Thursday, July 04, 2013

June 30, 2013 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Kudos to the Directory of Open Access Journals for an oustanding second quarter! In the past few months, DOAJ has added 912 titles for a total of 9,759 journals. That's a net growth rate of over 10 titles per day, up from the previous rate of over 3 titles per day. At this rate it won't be long before DOAJ exceeds the milestone of 10,000 journals. PubMedCentral growth continues to be very strong in spite of what looks like a bit of backsliding. The percentage of articles published with free fulltext available continues to grow at a steady pace and is now up to 25%. There are now 69 more journals are actively participating in PMC while there has been a drop of 102 journals providing immediate free access and of 16 journals making all articles open access. Highwire Free shows a similar pattern - overall strong growth - more than 60,000 free fulltext articles added this quarter for a total of 2.3 million and an increase of 2 completely free sites with a drop of 6 sites with free back issues. Overall the pattern for journals is very strong growth in full open access and cooperation with PMC, suggesting that the backsliders are a very small minority.

Open access policy developments are also showing a strong increase this quarter, with proposed mandates up by 4 to 31 and sub-institutional mandates up by 3 to 39.

 The growth rate of documents include in a search of the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)  - 3.6 million documents growth this quarter for a total of over 47 million documents - illustrates the ongoing robust growth of the repository movement. Although only a portion of these documents are peer-reviewed open access journal articles (many are theses, increasingly research datasets and historical digitized materials), if even a tiny portion of these numbers are peer-reviewed articles that would still be highly significant - 10% of 3.6 million documents would be 360,000 documents, for example. The Social Sciences Research Network alone added 14,403 fulltext papers, and arXiv more than 22,000 documents this quarter, supporting this evidence of strong growth in open access via repositories.

Megajournal PLoS ONE's amazing growth has not been slowed one little bit by the entrance of competition in this market - in 2012 PLoS ONE published over 23,000 articles, up from just under 14,000 in 2011!

Finally, a special mention to the Internet Archive - while only a small fraction of the works posted there are scholarly in nature, the capture of over 66 billion webpages this quarter for a total of over 347 billion webpages is noteworthy.

The full data edition is available via uO Recherche along with charts and a PDF of this commentary.
The Dramatic Growth of Open Access: June 30, 2013
Heather Morrison
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa École des sciences de l’information / School of Information Studies