Open access to grey literature : Challenges and opportunities at the Banaras Hindu University in India


Grey literature includes an extensive range of material that cannot be found easily through conventional channels such as publishers but which is frequently original and usually recent. It is produced more quickly and has greater flexibility. Grey Literature comprises newsletters, theses, project reports, bulletins and so on. It has tremendous importance in all fields of the universe of knowledge but it is particularly significant in the fields of science and technology. It provides an essential complement to peer reviewed findings [1].It serves the scholarly community with research summaries, facts, statistics and other data that offer a more comprehensive view of the topic. In India, there are over 2900 research and development organizations and many of these organizations have several laboratories under them. It has 310 universities, which have more than 73,000 teachers; the student community includes 60,516 researchers; 816,335 postgraduates; 7,862,588 graduates. Every year an amount of fifty billion rupees is spent on research and development in India.It is the third largest scientific and technical manpower in the world. It accounts for 3% of the world’s publication output. It is also estimated that there are 3,000-4,000 active scientists in India working in about 2000 laboratories [2]. These organizations generate a significant number of internal research publications including technical reports, manuals, progress reports, presentations etc. Such documents contain very valuable and often detailed information such as observations, conclusions, analyses and primary data, which at times constitute the key research output and intellectual capital of the laboratories. These publications are not accessible to the researchers outside of that particular organization.