Dramatic Growth of Open Access June 30, 2017

Correction: DOAJ will soon surpass 2.5 million articles, not a quarter of a billion as originally reported. 


Open access continues to demonstrate robust growth on a global scale, in terms of works that are made available open access, ongoing growth in infrastructure (new repositories, journals, book publishers), strong growth for new initiatives such as SocArxiv, BioRxiv, the Directory of Open Access Books, SCOAP3, as well as ongoing strong growth in established services such as BASE, PubMed / PubMedCentral, Internet Archive (check out the new Collections including a Trump archive and FactChecker), DOAJ (almost 2.5 million articles searchable at the article level), RePEC and arXiv. Ongoing growth in infrastructure and OA policy give every reason to expect this growth to be ongoing.

Open Data Version

Morrison, Heather, 2014, “Dramatic Growth of Open Access”, hdl:10864/10660, Scholars Portal Dataverse, V17,


This edition of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access highlights two of the new kids on the OA block – SocArxiv and BioRxiv, modeled on early OA success story arXiv, topping the quarterly growth by percentage with percentage growth of about 30% each! SocArxiv now has 1,200 documents and BioRxiv 12,800.

Similarly, a relative newcomer, the Directory of Open Access Books, is in both first and second place for annual growth by percentage with 68% growth for OA books and 40% of OA publishers in the past year for a total of 8,172 open access books and 217 OA book publishers.

SCOAP3, a global initiative to transform high-energy physics publishing to open access, is showing remarkable growth, 39% in the last year and 8% in the last quarter for a total of 15,790 articles funded.

To celebrate the growth of all OA services two pictures are presented of the growth of the largest collective OA search engine that I am aware of. Together, the 5,000 content providers who contribute metadata to the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) have made available over 112 million documents. Around 60% of these are open access, so the number of OA documents in the world can be said to be somewhere about 67 million. BASE also posts their own online statistics table and chart – check it out here.

I wish I had the time to applaud and celebrate the growth of each and every OA service, but with 5,000 services contributing to BASE (and others that don’t), if I worked on this 365 days a year I would have to cover 14 initiatives every day. So please feel free to help out by applauding and celebrating the services most relevant to you – the journals in your discipline, your institutional repository, the services you find most helpful to search.

Below you will find tables listing the top services by quarterly (5% or more) and annual growth (10% or more). For the full numbers download the open data version (link above). As usual Internet Archive is well represented, with 5 items in the list of the top 13 services by quarterly growth and the top 18 services by annual growth. Internet Archive also offers 2 intriguing new services under Collections – a Trump Archive with over a thousand videos and a Fact Checker collection with over 400 items, available at https://archive.org/details/tvhttps://archive.org/details/tv

Of course PubMed and PubMedCentral are up there in the growth charts, in this quarter for total number of items (5% quarterly growth) as well as what looks (to me) like hesitant new steps by a substantial number of journals, with a 26% increase in the number of contributing journals that provide some OA and a 14% increase in the number of journals that provide OA to selected articles. The number of journals providing immediate free access and/or all articles open access continues to increase, so this is clearly growth, not backsliding.

DOAJ is included in the top growth services with 14% growth in the number of articles searchable at article level. DOAJ now has over 2.49 million articles searchable at the article level and should soon surpass 2.5 million articles.

arXiv and RePEC are on the list for strong growth in articles, and ROARMAP for growth in OA policies.


Quarterly growth (percentage) June 2017
32% SocArxiv preprints 1,200
29% BioRxiv all articles 12,280
18% # of academic peer-reviewed books (DOAB) 8,172
18% # publishers (DOAB) 217
8% SCOAP3 articles 15,790
8% Internet Archive Software 178,635
7% Video (movies)  (Internet Archive) 3,437,542
7% Texts  (Internet Archive) 12,821,051
5% Images (Internet Archive) 1,476,743
5% # of content providers (BASE) 5,621
5% Audio (recordings)  (Internet Archive) 3,477,033
5% Webpages (Internet Archive) (in billions) 298
5% PubMedCentral (number of items) 4,400,000

Annual growth (percentage) 06/30/17
68% # of academic peer-reviewed books (DOAB) 8,172
40% # publishers (DOAB) 217
39% SCOAP3 number of archives 15,790
34% Video (movies)  (Internet Archive) 3,437,542
33% Internet Archive: Software 178,635
29% # of content providers (BASE) 5,621
27% Texts  (Internet Archive) 12,821,051
26% PMC journals some OA 609
25% Internet Archive: Images 1,476,743
20% # of documents (BASE) 112,458,360
17% Audio (recordings)  (Internet Archive) 3,477,033
17% RePEc journal articles 1,491,037
14% # of articles searchable at article level (DOAJ) 2,493,835
14% PMC select deposit journals 4,296
13% RePEC downloadable 2,143,844
13% Total Policies (ROARMAP) 872
13% PMC # items 4,400,000
10% arXiv  http://arxiv.org/ 1,278,739

 This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series Feel free to copy and share - with love.  Note that images are compressed by the software to reduce file size, and they are also quickly outdated. You are welcome to use the images, but my recommendation is to download the data and make your own graphics. It's easier than you think with tools like modern spreadsheet software.

