Monday, April 11, 2016

Dramatic Growth of Open Access March 31, 2016


Update April 12: congratulations to Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) - and all of the contributing repositories - now over 90 million documents.  On the Global Open Access List, BASE's Dirk Pieper estimates that 60% of the content is open access.

There are now 150 publishers of peer-reviewed open access books listed in the Directory of Open Access Books, publishing more than 4,400 open access books. 620 books were published in this quarter alone, a 16% increase in just this quarter. The Directory of Open Access Journals has been adding titles at a net rate of 6 titles per day, 540 journals added this quarter for a total of over 11,000 journals. This is the highest DOAJ growth rate since this series started!

Bielefeld Academic Search Engine repositories collectively added more than 4.7 million documents this quarter for a total of just under 89 million documents.

SCOAP3 nearly doubled in size this past year (87% annual growth) for a total of 4,690 documents. arXiv grew by over 107,000 documents to over 1.1 million documents during the same time frame.

Internet Archive is likely to be featured in the next issue as it is currently edging towards a milestone of 10 million free texts.

The number of journals actively participating in PubMedCentral, making all content immediately freely accessible, and making all content open access, continues to grow. Meanwhile at PubMed a transition in indexing practice (from manual to automatic) means that a search for NIH-funded articles in the last 90 days significantly underreports results (1,402 NIH funded articles in the past 90 days compared with a range of 7,846 - 19,790 with a 90-day search limit for NIH funded article since 2008). Without the indexing, it is not possible to determine the percentage of full text. Here's hoping the automated indexing process results in a catch-up soon; it doesn't matter very much if the statistics for this series fall a bit behind, but people rely on this indexing to search for medical information.

The Electronic Journals Library added 3,612 journals that can be read free-of-charge in the past year, for a total of 52,000 journals, a 7% growth rate.

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access series. Open data can be downloaded from the Dramatic Growth of Open Access dataverse.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Editorial: open access, copyright and licensing: basics for open access publishers.

Just published (February 2016) in the open access Journal of Orthopaedic Case Reports at the invitation of Editor-In-Chief Dr. Ashok Shyam: Editorial: open access, copyright and licensing: basics for open access publishers. Journal of Orthopaedic Case Reports 6:1 p. 1-2. DOI: 10.13107/jocr.2250-0685.360

This post is part of the Open Access and Creative Commons critique series. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dramatic Growth of Open Access December 2015


After a year or so of slower growth at DOAJ to accommodate back-end technical work and a new get-tough policy on journal inclusion, robust DOAJ growth is back on track. In the last quarter of 2015, DOAJ added a total of 384 titles or more than 4 titles per day for a year-end total of 10,963 journals. The number of articles searchable at the article level grew by over 300,000 in 2015 for a year-end total of over 2.1 million. The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine figures demonstrate the overall growth of (mostly) open access repositories, adding more than 15 million documents in 2015 for a total of more than 84 million and adding 671 content providers for a total of just under 4 thousand content providers. Both document growth and content provider growth at BASE reflects greater than 20% growth for 2015, a particularly impressive number given that percentage growth tends to favour newer, smaller initiatives such as the SCOAP3 repository which had the highest growth by percentage in 2015, more than doubling to over 8,000 articles in 2015. Although not all the documents available via a BASE search are open access, the more than 3.7 million items now available for free from PubMedCentral alone is just one indication of robust growth in open access repositories. The Internet Archive now has more than 8.8 million texts. Perhaps even more impressive is that over 8 million of the texts made available by the Internet Archive and Open Library are fully accessible and in the public domain! Following are a few charts to illustrate the ongoing amazing growth of open access. To sum up, only one resolution is recommended for all the people behind the thousands of open access journals, repositories and other services for 2016: keep up the good work!

Open data is available through the Dramatic Growth of Open Access dataverse. For previous posts see the Dramatic Growth of Open Access series.

