The OA interviews: Francis Jayakanth of India’s National Centre for Science Information
Connotea Imports 2012-03-08
"OA is generally associated with a small group of high-profile Western-based individuals and organisations that are extremely vocal in their support of OA, and who have shown themselves to be very successful at attracting attention. Since all movements have to promote themselves effectively this is clearly a good thing. However, it does mean that the contribution of the many “foot soldiers” of the movement can too easily be overlooked. These are people who do not shout about their activities, but simply go about the business of facilitating OA quietly and modestly. And it is the foot soldiers based in the developing world that tend to be least visible — people like Francis Jayakanth, a library-trained scientific assistant based at the National Centre for Science Information (NCSI), the information centre of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore....Keen to help Indian researchers achieve this wider visibility, Jayakanth became a dedicated and highly effective advocate for OA. More importantly, he determined to do whatever he could in a practical way to advance the cause of Open Access in his native country....At the beginning of this year, however, Jayakanth did finally receive recognition for his hard work and dedication, although ironically not from his native country, but from a London-based organisation called the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development (EPT). On January 1st, EPT announced that Jayakanth had been chosen as the inaugural recipient of a new award for individuals working in developing countries “who have made a significant personal contribution to advancing the cause of open access and the free exchange of research findings.” As the EPT press release put it, “Francis Jayakanth can indeed be considered an OA ‘renaissance man’, an advocate and technical expert in all aspects of Open Access development and an inspiration to all, both at the research and policy level.” ..."