian Alliance’s dedicated space for its Fellows to publish any of their research outputs they would like to share. These can be traditional research outputs and other important articles types such as method articles, study protocols, and research notes.

The publishing model of Wellcome Open Research is entirely open and accessible to ensure that the research published therein can have the greatest possible impact. Every article includes open data (where applicable) to maximise reproducibility, reanalysis, and reuse. The peer review process is fully transparent enabling readers to understand issues pertaining to the published content and how they were addressed by the authors.

Our IA gateway for the Fellows is a particularly important resource as Wellcome has recently announced their new Open Access policy with one of its aims being to support a transition to a fully open access world, where no research is behind a subscription paywall.

It also supports the idea that a research article should be judged on the intrinsic value of the work itself and the venue it is published. It adheres to the principles of DORA; we at the IA have signed up for DORA, and one of us was recently interviewed about it:

Currently, 13 articles have been published, which are fully accessible for the community to read.

One of these articles was published by Lolitika Mandal, an IA Fellow and advisory board member of the Wellcome Open Research IA gateway. Lolitika published a method for detecting proliferation of adult haemocytes in Drosophila by BrdU incorporation and PH3 expression in response to bacterial infection. When asked about her experience, she said,

‘It was a welcome break from the tiresome and lengthy process that we can otherwise encounter. The suggestions and comments from the reviewers were encouraging and extremely constructive. We experienced a happiness that has long been lost from the usual peer review process’.

Our IA gateway also provides many benefits to early career researchers (ECRs). The open research approach increases visibility and maximizes the impact of the work enabling ECRs to share their research and build an adequate publication record for their next position, irrespective of the outcome of their project.

Adhish Walvekar, a postdoc in IA Fellow Sunil Laxman’s lab, recently published an article about a versatile LC-MS/MS approach for comprehensive, quantitative analysis of central metabolic pathways. When asked about the platform he said,

‘As a postdoc, I feel the IA Gateway is particularly beneficial for the career of graduate students and postdocs. By immediate publication of good work, you can easily apply for your next position(s) without wasting time. Also, potential recruiters can easily access and evaluate your research rather than relying on uninformative phrases in the application such as “manuscript in preparation” or “under review”.

As the publication and academic landscape changes, we want to be able to ensure that the fellows understand the importance of making their research open and have a place where they can share all their research with no restrictions.