Top 10 by percentage growth

2014 2015 Annual growth (numeric) Annual growth (percentage)
SCOAP3 articles 4,329 8,934 4,605 106%
DOAB publishers 79 134 55 70%
DOAB books 2,482 3,789 1,307 53%
Highwire Completely Free Sites 113 160 47 42%
PMC journals some articles OA 338 423 85 25%
BASE documents 68,575,068 84,250,153 15,675,085 23%
Internet Archive Audio Recordings 2,224,696 2,712,703 488,007 22%
PMC journals selected articles OA 2,897 3,499 602 21%
BASE content providers 3,294 3,965 671 20%
Internet Archive Texts 7,320,065 8,756,735 1,436,670 20%

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dramatic Growth of Open Access June 30, 2015

This issue of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access highlights and celebrates samples of the many small milestones illustrating the slow and steady increase in open access (dramatic does not necessarily mean fast!).

There are now more than 2,000 journals actively participating in PubMedCentral. Over the past year, this number grew by 178 - that's close to one more new entire journal actively contributing content to PMC every business day.

PMC now has over 3.5 million items. This means that about 15% of all the 24 million items cited in PMC (regardless of date of publication) have free fulltext available linked from PubMed.

In the last 7 years, the number of NIH funded articles indexed in PubMed (again regardless of date of publication) available for free grew from 86 thousand to over 600 thousand or from 34% to 71%.

Other small milestones: there are now over 100 publishers of open access scholarly books listed in the Directory of Open Access Books; the Social Sciences Research Network now includes over half a million full text papers; the Registry of Open Access Repositories now lists over 4,000 repositories; and the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine now has more than 75 million documents. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who is doing all the behind-the-scenes work that results in this dramatic increase in access to our knowledge (whether your initiative is highlighted this particular issue or not). To download the data go to the DGOA dataverse.

Selected data

Directory of Open Access Journals is going through a clean-up project; the number of journals listed decreased by 45 this semester (over the past year growth of 471 titles). Journals and articles searchable by article both grew this quarter.

The Directory of Open Access Books lists 3,197 titles from 107 publishers; over 50% annual growth for both numbers.

The Electronic Journals Library added 801 journals that can be read free-of-charge for a total approaching 50,000 titles.

The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine added more than 3.6 million documents for a total over over 75 million documents.

This quarter PubMedCentral added the following (journal rather than article data). A key point is that increases are happening consistently in every category.

  • 33 journals actively participating in PMC (total over 2,000)
  • 23 journals with immediate free access (total 1,468)
  • 24 journals with all articles open access (total 1,260)
  • 46 journals that deposit ALL content in PMC (total 1,683)
  • 9 more journals that deposit NIH-funded content only (total 310)
  • 268 journals that deposit selected content in PMC (total 3,246)
arXiv added over 25,000 publications and now has more than a million. 

RePEC added over 64 thousand downloadable items for a total of over 1.6 million. The Logec service has lots of great stats (downloads, content by type and by date); highly recommended for anyone looking for more detail in this area.

Social Sciences Research Network added close to 13 thousand fulltextpapers for a total of more than half a million.

Internet Archive added:
  • 100,000 movies for a total of over 2 million
  • 4,000 concerts for a total of 153 thousand
  • 100,000 audio recordings for a total of over 2.5 million
  • 300,000 texts for a total of over 8 millio
This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access series. Note that the dataverse has been cleaned up a little to make it easier to find the current file.

♡2015 by Heather Morrison. Copying is an act of love. Please copy. (from Copyheart).

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

New terms and conditions for IJPE, or farewell to Creative Commons

As of June 2, 2015, these are the terms and conditions for this blog:
All Rights Reserved except as indicated otherwise. Open sharing is something that I strongly believe in, and so I would like to encourage others to use my own work in noncommercial ways. Please note that when I have copied the works of other people, the copyright belongs to them, not me; I have no rights to grant to you. If you would like to copy my work, please go ahead and do so, but be sure to indicate that the portion of my work you have copied is under my copyright and attribute me and this blog:

© Heather Morrison, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics [insert URL to post]. All Rights Reserved.

