Open Access and Open Science

What is the state of open access and open science? How can we move toward a world where research is readily available to all?


The State of OA: A Large-Scale Analysis of the Prevalence and Impact of Open Access Articles

Heather Piwowar​​, Jason Priem​​, Vincent Larivière, Juan Pablo Alperin, Lisa Matthias, Bree Norlander, Ashley Farley, Jevin West, Stefanie Haustein

Although interest in Open Access (OA) to scholarly literature is growing, relatively little is known about its prevalence or characteristics. What percentage of scholarly literature is currently OA? Has that number changed in recent years? And how does openness affect citation impact?

In this study, we address these questions using oaDOI, an open online service that determines OA status for 67 million articles. Drawing from three 100,000-article samples, we investigate the state of OA in three different populations: 1) all journal articles assigned a Crossref DOI, 2) recent journal articles indexed in Web of Science, and 3) articles viewed by users of Unpaywall, an open-source browser extension that lets users find OA articles using oaDOI. Based on our analysis, we estimate that at least 28% of scholarly literature is currently OA and that this proportion is growing. We also find that OA articles receive 18% more citations than average, corroborating the so-called open-access citation advantage.

Want to find out more? The full study is available at peerj.com/articles/4375/.

The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era 

Vincent Larivière, Stefanie Haustein, Phillippe Mongeon

The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed.

In this study, we dive deep into these issues, analyzing 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 1973-2013. Our findings reveal that in both natural and medical sciences (NMS) and social sciences and humanities (SSH), Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, and Taylor & Francis increased their share of the published output, especially since the advent of the digital era. We also examine the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact and discuss the economics of scholarly publishing.

To find out more, read the full study at journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127502

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