Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Dramatic Growth of Open Access June 2018

Congratulations to DOAJ for recently surpassing a milestone of over 3 million articles searchable at the article level!

The outstanding growth story by percentage for the second quarter of 2018 was bioRxiv. From March 31 - June 30, bioRxiv grew by 5,290 articles for a total of 28,070 articles, a growth rate of 23% for this quarter and 129% (more than doubled) over the past year.

38 of the limited set of indicators that I track had growth rates this quarter of 2% or more, equivalent of 8% annual growth, more than double the base rate of growth of scholarly journals and articles of 3 - 3.5% (de Solla Price, 1963; Mabe & Amin, 2001).

My best guesstimates of "how much open access there is" are based on the meta-search tool BASE (the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine). BASE harvests metadata from repositories and open access journals using OAI-PMH. BASE now contains over 130 million documents from 6,444 sources. About 60% are open access; collectively, the OA movement now makes available about 78 million open access documents. This quarter, BASE grew by over 13 million documents for a quarterly growth rate of 11%.

The Internet Archive as usual showed robust growth in a number of services - software components grew by 11% this quarter for a total of just over 230,000; audio recordings grew by 8% and are now over 8.8 million; collections also grew by 8% and are now over 325,000; close to a million texts were added this quarter for a growth rate of 6% and a total of over 16.5 million texts; there are close to 200,000 more videos for a growth rate of 5%; webpages and television each grew by 3%. There was a decrease in the number of images this quarter, down 18% or close to 700,000 images (does anyone know why? - if so please comment), in contrast with the annual growth for images from last year of 115% (more than double).

For OA publishing, this quarter SCOAP3 grew by 1,772 documents or 9%. The Directory of Open Access Books added 826 books and 17 publishers, 7% growth this quarter for both indicators. RePEC added over 2,000 books for a quarterly growth rate of 6% (journal articles and total downloadable items each grew by 2%). DOAJ added about 7 new titles per day  this quarter for a total net growth of 624 journals, a growth rate of 6%; DOAJ also by 6% in the number of journals and articles searchable at the article level, and as noted above, DOAJ surpassed a milestone of over 3 million articles searchable at the article level. DOAJ also added 4 countries this quarter.

A PubMed keyword search for "cancer" limited to the last year returned 5% more free fulltext this quarter. However, the same search with no date limit resulted in a slight (1%) decrease in free fulltext (does anyone know why? If so please comment). The same search with date limits of 5 years or 2 years result in a 2% increase in free fulltext. The number of items in PubMedCentral grew by 4% this quarter, adding 200,000 items for a total of 4.9 million (watch for the 5 million milestone coming soon). PMC journal participation grew by 2% this quarter on several indicators: the number of journals actively participating in PMC, the number of journals providing immediate free access, the number of journals depositing all content in PMC, and the number of journals that deposit some content in PMC.

arXiv grew by 3%; ROARMAP OA policy listings by 2%, as did the total number of journals that can be read free of charge listed by the Electronic Journals Library.

Congratulations and thank you to every one of the thousands of journals, repositories, publishers, and related services, and the millions of authors choosing to make your work open access.  Please accept my apologies for not tracking everyone, due to my human limitations. I encourage everyone to applaud and celebrate your own, and your neighbour's, accomplishments and milestones - and share them with everyone in the OA movement by joining the OATP tag team.

To download the data go to the DGOA dataverse.

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


Mabe, M., & Amin, M. (2001). Growth dynamics of scholarly and scientific journals. Scientometrics, 51(1), 147-162.
Price, D. J. d. S. (1963). Little science, big science. New York: Columbia University Press.

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