I request that you let me know what you have done (a comment on this post is fine if you don't have my e-mail; if you're doing this just to communicate and don't want your comment made public, just let me know). You don't have to ask my permission first, but I would like to know if people are interested in re-using my work, and if so how (this is topic I am interested in), so I appreciate it if people do ask.

Note that you may have rights under fair dealing or fair use that go beyond the permissions I grant here. I encourage you to make full use of your fair dealing / fair use rights. Canada has a good fair dealing regime at the moment thanks to a series of 2012 Supreme Court decisions in favour of fair dealings. I strongly support the fair dealing rights as outlined by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.  If your country does not have fair use / fair dealing, advocacy for these rights would be a good idea. Note that when I have used the works of others in this blog, this is almost always making use of my fair dealing rights, e.g. to copy the portions of works of others in order to critique.

If you use CC licenses, you should note that when using the works of others you should check for license compatibility, and alert readers to the rights of third parties. Even when one CC licensed works is included in a second work with what appears to be exactly the same license, the Licensor (generally the copyright holder) for the upstream work is different and hence there are actually two different licenses (for example, the attribution and moral rights of the copied work remain with the original Licensor).

This is important to understand to minimize your legal risk in copying the work of others. More than 99% of my work has never been licensed for blanket downstream commercial uses, for example. If people use my work in their own works that are CC licensed without the NC element, they risk giving the impression that the copied work is available to others for commercial use. If someone downstream takes advantage of this commercial downstream use that I did not authorize and I decide to take legal action, the downstream user will probably drag the person or organization using an inappropriate CC license into court. This is appropriate because if your site or work is telling others that a work is available for commercial use downstream, then the downstream commercial user is acting in good faith and it is in fact you who are at fault.  I think the odds are very remote that I'd ever take anyone to court over a copyright claim; rather, I want to alert well-intentioned people to the risks that they are taking when including third party works in other works with broad liberal licenses.

Update June 3: in response to an anonymous question, in case this is relevant for anyone else:  if you are preparing a court case and believe that anything in this blog can be useful to support your case, of course you can do so. I appreciate your letting me know, but you don't have to ask permission. This is the kind of use that either is, or ought to be, covered by fair use / fair dealing. You have a right to whatever information can help you in a court case. You should indicate the copyright and where you got the information from.  This is more important in terms of presenting your case in the best possible light than protecting my copyright. If you present this work as expert evidence, you need to document where you got the information from, and why you think the author is an expert in this field. It might be helpful to refer to my work web page in this context. Whether your court case is intended to support a commercial argument for you is not relevant. The primary meaning of commercial rights with respect to copyright is selling the work. Ideas are not covered by copyright; for this reason, using the ideas in a copyrighted work does require commercial rights permissions.

From 2004 until June 1, 2015, this blog, or to be more accurate, my own work on this blog was licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License. If you copied work during this time frame, this license cannot be revoked, however from June 2, 2015 on this blog is no longer licensed under CC. This includes works published previously if you are reading or copying after June 2nd. For those who did copy before this date, I have copied the human readable terms below for your convenience.

Why the change?

Here are my experiences with more than a decade of encouraging blanket re-use:

  • one instance of plagiarism (a chart copied from my blog without permission), obviously not intentional and corrected through education
  • one instance of a work copied from my blog to a venue that I want nothing to do with, with inaccurate and insulting attribution (modified somewhat with education)
  • one instance of friendly re-use of a work by a friend, technically illegal since it was a different license and I'm pretty sure my friend was just making a point about re-use. Nice, but not a good use of the time of my friend who is a brilliant scholar and has better things to do.
  • one person wanted to use one of my charts in a powerpoint, but the web version is not sufficient so had to request a higher quality image anyways
  • if there have been uses that would have convinced me this was a good idea, I don't know about them; that's a problem with blanket downstream rights for whoever
As a junior scholar, it is helpful to me to be able to prove that others consider my work worthwhile. That's why I would like you to tell me if you re-use my work; this is for my tenure dossier. 
 Creative Commons licensing now includes instructions on what is and isn't a free culture license. Apparently my choices are not free culture. This is technique some call deprecation (intended to push people towards the free culture licenses) that I think is more accurately called bullying or insulting.  This is one of the reasons I stopped voluntarily using CC licenses for new works some time ago.

