If there’s anything U.S. writers take for granted, it’s a place to publish their work. There’s definitely no guarantee it will ever see the light of day, but usually there’s at least one company to send it to. We’re lucky because this isn’t the case for other writers and scientists around the world who want to publish their research. Most developed countries have a variety of publishing houses who will publish an array of work. Unfortunately, writers without this access have to rely on international houses. That often leads to increased competition, and often these writers are are out of luck.
Are you ready for some good news? People are actually taking notice of the lack of opportunity for great scientists and researchers. In India, the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) has taken a huge step in raising international publishing standards. As of September, the Board had started a publishing house dedicated to publishing scientific content. Not only is this big for India, as it is the first of its kind in the whole country, but it’s pretty exciting for the science community, too.
With forests rich in biodiversity and the Himalayas covering a majority of the terrain, Uttarakhand is a gold mine for environmental science. And while there have been plenty of scientists studying and researching, there haven’t been many houses willing to publish their work before the UBB stepped up. The chairman of the UBB, Rakesh Shah, explained, “It happens most of the times that the lots of scientists who do good work and carry out path breaking researches do not get support from publishing houses. Their works get lost in oblivion and do not reach the masses. So we have come up with our own publishing house to fill this gap.”
In order to do this, Shah said the Board have pledged to publish the work of any scientist who comes up with good content. Of course it’s not as easy as it sounds, but the point is accessibility. As long as the research was well conducted, the house is guaranteeing scientists the opportunity to be published, when there was only a small chance before.
Pretty great, right? Well, just wait, it gets better. The UBB also plans to donate the books they publish free of charge to public libraries, sell them at international seminars, and incorporate them in their department training programs. Distributing the works through all of these avenues basically guarantees not only accessibility to the public but that the work is actually read.
And just in case you weren’t already impressed, the house will also be printing hundreds of pamphlets and booklets that the UBB will be distributing to village committees. I told you it got better!
So what does this mean for the rest of the publishing world? Right away, it does way more for scientists in India than anything else. Instead of falling through the cracks and being ignored, their work is actually being recognized and actively distributed to the community at large. As for the international publishing world, it’s a sign to step up. Create the opportunities for both writers and researchers to make a great discovery or create work that says something important. There’s certainly enough creators. There’s just not enough platforms yet.