This engineering college in TN just opened up their repository of 8,000+ research papers for anyone to use for free

Students, researchers from across the spectrum can now have access to the institute's entire arsenal of published works through its new, open-access online repository
Pic: Sona College of Technology
Pic: Sona College of Technology

How many times have students attempting research stumbled on a great research paper but have been unable to access it because of a paywall? They would usually go to other places and look for something they can access for free even though it might not be as good as the one they just left behind. It is with this idea to help students gain access to their thousands of research papers in a myriad of subjects that the folks at Sona Group of Institutions decided to create an online repository. Students, researchers from across the spectrum can now have access to Sona's entire arsenal of published works for free.  

Speaking about the initiative, Dr R Malathy, Dean of Sona College of Technology, said, "All published research papers have been made accessible to all. The research projects that are in progress will be available but they won't be up for open access. Students can access the repository through a portal on the institute's website." While the repository was launched three months ago, research papers are now being uploaded to the website. In the last ten years, Sona College has published more than 8,000 research papers, which includes 514 scientific articles, 50 edited books, 58 chapters in books, 268 proceedings, 75 pre-prints, and 4 monographs. The repository also comprises over 2,000 papers in national and international journals.

Prior to creating the portal, the institute engaged in a widespread survey to determine how paywalls impact research. They conducted an analysis to identify the accessibility of their published research and the percentage of publications that were paywall-restricted. To their estimate, more than 75% percent of research articles published from the college were hidden behind a paywall and were not easily accessible by readers across the globe, therefore limiting the reachability and citability of published research. "We are making it open-access to increase the number of citations," said Dr Malathy.

The portal, Dr Malathy feels, will not only help the global research community but also help the college itself. "All researchers of the college will now be able to look at what other departments are doing. Some research in Artificial Intelligence might have an application in Civil Engineering too and this will increase cross-departmental research," she said.

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