New Indian platform offers 'world's lowest APC'

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Vikramshila Education has announced the launch of its first platform, Aakashganga Open, which aims to help disseminate research and democratise access to knowledge while championing affordability, transparency, and community engagement.

Aakashganga Open is designed to host mega journals alongside journals published by societies, institutes, and universities keen on embracing open-access publishing. What sets Aakashganga Open apart, the founders say, is its 'unwavering commitment to providing the lowest and most affordable article processing charges worldwide, ensuring that scholarly communication remains inclusive and accessible to all'.

“At Aakashganga Open, we believe that knowledge should flow freely, unencumbered by financial barriers,” said Vivek Mehra, CEO and founder of Aakashganga Open. “Our platform is a testament to India’s innovation prowess and we exist to represent research scholars who feels they are not given a fair chance to present their case for publishing their research. We are currently offering a launch offer to publish research papers free, and we invite authors to take advantage of this offer."

The platform offers a comprehensive and transparent peer review process – with pre-publishing double anonymous peer review as well as post-publishing open review, ensuring rigor, integrity, and accountability at every stage of the publication journey. Aakashganga Open boasts a fully automated system, streamlining the registration process, article submission, editorial review, and peer review through state-of-the-art algorithms. This, the founders say, ensures that every article goes through rigorous scrutiny while benefiting from a transparent and digitised review process.

"We break barriers of exclusion, regionalism and discrimination faced by scholars and researchers across the globe. Technology is at the heart of all that we do without losing sight of a researcher’s objective to be published," said Shafina Segon, co-founder and CMO. "Our vision is to help make the research journey more transparent, efficient and affordable for every researcher."

Aakashganga Open is registered with Startup India and the MSME Ministry. The platform is also a signatory to the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and the UN Publisher’s Compact, reaffirming its dedication to ethical open access publishing practices.

The platform’s community-driven approach is aimed at empowering academics to actively participate as publishing editors and peer reviewers – with incentives, grants and discounts provided to authors, publishing editors, and reviewers. It has support from premier Indian institutions such as IIMs and private institutions like Manav Rachna and BIMTECH, and aims to become India’s premier open access repository of academic content.

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