Practicing What You Preach: Evaluating Access of Open Access Research

The open access (OA) movement seeks to encourage all researchers to make their works openly available and free of paywalls so more people can access their knowledge. Yet some researchers who study OA continue to publish their work in paywalled journals and fail to make it open. This project set out to study 1) how many published research articles about OA fall into this category, 2) how many are being made open (whether by being published in a gold OA or hybrid journal or through open deposit), and 3) how library and information science authors compare to researchers from other disciplines who research OA. A sample from Web of Science (WOS) of articles published since 2010 shows that although a majority of research articles about OA are open in some form, a little more than a quarter are not. A smaller rate of library science researchers made their work open compared to non-library science researchers. In articles published in hybrid and open journals, authors who printed in an open journal were more likely to retain copyright ownership than authors who published in hybrid journals. Articles were more likely to be published with a Creative Commons license if published in an open journal compared to those published in hybrid journals.