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Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009

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      Abstract

      BackgroundThe Internet has recently made possible the free global availability of scientific journal articles. Open Access (OA) can occur either via OA scientific journals, or via authors posting manuscripts of articles published in subscription journals in open web repositories. So far there have been few systematic studies showing how big the extent of OA is, in particular studies covering all fields of science.Methodology/Principal FindingsThe proportion of peer reviewed scholarly journal articles, which are available openly in full text on the web, was studied using a random sample of 1837 titles and a web search engine. Of articles published in 2008, 8,5% were freely available at the publishers' sites. For an additional 11,9% free manuscript versions could be found using search engines, making the overall OA percentage 20,4%. Chemistry (13%) had the lowest overall share of OA, Earth Sciences (33%) the highest. In medicine, biochemistry and chemistry publishing in OA journals was more common. In all other fields author-posted manuscript copies dominated the picture.Conclusions/SignificanceThe results show that OA already has a significant positive impact on the availability of the scientific journal literature and that there are big differences between scientific disciplines in the uptake. Due to the lack of awareness of OA-publishing among scientists in most fields outside physics, the results should be of general interest to all scholars. The results should also interest academic publishers, who need to take into account OA in their business strategies and copyright policies, as well as research funders, who like the NIH are starting to require OA availability of results from research projects they fund. The method and search tools developed also offer a good basis for more in-depth studies as well as longitudinal studies.

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      Open access and global participation in science.

      Previous investigations into the impact of open-access journals on subsequent citations confounded open and electronic access and failed to track availability over time. With new data, we separated these effects. We demonstrate that a journal receives a modest increase in citations when it comes online freely, but the jump is larger when it first comes online through commercial sources. This effect reverses for poor countries where free-access articles are much more likely to be cited. Together, findings suggest that free Internet access widens the circle of those who read and make use of scientists' investigations.
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        Status of open access in the biomedical field in 2005.

        This study was designed to document the state of open access (OA) in the biomedical field in 2005. PubMed was used to collect bibliographic data on target articles published in 2005. PubMed, Google Scholar, Google, and OAIster were then used to establish the availability of free full text online for these publications. Articles were analyzed by type of OA, country, type of article, impact factor, publisher, and publishing model to provide insight into the current state of OA. Twenty-seven percent of all the articles were accessible as OA articles. More than 70% of the OA articles were provided through journal websites. Mid-rank commercial publishers often provided OA articles in OA journals, while society publishers tended to provide OA articles in the context of a traditional subscription model. The rate of OA articles available from the websites of individual authors or in institutional repositories was quite low. In 2005, OA in the biomedical field was achieved under an umbrella of existing scholarly communication systems. Typically, OA articles were published as part of subscription journals published by scholarly societies. OA journals published by BioMed Central contributed to a small portion of all OA articles.
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          Improving Access to Research, Editorial.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]HANKEN School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland
            [2 ]Innovation Center Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
            University of East Piedmont, Italy
            Author notes

            Conceived and designed the experiments: BCB. Performed the experiments: BCB PW ML PM TH GG. Analyzed the data: BCB PW PM TH. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: PW. Wrote the paper: BCB PW ML PM TH.

            Contributors
            Role: Editor
            Journal
            PLoS One
            plos
            plosone
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            1932-6203
            2010
            23 June 2010
            : 5
            : 6
            2890572
            20585653
            10-PONE-RA-18625
            10.1371/journal.pone.0011273
            (Editor)
            Björk et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
            Counts
            Pages: 9
            Categories
            Research Article
            Biochemistry
            Physics
            Science Policy

            Uncategorized

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