One nation, One Subscription (ON-OS)

This was “breaking news” a little while back.

Centre to implement ‘One Nation One Subscription’ initiative from April 1, 2023

The initiative is being implemented for all government, government-funded academic and R&D institutions, research labs from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and other ministry or department funded institutions.

I am stoked to see this development. Besides saving money from the outgo, India is having a global scientific repository in its backyard. I am not signalling the “end of PubMed” or the rise of alternative sources, but making access easier (and then publish) by pushing the “ideas of open access” will have a profound impact on the publishing industry. While I read about a lot of handwringing among librarians, the government moving in to determine the cost valuation access for the entire subcontinent will have a resonating impact on other countries who want equitable access. As again, the publishing industry requires its own moment of reflection on how things have gone wrong.


“As you may be aware that “One Nation One Subscription” (ONOS) an initiative by the Office of Scientific Adviser to the government of India, aims to provide countrywide access to national and international scientific and academic content. The ONOS intends to sign national licenses with most of the prominent STEM publishers and database producers of the world whose contents are already being subscribed by various institutions of higher education and research organizations either directly or through government-funded consortia,” read ministry’s statement.

I am watching this space closely.

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