Research is of utmost importance in the development of any country. The progress of science and technology critically depends on it. No wonder, developed countries spend huge amounts on R & D. For example, in 2011, worldwide expenditure on research was 1.77 per cent of the total global gross domestic product (GDP).
However, spending in India on R & D is nowhere in comparison. There continues to be little investment. In such a situation, it would be unreasonable to expect state-of-the-art progress as far as new innovations and technology are concerned. In a world where technology is evolving rapidly, it is important for countries to earmark funds for research.
One of the critical problems that researchers face is access to the latest developments in their respective fields across the world. This is particularly true for the field of technology, where change is the only constant.
It is, in fact, the biggest challenge facing research. It is this gap that journal discovery platforms such as J-Gate, i-Scholar, etc. are aiming to fill. Researchers agree that such tools are useful for all library users, especially members of their community.
“In fact, libraries promote the usage of journal discovery platforms and place them on their website. They also use mailers to make users aware of such services,” says N V Sathyanarayana, founder, J-Gate.
Discovery of content is one of the most important services that libraries can offer. Journal platforms have the potential to facilitate discovery. If libraries consider the implementation of a discovery service in their library, then it would lead to great and easier research in the field. For example, i-Scholar aggregates peer-reviewed Indian journals, enabling institutions and individuals to browse and access scholarly content.
“Discovery of content by authors is an excellent feature. It does make it convenient and easy for the librarian to share resources. Moreover, such journal sharing platforms work towards facilitating some of the brightest minds of India in their learning pursuits,” adds says Dr. H Anil Kumar, Librarian and Head NICMAN, IIM, Ahmedabad.
A comprehensive journal discovery platform helps researchers discover millions of scholarly articles and literature from multiple journals. Some of them cover all subjects making a researcher’s life a lot simpler.
“As far as search is concerned, it is a useful tool. I can select articles and store/save them in my library, my folders, my favourites, etc. I can also share it with my peers. If I want to collaborate with someone on a project, that is also possible. If the full-text article is not available, the user can reach out to the author by clicking on the author’s name. Our students are using it effectively and authors are responding within 2-3 days of reaching out. When a research scholar wants a particular article, this is a handy feature,” says Dr. Bhojaraju Gunjal, NIT, Rourkela.
“They can be helpful as India tries to match up to the might of western countries as far as research and innovation is considered. In that respect, journal discovery platforms are important for researchers in India,” adds librarian and information scientist Sathyanarayana who founded J-Gate in the 1990s. His says his mission is to transform the education space in India through e-learning.
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About the Author
Muqbil Ahmar is a tech evangelist, environmentalist, women’s rights advocate, editor, columnist and founder of www.greenubuntu.com. He loves to write on tech, economy, films, arts and culture, and other diverse subjects.