The Indian education system is the second largest in the world and is perhaps the most complex in terms of its spatial outreach and profile of students and teachers in terms of their linguistic, social, cultural and economic background. It consists of more than 300 universities and about 17,500 affiliated colleges where millions of students enroll for higher education. Out of these 300 plus Universities close to 170 Universities are directly funded by UGC ( University Grants Commission). All these Universities have PG courses and most of them have Doctoral programmes as well.
Academic journals – where high end peer-reviewed research articles are published are must for the students and researchers of PG and Doctoral studies. Traditionally, Universities have been subscribing to these journals from International publishers in hard copy. Normally the subscription prices of these international journals increase by 5 – 10 % every year , sometimes higher , and fluctuations in foreign currency increases the overall subscription prices of them straining the ever reducing library budgets of the Universities.
To overcome this problem and keeping in mind the improved awareness and infrastructure of Internet connectivity at the Universities UGC started the ambitious UGC-Infonet programme through its autonomous centre- Inflibnet Ahmedabad. In the year 2003 Inflibnet approached major international publishers and discussed the feasibility for providing online access to their journals in the field of Science Technology and Medicine (STM) to 50 Universities in the first phase. Cambridge University Press (CUP)- the oldest publisher and printer of the world which publishes more than 220 journals and 2000 books every year was one of the first publisher to sign a MOU with UGC for providing online access to its 78 STM journals to 50 Universities. The CUP journals are available online on its own platform called as Cambridge Journals Online (CJO).
Cambridge University Press (CUP)- the oldest publisher and printer of the world which publishes more than 220 journals and 2000 books every year was one of the first publisher to sign a MOU with UGC for providing online access to its 78 STM journals to 50 Universities. The CUP journals are available online on its own platform called as Cambridge Journals Online (CJO)
As concept of accessing online journals was new at most of the Universities , CUP started a major user awareness programme in all these Universities by creating special posters, holding seminars for end users, email campaigns, etc. CUP also started a novel approach – quiz for the participating delegates. The results were immediately seen . There was a substantial increase in the usage of these online resources helping students and faculties alike in their studies and research.
Based on the encouraging response from the student as well as the faculty community, next year UGC signed up with CUP for 50 more Universities and for the Humanities and Social Science (HSS) journals as well. So currently more than 100 Universities in India have online access to the entire range ( more than 220) of Cambridge University Press journals.
This facility has given a ‘level playing field’ to our students and faculty members as all these peer-revived journals are now available at the same time to all the students in remote corners of our country as they would be available to students of say Cambridge , Harvard or Oxford University. More ever the users have access to the back files of the information , mostly starting from the year 1997. The missing issue problem of print Journals is also resolved by the online availability of these journals 24/7. The Government saved huge amount of money in this endeavor and as University Press of Cambridge, CUP is able to fulfill its objective of dissemination of information , advancing learning , knowledge and research worldwide.
It’s a win-win situation for all the stake holders and CUP will continue to provide a range of online products to students and researchers of India at very affordable costs.