UNESCO Office in New Delhi has released Open Access to Knowledge and Information: Scholarly Literature and Digital Library Initiatives – the South Asian Scenario. This book illustrates South Asian initiatives on open access to information and knowledge. It has its genesis in the recommendations and proceedings of UNESCO-supported international conferences and workshops.
Universal access to information and knowledge is a key principle in UNESCO’s overall mandate to promote the free flow of information by word and by image and thus to place information and knowledge at the doorsteps of communities.

In the information society, free flow of information is a fundamental principle for bridging the knowledge gaps between privileged and under-privileged communities. Open access to information and knowledge is an innovative mode of scholarly communication within the digital environment, which is gaining momentum in developed countries that already have necessary information infrastructure.

The emerging economies amongst the developing countries are not far behind in building up necessary information infrastructure, essential for sustainable economic development. These emerging countries, however, have limitations in terms of bridging the digital divide within their societies, due to the co-existence of marginalized and privileged communities. The South Asia sub-region is now in the forefront of the open access movement within developing countries, with India being the most prominent partner in terms of its successful open access and digital library initiatives.

The book describes successful digital library and open access initiatives in the South Asia sub-region that are available in the forms of open courseware, open access journals, metadata harvesting services, national-level open access repositories and institutional repositories. It may be considered an authoritative source-book on open access development in this sub-region.

The publication is available online in PDF format: click here.