Research: Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature | eLife | Daniel Scott Himmelstein et al.

“Abstract: The website Sci-Hub enables users to download PDF versions of scholarly articles, including many articles that are paywalled at their journal’s site. Sci-Hub has grown rapidly since its creation in 2011, but the extent of its coverage was unclear. Here we report that, as of March 2017, Sci-Hub’s database contains 68.9% of the 81.6 million scholarly articles registered with Crossref and 85.1% of articles published in toll access journals. We find that coverage varies by discipline and publisher, and that Sci-Hub preferentially covers popular, paywalled content. For toll access articles, we find that Sci-Hub provides greater coverage than the University of Pennsylvania, a major research university in the United States. Green open access to toll access articles via licit services, on the other hand, remains quite limited. Our interactive browser at https://greenelab.github.io/scihub allows users to explore these findings in more detail. For the first time, nearly all scholarly literature is available gratis to anyone with an Internet connection, suggesting the toll access business model may become unsustainable.”

Open Access and OER in Latin America: A survey of the policy landscape in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay | ROER4D

“Titled “Open Access and OER in Latin America: A survey of the policy landscape in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay”, this chapter arises from research work undertaken in ROER4D sub-project 2 and presents an overview of the funding, policy, legislative and procedural mechanisms adopted by governments in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay with respect to Open Access and Open Educational Resources (OER).

Findings indicate that while each country has its own approach to funding higher education, there are few or no specific national and/or institutional policies aimed at promoting Open Education in the higher education sector. In Chile, this appears to be largely due to low OER awareness and a commercialised model of higher education. In Colombia, various national and institutional strategies reveal that there is nascent Open Education policy development, and in Uruguay there appears to be an enabling environment for future open policy development. All of these countries are making investments in science, technology and innovation programmes, making this the most fruitful field for potential Open Education advocacy….”

Analytical Support for Bibliometrics Indicators: Open access availability of scientific publications

“In recent years, the level of availability has reached a tipping point, whereby at least half of the articles published become available in open access within 12 to 18 months of their publication….This report compares established commercial databases—namely, the Web of Science and Scopus—with a bibliographic database that has been produced with the goal of facilitating the retrieval of gold and green2 open access articles published in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to examining the strengths and limitations of large-scale measurement, this report performs a number of measures, particularly at the country and academic-field levels. It also examines the question of whether articles available in open access are more highly cited that those available strictly with a subscription….The evidence presented in this report shows that at least two-thirds of the articles published between 2011 and 2014 and having at least one U.S. author can be downloaded for free as of August 2016. In the case of Brazil, the proportion reaches 75%. More broadly, the vast majority of the large scholarly publishing countries have more than 50% of their articles published from 2010 to 2014 freely available for download in gold and/or green gratis open access. Examining the availability of articles by domains of scholarly activity shows that health sciences has the most articles available for free (at least 59% of the articles published in 2014 could be read for free in 2016), followed by the natural sciences (55%), applied sciences (47%), economic and social sciences (44%), and arts and humanities (24%)….Whereas current data suggests that gold OA is prevalent in health sciences, green dominates the natural sciences, applied sciences, and economic and social sciences. In the humanities, green and gold are more or less on the same level. …There is evidence that articles available in green OA are overall the most highly cited….”

Open access availability of scientific publications

This report details population-level measurements of the open access (OA) availability of publications indexed in two bibliometric databases—the Web of Science (WoS) by Clarivate Analytics and Scopus by Elsevier. This was achieved by matching the bibliometric database populations to the 1science database to determine the availability of the papers in OA form. 

A comparative analysis of the recall and precision levels of the 1science database was performed using Scopus and the WoS. This helped to characterize the 1science database. Two policy-relevant indicators were selected for in-depth analyses: country affiliation of authors on publications, and scientific disciplines. These indicators were selected because they are very frequently used in bibliometric studies, including those performed by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and they appear in the NSF’s Science and Engineering Indicators….”

Tear Down That Paywall: The Movement to Make Ocean Research Free — Oceans Deeply

“As scientists race to save coral reefs and tackle other crucial marine issues, access to expensive scientific journals has become a roadblock to sharing knowledge, especially for researchers in developing countries….

…Open Communications for The Ocean (OCTO), a Woodinville, Washington-based nonprofit that recently launched a marine science research “repository” called MarXiv. Its goal is to systematically make more marine research freely accessible….”

Open Access, coming to a workflow near you: welcome to the year of Ubiquitous OA – Impactstory blog

“Thanks to 20 years of OA innovation and advocacy, today you can legally access around half the recent research literature for free. However, in practice, much of this free literature is not as open as we’d like it to be, because it’s hard for readers to find the OA version….”

Use of Free Textbooks Is Rising, but Barriers Remain – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“A growing number of professors are replacing the traditional textbook with an openly licensed one, according to a survey released on Tuesday. But their overall numbers remain small — and widespread adoption of the practice could remain out of reach unless key barriers are overcome.”

BOAI: leading the charge on open access publishing

“Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, at the turn of the millennium the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) put forward a seminal statement defining ‘open access’ as the free online availability of peer reviewed research. Despite little support for the BOAI initially, open access publishing is now commonplace and an estimated 28% of scientific literature is now predicted to be published in this way. In our interview with Melissa Hagemann, Senior Program Manager of the Open Society Foundations, and co-organiser of the meeting in Budapest, we talk about the history of the movement and the challenges it still faces today….”

REF 2021 Decisions on staff and outputs

“37. Evidence gathered through a recent survey on open access (OA) shows that, for over 80 per cent of outputs in the scope of the policy, either the outputs met the REF policy requirements in the first year (1 April 2016 to 1 April 2017), or an exception to the policy requirement is known to have applied. This reflects significant progress toward the policy intent to increase substantially the proportion of research that is made available open access in the UK.

38. The funding bodies have carefully considered the evidence gathered in the survey relating to the policy’s deposit requirements. We wish to continue building on the progress achieved to date and to maintain the momentum towards developing new tools to implement deposit as soon after the point of acceptance as possible. We therefore confirm the implementation of the REF OA policy as previously set out. The policy will require outputs to be deposited as soon after the point of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date (as given in the acceptance letter or email from the publication to the author) from 1 April 2018.

39. Taking account of some of the practical concerns raised through the survey in relation to deposit on acceptance, we will introduce a deposit exception in to the policy from 1 April 2018. This exception will allow outputs unable to meet this deposit timescale, to remain compliant if they are deposited up to three months after the date of publication. The exception will read: ‘The output was not deposited within three months of acceptance date, but was deposited within three months of the earliest date of publication.’ This exception will remain in place for the rest of the REF 2021 publication period.

40. Further detail on the evidence assessed to make this decision is based at Annex B. The REF OA policy has been updated to include the additional exception. A full report of the UKwide survey on the delivery of funders’ open access policies will be published early in 2018….”