ICMJE Releases Highly Anticipated Data Sharing Requirements | the Map

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which is comprised of various member journals including the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and The Lancet, just published its highly anticipated data sharing requirements on June 6, 2017. These new requirements are subsequent to the ICMJE’s initial clinical trial data sharing proposalpublished in January 2016, which proposed that authors share deidentified individual patient data for results presented in the article no later than six months after publication. According to ICMJE, the initial proposal was met with “many comments from individuals and groups,” as part of their request for feedback, and “many raised valid concerns regarding the feasibility of the proposed requirements, the necessary resources, the real or perceived risks to trial participants, and the need to protect the interests of patients and researchers.”1

The newly published ICMJE data sharing requirements differ from the initial proposal. In particular, they do not include requirements for the sharing of deidentified individual patient data. ICMJE retained a requirement from the initial proposal for authors to include a plan for data sharing as a part of clinical trial registration, and added a requirement for authors to include a data sharing statement with the manuscript submission.

More specifically, ICMJE will require the following as conditions of consideration for publication of a clinical trial report in its member journals: …”

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Open Pharma – Innovations in medical publishing

“Although scientific publishing is changing fast, most pharma-sponsored research continues to be published through a traditional route of peer-reviewed journals. The current route is slow, with limited transparency and restricted access to research outputs. This has a negative impact on biomedical research and, ultimately, patient healthcare.

Many groups are discussing the future of scientific publishing but, so far, the pharmaceutical industry has provided limited input into the discussions. With half of all biomedical research funding coming from industry, and with substantial issues of trust and transparency still to be addressed, our group thinks not only that industry should be involved in the discussions but also that it should help to drive change. Non-pharmaceutical-industry funders such as the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have been the main drivers of innovation so far. It’s time for the pharmaceutical industry to join them….”

Charité, FU, HU und TU kündigen ihre Elsevier-Verträge

From Google’s English: “Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, Since 2016, under the auspices of the President of the University Rectors’ Conference (HRK), Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler, with Elsevier over a nationwide License to use the publisher’s magazines. Objective of the negotiations Of the DEAL project, the magazine portfolios of the publishers Elsevier, Springer / Nature and Wiley from a subscription-based licensing to a publication-based financing To be transferred. A fair price model for the provision of the open- Access-based journals and counteracted the previous price spiral become. Regrettably, Elsevier has so far shown little negotiation. Therefore, have Numerous scientific institutions and universities signed their contracts with Elsevier Terminated or not extended, to the DEAL negotiations the necessary emphasis to lend. More than 70 scientific institutions have grown into this step in 2016 determined. In the coming weeks, more than 100 more Research institutes and universities….”

Whose money is it anyway? Managing offset agreements | Unlocking Research

“Sometimes an innocent question can blow up a huge discussion, and this is what happened recently at an RCUK OA Practitioner’s Group meeting when I asked what was appropriate for institutions to do when managing money they receive as refunds from publishers through offsetting arrangements.

When an institution pays for an article processing charge (APC) in a hybrid journal, it is doing so in addition to the existing subscription. This is generally referred to as ‘double dipping’.  I have written extensively about the issues with hybrid in the past, but here, I’d like to discuss the management of offset agreements.

Offset agreements are a compensation by a publisher to an institution for the extra money they are putting into the system through payment of APCs. Most large publishers have some sort of offset agreement for institutions in the UK which are negotiated by Jisc, based on the principles for offset agreements. (There is one significant publisher which is an exception because it insists there is no need for an offset agreement because it does not double dip.)….”

Marketing Executive job with SPRINGER NATURE | Guardian Jobs

“BioMed Central is the leading open access publisher of STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) research. Since it was founded in 2000, BioMed Central has successfully pioneered the open access publishing model and brought open access to the mainstream. With offices in London, North America and Asia, the company employs over 290 people across a range of operations including editorial, production, IT and business. BioMed Central is a vibrant and innovative company. It operates in a fast-paced and high-energy environment, hiring talented people who are passionate about science, technology, medicine and open access.”

“The Marketing Executive is responsible for planning and implementing marketing campaigns and multi-tactical digital campaigns to drive awareness of their assigned journals; to increase readership, and to grow / enhance the email database and ultimately manuscript submissions.

The role includes ensuring that journal information is included in marketing collateral for company conferences as well as coordinating marketing activities with journal society partners (including negotiating with conference organizers and creating, printing and shipping promotional materials). You will regularly collate Key Performance Indicator statistics for each of your journals within the portfolio and will be required to contribute to monthly and quarterly reports. Additionally you will support the Marketing Manager working on cross-company marketing projects as required.”