Creative Commons has done some awesome work, and I still think it's great to have an option to indicate we want to share rather than automatic copyright. However, I am concerned that this approach actually encourages permissions culture, asking people to think about everything that we do as IP. My current thinking is that it would be better to advocate for strong fair use / fair dealing rights everywhere, push for shorter not longer copyright terms and eliminate automatic copyright. I might be back someday CC if I sense an atmosphere a bit more tolerant of the different choices about licensing people choose to make.

CC-BY-NC-SA terms for people who copied portions of my own works on or before June 1, 2105 follow. Note that where I have copied the works of others, the copyright remains theirs, not mine.

You are free to:

  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
  • The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Under the following terms:

  • AttributionYou must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • Non-Commercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.


  • You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
  • No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Author copyright in name only

The Elsevier website provides language illustrating clearly how author copyright can be virtually identical to a copyright transfer.

From the Elsevier Copyright page, under For Open Access Articles:

Authors sign an exclusive license agreement, where authors have copyright but license exclusive rights in their article to the publisher**. In this case authors have the right to:
  • Share their article in the same ways permitted to third parties under the relevant user license (together with Personal Use rights) so long as it contains a CrossMark logo, the end user license, and a DOI link to the version of record on ScienceDirect.
  • Retain patent, trademark and other intellectual property rights (including raw research data).
  • Proper attribution and credit for the published work.
**This includes the right for the publisher to make and authorize commercial use, please see the "Rights granted to Elsevier" tab for more details.


The copyright may be in the author's name, but clearly the author has signed away all rights. The only rights that remain for the author are those "permitted to third parties". The author has become a third party with respect to their own work.

Patent, trademark and other IP rights are not part of copyright. It is deceptive for Elsevier to post these here as if Elsevier had these rights to grant.

This post is part of the Creative Commons and Open Access Critique series.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

mBio: a good model for language explaining what's covered by noncommercial use

mBIO has excellent language on their website
explaining what they mean to exclude and include by using a CC noncommercial license. This could be model for others so copied in full below. The first part is copied directly from the CC website, a good practice which avoid errors in interpretation that would be possible with paraphrasing.

ASM publishes mBio articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. The author(s) retains copyright under this license. Others may adapt, reorganize, and build upon the published work for noncommercial purposes, as long as credit to the author and original article is given, and the new work, which includes the previously published content, is licensed under identical terms.
Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike

Noncommercial reuse is defined as use that is not intended for or directed toward commercial advantage. This would include the following:

  • Content requested by an academic or educational institution
  • Content requested by a not-for-profit publisher if not for resale
  • Content requested for use by the government
  • Content requested for a thesis or coursepack
  • Author request to use his/her own material

Individuals seeking to obtain permission for commercial reuse of mBio journal content may do so through the Rightslink web-based permissions and commercial reprint system. To use Rightslink, on the mBio website search for the journal article containing the content which you would like to reuse and then click on the "Reprints and Permissions" link that appears on the journal table of contents or within the article content box.

Commercial reuse applies if the content being requested will be distributed for a fee or by an organization legally recognized as a commercial entity (demonstrated, for example, by payment of taxes, incorporation, or support by advertising/corporate sponsorship). This includes:
  • Commercial/for-profit publishers
  • Companies or organizations representing or interfacing with a for-profit pharmaceutical organization (e.g., content to be reused to promote or advertise a pharmaceutical product)
  • Medical device companies
  • PR/Advertising/Medical communications agency/Media 

This post is part of the Creative Commons and Open Access critique series.