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Title: Distance learning in science using ‘Open Access Contents’ : role of special libraries in India
Authors: Birdie, C
Keywords: Distance Learning;Open Access Contents;Special Libraries in India;Assistive Technology
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Special Libraries Association-Asian Chapter
Citation: 2nd International Conference of Asian Special Libraries on "Building user trust: The key to special libraries renaissance at the digital era" held at UNU Tokyo, Feb 10-12, 2011, pp. 73 - 81
Abstract: Distance Learning through Open Universities is gaining momentum in all the disciplines across the world. In India, there are a few open universities in various states offering the online course materials for bona fide students of open universities. For the purpose of this paper I have taken the free open access contents in astronomy in India, which facilitate the research students and scholars with requirements of professional astronomy research material. Though the course materials offered by the open universities are very useful to the students, learning the scientific concepts especially associated with experiments and processes involving the astronomical phenomena and the access to research results in the form of published papers are very essential for the students to pursue their own research in astronomy. The library at Indian Institute of Astrophysics has created an Open Access Repository containing the research publications of their scientists and research scholars including the full text of their Ph.D theses .This is a valuable resource for students and scholars who are registered with Open Universities, to access the research material in astronomy which would not otherwise will be available to them unless they are registered with any research library. The traditional library services cater to the students by facilitating the online access to many subscribed research journals and online books within the university campuses as the procedure requires the IP registration. The Open Access contents do not require the restricted IP access as they are available in the public domain. The special libraries have a role to play in enhancing the visibility and access to those research contents. Libraries can extend the value added services to the Open Access contents to cater to the people who are differently abled and who require assistive technology. In India we need to focus more on the implementation of the assistive technology within libraries and especially for accessing the contents in the public domain. The special libraries can address this challenge as they are already equipped with resources and the technology in place. As more and more special libraries open up their collections and contents to the scientific community outside their organizations, the frontiers to science communication will diminish. This paper will demonstrate the discipline specific approach to the teaching and research in astronomy in India and the role of the library in fulfilling the objectives of the organization.
Description: Open Access
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