Flipping the switch: how a hybrid journal went open access – Physics World

Tell us about Materials Research Express (MRX)?

MRX is an open-access journal that focuses on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. Published by IOP Publishing, which publishes Physics World, it is devoted to publishing new experimental and theoretical research in the properties, characterization, design and fabrication of all classes of materials including biomaterials, nanomaterials, polymers, smart materials, electronics, thin films and more. The journal, which offers rapid peer review, has an international editorial board that is led by the journal’s editor-in-chief, Meyya Meyyappan from NASA’s Ames Research Centre in the US….”

Diversifying Readership Through Open Access – Open Access Books Network Blog

“A few years ago, we did some work looking at the effect of open access (OA) on downloads and citations of scholarly books. Our authors were excited to hear about the impact that OA could have on their work, but the next question was always along the lines of, ‘But where are those extra downloads coming from? Is OA actually helping books to achieve a more diverse audience?’ A survey of book authors’ attitudes to OA that we conducted last year confirmed this concern: we found that reaching a broad readership – and reaching non-academic audiences such as policymakers and practitioners – ranked high in book authors’ motivations. Reaching readers in low-income- and lower-middle-income-countries (LICs and LMICs) was particularly important to authors who had published an OA book.

OA books are now in their second decade, but we find many authors are still sceptical, or at any rate unsure if it’s really worth it. Perhaps it seems obvious, or intuitive, that OA expands a book’s readership, but being able to point to evidence for this important benefit can be immensely powerful in making the case for OA to book authors….

Others have asked this question before. Notably, Ronald Snijder’s 2013 study, based on a sample of 180 books, showed that despite a ‘digital divide’ in discovery and use between poorer and richer countries, OA led to increased proportions of usage in LICs and LMICs. Six years later, we are able to re-visit this using a much larger dataset of OA (and non-OA) books, and provide a more detailed exploration of these questions….

So, what did COARD’s analysis find?

OA has a robust effect on the number of downloads, geographical diversity of downloads, and citations of books. Downloads of OA books in the study were on average 10 times higher than those of non-OA books, and citations of OA books were 2.4 times higher on average – an even larger OA effect than we found in our previous research in this area.
For every category of book in the sample there is an increase of at least 2.7-fold in downloads for OA books. The effect was seen for all disciplinary groupings, in HSS and STM, across all three years of publication in the dataset, for all types of book (monographs, contributed volumes, and mid-length books) and for every month after publication.
OA books in the study had a greater proportion of usage in a wider range of countries. They were downloaded in 61% more countries than non-OA books. Importantly, OA books had higher usage in low-income or lower-middle-income countries, including a high number of countries in Africa. Analysis using the Gini coefficient disparity index showed that OA books have quantitatively greater geographic diversity of downloads.
Downloads of OA books from the open web were generally around double those from institutional network points. Of course, we can’t rule out that the open web downloads are simply off-campus downloads from readers who already have institutional access, but the balance between the two, and the fact that the OA books reached so many more countries does point to a more diverse readership….”

Library pandemic restrictions showcase the importance of digital collections and the advantages of open access

“While registering more than 4.6 million downloads of its Open Access publications in 2019, the Australian National University (ANU) Press has experienced an average 44% increase in its monthly download numbers from March 2020, as COVID-19 lockdowns have become enforced around the world. Similarly, in May 2020, the Natural History Museum (NHM) in the United Kingdom (UK) has registered a staggering increase in individual record and dataset downloads of 52% and 38% respectively, which amounted, in absolute terms, to 379.69 millions records and 7,328 datasets in this period alone….”

Five Minutes with Professor Sonia Livingstone on the benefits of open access and institutional repositories. | Impact of Social Sciences

“I honestly don’t remember how it all began, though now depositing my research is second nature (and such a regular activity that I fear I burden the always-helpful library staff). I think I began with the documents that seemed to have no place but that I had worked hard on and so wanted to be able to point to on occasion.

What was great about depositing such documents was that I held copyright so they could be instantly accessible to anyone interested….

[Question:] Have you been surprised by how many downloads your research has received in LSERO? So far this year you have received over 86,000 downloads!

