Attitudes of North American Academics toward Open Access Scholarly Journals

Abstract:  In this study, the authors examine attitudes of researchers toward open access (OA) scholarly journals. Using two-step cluster analysis to explore survey data from faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at large North American research institutions, two different cluster types emerge: Those with a positive attitude toward OA and a desire to reach the nonscholarly audience groups who would most benefit from OA (“pro-OA”), and those with a more negative, skeptical attitude and less interest in reaching nonscholarly readers (“non-OA”). The article explores these cluster identities in terms of position type, subject discipline, and productivity, as well as implications for policy and practice.

Open access potential and uptake in the context of Plan S – a partial gap analysis | Zenodo

“Data available at:

The analysis presented in this report, carried out by Utrecht University Library, aims to provide cOAlition S, an international group of research funding organizations, with initial quantitative and descriptive data on the availability and usage of various open access options in different fields and subdisciplines, and, as far as possible, their compliance with Plan S requirements.

Plan S, launched in September 2018, aims to accelerate a transition to full and immediate Open Access. In the guidance to implementation, released in November 2018 and updated in May 2019, a gap analysis of Open Access journals/platforms was announced. Its goal was to inform Coalition S funders on the Open Access options per field and identify fields where there is a need to increase the share of Open Access journals/platforms. 

The report should be seen as a first step: an exploration in methodology as much as in results. Subsequent interpretation (e.g. on fields where funder investment/action is needed) and decisions on next steps (e.g. on more complete and longitudinal monitoring of Plan S-compliant venues) is intentionally left to cOAlition S and its members….”

Gaps Report highlights why Plan S is needed | Plan S

“The main result of the study is that, in 2017 prior to the launch of Plan S, researchers across all fields had a number of options to share their peer reviewed articles immediately and openly. Already in 2017, 75% of all journals used by cOAlition S funded researchers allowed open access publishing. Many of these journals were hybrid journals but could be made compliant with Plan S by bringing them under ‘Transformative Agreements’ which many consortia around the world are seeking to negotiate with publishers. Alternatively, cOAlition S is developing the concept of “Transformative Journals” which would allow publishers to make their hybrid journals compliant with Plan S.

The study also shows that almost all hybrid journals and 50% of closed journals used by cOAlition S funded grantees already provided self-archiving options. A 12-month embargo period was the most prevalent in many fields. Arguably the simplest approach publishers could take to make their journals Plan S compliant (at least in the short term) is agreeing to a zero embargo policy. This study shows that examples of zero-embargo policies exist in all fields but especially in the social sciences.

The report reveals differences between research fields and subdisciplines in the availability of open access publishing options and their alignment with aspects of Plan S. It also shows that the usage of these options by cOAlition S funded researchers varied. These differences provide valuable insights into which approaches are working well in particular contexts, and provide fields and venues that can serve as examples or role models for other fields where appropriate.

In conclusion, across all disciplines, a large majority of existing journals could be made compliant with Plan S, either through “Transformative Arrangements” or through enabling unembargoed self-archiving….”

New Landscapes on the Road of Open Science: 6 key issues to address for research data management in the Netherlands | Open Working

“The road to Open Science is not a short one. As the chairman of the Executive Board of the European Open Science Cloud, Karel Luyben, is keen to point out, it will take at least 10 or 15 years of travel until we reach a point where Open Science is simply absorbed into ordinary, everyday science.

Within the Netherlands, and for research data in particular, we have made many strides towards that final point. We have knowledge networks such as LCRDM, a suite of archives covered by the Research Data Netherlands umbrella, and the groundbreaking work done by the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences.

But there is still much travel to be done; many new landscapes to be traversed. Data sharing is still far from being the norm (see here for a visualisation of these results).

The authors of this blog post have put together six areas that, in their opinion, deserve attention on our Open Science journey….”

Do articles in open access journals have more frequent altmetric activity than articles in subscription-based journals? An investigation of the research output of Finnish universities | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Scientific articles available in Open Access (OA) have been found to attract more citations and online attention to the extent that it has become common to speak about OA Altmetrics Advantage. This research investigates how the OA Altmetrics Advantage holds for a specific case of research articles, namely the research outputs from universities in Finland. Furthermore, this research examines disciplinary and platform specific differences in that (dis)advantage. The new methodological approaches developed in this research focus on relative visibility, i.e. how often articles in OA journals receive at least one mention on the investigated online platforms, and relative receptivity, i.e. how frequently articles in OA journals gain mentions in comparison to articles in subscription-based journals. The results show significant disciplinary and platform specific differences in the OA advantage, with articles in OA journals within for instance veterinary sciences, social and economic geography and psychology receiving more citations and attention on social media platforms, while the opposite was found for articles in OA journals within medicine and health sciences. The results strongly support field- and platform-specific considerations when assessing the influence of journal OA status on altmetrics. The new methodological approaches used in this research will serve future comparative research into OA advantage of scientific articles over time and between countries.

Low income countries have the highest percentages of open access publication: A systematic computational analysis of the biomedical literature

Abstract:  Open access publication rates have been steadily increasing over time. In spite of this growth, academics in low income settings struggle to gain access to the full canon of research literature. While the vast majority of open access repositories and funding organizations with open access policies are based in high income countries, the geographic patterns of open access publication itself are not well characterized. In this study, we developed a computational approach to better understand the topical and geographical landscape of open access publications in the biomedical research literature. Surprisingly, we found a strong negative correlation between country per capita income and the percentage of open access publication. Open access publication rates were particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa, but vastly lower in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific. These effects persisted when considering papers only bearing authors from within each region and income group. However, papers resulting from international collaborations did have a higher percentage of OA than single-country papers, and inter-regional collaboration increased OA publication for all world regions. There was no clear relationship between the number of open access policies in a region and the percentage of open access publications in that region. To understand the distribution of open access across topics of biomedical research, we examined keywords that were most enriched and depleted in open access papers. Keywords related to genomics, computational biology, animal models, and infectious disease were enriched in open access publications, while keywords related to the environment, nursing, and surgery were depleted in open access publications. This work identifies geographic regions and fields of research that could be priority areas for open access advocacy. The finding that open access publication rates are highest in sub-Saharan Africa and low income countries suggests that factors other than open access policy strongly influence authors’ decisions to make their work openly accessible. The high proportion of OA resulting from international collaborations indicates yet another benefit of collaborative research. Certain applied fields of medical research, notably nursing, surgery, and environmental fields, appear to have a greater proportion of fee-for-access publications, which presumably creates barriers that prevent researchers and practitioners in low income settings from accessing the literature in those fields.