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One fifth of 2008’s research papers now open access

openaccessplos.jpgOne in five research papers published in 2008 are now freely available on the internet, according to a recent survey (PLoS ONE, 5(6), e11273; 2010).

Bo-Christer Björk and colleagues at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland, manually checked the availability of 1837 articles, randomly sampled from 1.2 million articles in Elsevier’s Scopus database.

Of those, 8.5% were free to view at publishers’ websites – the so-called ‘gold’ open access (OA) route – of which one in four had been made free because authors had published in a subscription journal but paid to open up the article.

Another 11.9% could only be found on authors’ websites or in repositories – so-called ‘green’ OA. Repositories set up by universities or institutions accounted for one in four of these green OA articles; while 43% of them could be found in subject-based repositories such as ArXiv and PubMed.

Breaking down the articles by discipline (see chart), the researchers found that earth sciences had the highest overall open access (OA) share, with 33%, while chemistry had the lowest, with 13%.

In life sciences, the majority of open access (OA) articles were gold, free at publishers’ websites. But in other disciplines, most of the OA articles were green, only available on authors’ websites or in repositories.


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    Bernd-Christoph Kaemper said:

    For Nature itself, about 80% of 2008’s research papers are now open access, self-archived either by their authors or by NPG through their Manuscript Deposition Service that started in July 2008.

    I arrived at this estimate by checking full text availability via Google Scholar and Google for 120 articles from 6 issues (n7174-n7178, n7223-n7224) of Jan and Dec 2008.

    B.-C. Kaemper, Stuttgart University Library

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    Stevan Harnad said:


    This analysis does not measure when an article is made Open Access (OA). OA is defined as freely accessible immediately upon acceptance for publication, when it is needed by researchers — not after an embargo of 6-12 months or more. Sixty-three percent of journals (including almost all the top journals) endorse immediate Green OA self-archiving by their authors. Nature was originally among the publishers of these green journals, but in 2005 it back-slid and imposed an embargo — unlike Science, the APS journals, the Cambridge University Press journals, the Elsevier journals and the Springer journals.

    Nature is not on the side of the angels on OA:

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    steve said:

    Authorsmania provide papers all over the academic spectrum – everything from simple essays to term papers, theses, and dissertations in every area of academic inquiry. It utilize the standard research formats that are used in universities.Its a best option

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