Astonished! What can I say? I work in a topical field (children and young people’s engagement with the internet), though I am encouraged that some of less topical work (e.g. on media audiences) also gets noticed through LSERO. I also work in a field that has fostered a constructive and lively dialogue between academics and stakeholders/publics. This leads me to another list – who do I imagine is the audience downloading on such a scale?

It might be academics in universities with nicely resourced libraries looking for a convenient source, and it might be my students (thanks guys!).
But I hope it is also academics in less well-resourced universities who wouldn’t otherwise have access to work that, once published, sits beyond a pay wall.
And I also believe (and hope) that it’s non-academics, whether policy makers or journalists or NGOs and other stakeholders who also lack access to academic journal publications and who don’t generally (like to or have budget for) purchasing academic work….”

Pandemic Restrictions on Library Borrowing Showcase the Importance of Digital Collections and the Advantages of Open Access | Open Research Community

“In other words, the surging use of digital collections that publishers, museums and libraries offer not only benefits from the removal of cost-related restrictions that Open Access involves, but also likely compensates for the lockdown-associated drop in the on-site circulation of university and municipal libraries as well as the on-location sales of brick-and-mortar bookstores, which have fallen by about 60% in Canada. Thus, in the period of March-June, 2020, British libraries have shown a corresponding drop of 48% in their physical lending volumes, as compared to the corresponding period in 2019.”

Pandemic Restrictions on Library Borrowing Showcase the Importance of Digital Collections and the Advantages of Open Access | Open Research Community

“In other words, the surging use of digital collections that publishers, museums and libraries offer not only benefits from the removal of cost-related restrictions that Open Access involves, but also likely compensates for the lockdown-associated drop in the on-site circulation of university and municipal libraries as well as the on-location sales of brick-and-mortar bookstores, which have fallen by about 60% in Canada. Thus, in the period of March-June, 2020, British libraries have shown a corresponding drop of 48% in their physical lending volumes, as compared to the corresponding period in 2019.”

Survey of Academic Library Use of Cost per Download Data for Journals Subscriptions

“This study looks at how academic libraries, especially research oriented institutions, develop and use cost per download data in collection decision-making.  The study is based on data from 52 institutions, predominantly from the USA but also from Canada, the UK , continental Europe and elsewhere. 

Data in the report is broken out by type of institution (i.e. research university, doctoral-level, etc.) and by overall student enrollment, tuition, for public and private institutions and for those located in the USA and all other countries.  Data is also presented separately for collections oriented towards healthcare and medicine, and for multidisciplinary collections.

The 54-page study helps its readers to answer questions such as: How precise an idea do libraries have about the cost per download of their subscribed journals?  How many libraries feel that they measure this cost well?  What tools, applications or programs do they use to obtain or develop this data?  What makes it easier or harder to obtain such data?  How much confidence do they have in the accuracy of the data often made available by journals publishers? Do some of these publishers produce more reliable data than others? If so , which ones? Does the library use benchmarking data from other libraries or consortia when developing or using their in-hour cost per download data?  Exactly what is the cost per download for the library’s most and least expensive journals subscription packages? Is the library making any special efforts to obtain or obtain better cost per download data as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing pressure on library budgets?

Just a few of the study’s many findings are that:

Approximately half of the institutions surveyed said that they had a very or extremely precise idea of the cost per download of journal articles from their university collections.
Public college libraries were much more likely than private college libraries to use benchmarking data from other institutions.

Cost per download was generally higher in the USA than abroad and private colleges and universities tended to pay considerably higher costs per download than their public sector counterparts.

The median cost per download for the highest cost “Big Deal” from the libraries sampled was $15.00.”

The Sci-hub Effect: Sci-hub downloads lead to more article citations

Abstract:  Citations are often used as a metric of the impact of scientific publications. Here, we examine how the number of downloads from Sci-hub as well as various characteristics of publications and their authors predicts future citations. Using data from 12 leading journals in economics, consumer research, neuroscience, and multidisciplinary research, we found that articles downloaded from Sci-hub were cited 1.72 times more than papers not downloaded from Sci-hub and that the number of downloads from Sci-hub was a robust predictor of future citations. Among other characteristics of publications, the number of figures in a manuscript consistently predicts its future citations. The results suggest that limited access to publications may limit some scientific research from achieving its full impact.