Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Dec. 31, 2009 New Year's Eve Edition

The theme for this issue of Dramatic Growth of Open Access is a celebration of successes in 2009, areas with room for improvement, and, in keeping with the times, suggested New Year's Resolutions. We'll begin with an OA status report, followed by "leaps and bounds" growth in 2009. For other editions of this series, see: Open data - download data. View full data. View full data with 2009 growth. Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series.

OA Status Report 2009

Open Access Journals
DOAJ: 4,535 titles
Net growth 2009: 723 titles
Growth rate: 2 titles per day

Open Access Archives
OpenDOAR # archives: 1,558
New growth 2009 (ROAR): 318
Growth rate: 1 archive per day
BASE # documents: 22,007,367
Scientific Commons # documents: 32,265,678
Net growth 2009: 7.9 million documents (Scientific Commons)
Growth rate: 22,000 documents per day

Open Access Mandate Policies (from ROARMAP):
Institutional: 79 (growth 52, more than doubled); growth rate 1-2 per week
Funder: 42 (growth 12, 40% increase, growth rate one per month)
Departmental: 18 (growth 14, more than tripled); growth rate one per month
Thesis: 39
Proposed mandates: 15 (growth 5, 45% increase); growth rate one per month

Leaps and Bounds: impressive growth by percentage, in decreasing order of percentage growth

More than doubled
  • departmental open access mandates, 350% growth from 4 to 18 (ROARMAP)
  • institutional open access mandates, 208% growth from 27 to 79 (ROARMAP)

Over 40% growth
Total open access mandates: 198% (ROARMAP)
# items in CARL metadata harvester search: 74%
Proposed Open Access Mandates: 45%
# archives in CARL metadata harvester: 44%
Funder Open Access mandates: 40% (ROARMAP)
Peer-reviewed journals in Open J-Gate: 40%

Over 30% growth
DOAJ - # articles searchable at article level: 38%
PubMedCentral - # journals in PMC with all articles open access: 36%
Scientific Commons - # publications: 33%
DOAJ - # of journals searchable at article level: 32%
# journals in Open J-Gate: 31%

Over 20% growth
# repositories listed in ROAR: 26%
free fulltext in rePEC: 26%
# repositories listed in Scientific Commons: 20%

Welcome and good luck to BASE, aiming to be the world's best and most comprehensive search engine for Open Access Archives.

Free back issues

Highwire Free: while the # of free articles actually decreased by 6% in 2009, it may be worth noting that about a third of the articles hosted on Highwire Free - mainly representing society publishers - are freely available online.

Electronic Journals Library lists over 23,000 titles that are freely available online.

PubMed: individual journal free fulltext performance

This is a continuation of a somewhat random exploration of why free full-text availability for citations in PMC covered by the NIH Public Access policy are less than what they should be. As with the Dec. 11 issue, my findings reveal a wide range of performance by journal.

Kudos!!! to the following journals with outstanding free fulltext track records:
Biomicrofluids: 100% of the articles in PubMed in this journal published by the American Institute of Physics are available as free fulltext - even though none of these articles fall under the NIH policy!
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine: while very few of the articles in this India-based open access journal by Medknow Publications are NIH-funded, 100% of those that are, are available as free full-text, and over 76% of all of the articles indexed in PubMed are free fulltext.
Journal of Oncology by Hindawi Publications: 60 of 67 articles listed in PubMed are available as free fulltext, even though none are NIH-funded
Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies: only 3 of the articles in this Taylor & Francis journal are listed in PubMed, none NIH funded, but all are free full-text

Room for improvement

This section touches on a few journals with remarkably poor performance in taking advantage of the dissemination potential of the internet - particularly given the obvious public interest in the topics covered. Update January 18, 2010: please note that calculations of compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy reflect articles with a publication date from Jan. 1, 2005 up to the permitted 12-month embargo period. This reflects both the original policy which requested public access, and the newer policy which requires open access which took effect April 7, 2008. Compliance rates under the new required policy have not been calculated at this time, but may be added to a future DGOA. For my search method, see the DGOA Full Data edition (see the 3rd sheet), or this explanatory post. My apologies for any confusion.

Update January 19: according to Peter Suber, "In the period since the NIH policy became mandatory, HSCC has had two submissions based on NIH funding. In the first case it deposited the manuscript in PMC within six days of receipt. The second paper was received very recently and is still in process. (Thanks to Cliff Morgan for the correction.)". As of this morning, I am not able to find any articles from this journal indexed in PubMed using the original search. This could mean nothing; it might be a glitch at PubMed, or persistent operator error, i.e. I do not wish to draw any firm conclusions until I retry the search at another time. I re-ran the Dec. 31, 2009 search yesterday evening, and once again found the result of 6 NIH-externally funded articles from 2005-2008 with no fulltext available for any of the articles.

Wiley and Blackwell's Health and Social Care in the Community authors show a 0% compliance rate with the NIH Public Access Policy. According to the journal website, the journal's policy is to comply, with the expectation that Wiley will undertake the deposit. Perhaps the editor might like to get in touch with Wiley? Either that, or have a discussion with the editorial board about the future of the journal. There are a great many free or low cost journal hosting options these days; the selection is likely much richer than when the decision was made to go with Wiley-Blackwell. [Hint: if the purpose of your research is to improve health and social care in the community, why not make the research available to the community - and the many professionals, often working in agencies or volunteer organizations with minimal funding - who serve the community?]

The compliance rates are under 20% for authors of Wiley-Blackwell's Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Taylor and Francis' AIDS Care and American Journal of Bioethics. While my selection technique is somewhat random, I selected these titles looking for topics with a high public interest, hoping to see more impressive results.

Comments: as mentioned in the December 11, 2009 early year-end edition, 2009 was the year of the open access mandate, with highly significant growth in this area. Something else that is worth noting is the dramatic growth both in open access archives and in documents available through open access archives. To some extent, this reflects early success of the open access mandate policies, but clearly, there is more to it than that. The CARL metadata harvester statistics, for example, show significant growth even though institutional open access policies in Canada are still quite rare. To me, this is an early sign that we are collectively beginning to get over the learning curve (of understanding what an open access archive is, and what it can do for us), which bodes very well indeed for future growth of open access. RePEC's "leaps and bounds" growth is especially impressive for a mature repository - kudos to RePEC and the international economics community!

Suggested New Year's Resolutions
Are you interested in contributing to further dramatic growth of open access - or perhaps looking to make sure your journal thrives in the emerging open access environment? Here are some suggested New Year's Resolutions:

For libraries:
Join the Compact on Open Access Publishing Equity
Continue with all the great work you are already doing to advance and support open access and transformative change in scholarly communication!

For researchers:
Retain your copyright!
Publish in an open access journal if you can.
Self-archive a copy of your work for open access, no matter where you publish.

For journal people:
  • If you're open access - hurray! Join OASPA.
  • If you're not open access - why not? If a commercial publisher is hosting your journal, this might be a good time to review your options. Odds are that the scant options of a few years ago have evolved with a wealth of interesting opportunities.
  • If you'd really like to be open access but are concerned about economic support: have a frank discussion with your academic communities and your libraries. The more people realize that we can have a fully open access scholarly publishing system - assuming reasonable journal costs, as is the case with almost all independent society journals - at much less than current expenditures - the sooner we can all transition to open access.

Universities and funding agencies:
Open access mandate policies - depending on local circumstances, start discussions, commit to a policy, implement, evaluate, or strengthen existing policy.

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series. For more on 2010 predictions, see my Dec. 11, 2009 early year-end edition.

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series.