Full article: Open science gathers momentum: Implications for medical and scientific research

“The open science movement has fueled the development of public access options, including open access journals, preprint servers, open peer review, and open data and data repositories. Journals that have paywalls are often hybrid models that offer authors ways to make their articles available through “gold” open access and “green” open access options (


To address the growing requirements for public access, journal publishers are implementing new peer-reviewed article types that support the objectives of open science by extending access to relevant assets such as datasets, research protocols, and advances in research methods, toward the goal of fostering new collaborations across disciplines….”

[2311.09657] Open Access in Ukraine: characteristics and evolution from 2012 to 2021

This study investigates development of open access (OA) to publications produced by authors affiliated with Ukrainian universities and research organisations in the period 2012-2021. In order to get a comprehensive overview we assembled data from three popular databases: Dimensions, Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus. Our final dataset consisted of 187,135 records. To determine the OA status of each article, this study utilised Unpaywall data which was obtained via API. It was determined that 71.5% of all considered articles during the observed period were openly available at the time of analysis. Our findings show that gold OA was the most prevalent type of OA through a 10 years studied period. We also took a look at how OA varies by research fields, how dominant large commercial publishers are in disseminating national research and the preferences of authors regarding where to self-archive articles versions. We concluded that Ukraine needs to be thoughtful with engagement with large publishers and make sure academics control publishing, not for profit companies, which would monopolise research output distribution, leaving national publishers behind. Beyond that we put a special emphasis on the importance of FAIRness of national scholarly communication infrastructure in monitoring OA uptake.

Guest Post: Why De Gruyter Decided to Use Subscribe to Open as the Main Model to Transform Our Journal Portfolio – OASPA

“De Gruyter was founded to support scholars, promote knowledge, and spread quality research to the widest possible audience. As a publishing model, open access hinges on the idea that the scientific and intellectual heritage of humankind should be open to all—without restrictions tied to wealth, status, or place of birth. There is thus much overlap between the vision which animates the open access movement and De Gruyter’s own founding mission. For more than fifteen years, this affinity has led De Gruyter to be an early and active supporter of open access publishing. 

In keeping with our longstanding commitment to open access, 2023 saw De Gruyter adopt Subscribe to Open (S2O) as its main open access model. S2O is an innovative publishing model which provides for the sustainable transformation of gated journals to open access. Over the next five years, De Gruyter plans to transfer 85% of its 320 subscription journals to open access via S2O.

We are hugely excited about S2O. Not only in terms of its impact on our own portfolio—on average, the 9 journals we have transformed so far using S2O have seen an increase in usage of 700%, with readership from 2.8 times the number of countries compared with previously—but for what its wider adoption could do for both open access and the wider research community….”

Results of PLOS experiments to increase sharing and discovery of research data – The Official PLOS Blog

“For PLOS, increasing data-sharing rates—and especially increasing the amount of data shared in a repository—is a high priority. 

Research data is a vital part of the scientific record, essential to both understanding and reproducing published research. And data repositories are the most effective and impactful way to share research data. Not only is deposited data safer and more discoverable, articles with data in a repository have a 25% higher citation rate on average.

With support from the Wellcome Trust, we’ve been experimenting with two solutions designed to increase awareness about data repositories and promote data repository use among both authors and readers. One solution didn’t achieve its expected outcome in the context we tested it (a “negative” result) while the other shows promise as a tool for increasing engagement with deposited data. The mixed outcomes are an example of why it’s so important to share all research results regardless of their outcome – whether “positive” or “negative” results. We hope that our experiences, what we’ve learned, and above all the data and results, can help the scholarly communications community to develop new and better solutions to meet the challenges we all face, and advance Open Science.

Read on for a quick summary of the studies we conducted. Or get the full details from our new preprint on Figshare, and explore the data for yourself….”

Incentivising best practice in research data sharing: Experiments to increase use of and engagement with data repositories

Abstract:  Improving the uptake of repositories to share research data is an aim of many publishers, funders and infrastructure providers. Even at the publisher PLOS, which has a mandatory data sharing policy, repositories are still used less commonly than Supporting Information to share data. This preprint presents the results of two experiments that tested solutions that aimed to increase the use of repositories for data sharing as well as increase engagement with shared data. The experiments—integration of the Dryad repository into the manuscript submission system at PLOS Pathogens and implementing an Accessible Data icon to signal data shared in a repository on published articles across the PLOS journal portfolio—were designed to be interventions that required minimal extra effort for authors (researchers). We collected usage data on these solutions as well as survey (n=654 and n=4,898) and interview (n=12) data from submitting authors. The results show that author uptake of the integrated repository (used by ~2% of submissions) was lower than expected in part due to lack of awareness despite various communication methods being used. Integration of data repositories into the journal submission process, in the context in which we tested it, may not increase use of repositories without additional visibility, or policy incentives. Our survey results suggest the Accessible Data icon did have some effect on author behaviour, although not in the expected way, as it influenced repository choice for authors who had already planned to use a repository rather than influencing the choice of sharing method. Furthermore, the Accessible Data icon was successful in increasing engagement with shared data, as measured by an increase in average monthly views of datasets linked to a cohort of 543 published articles that displayed it from 2.5 to 3.0 (an increase of 20%) comparing 12-month periods either side of the introduction of the icon. The results of these two experiments provide valuable insights to publishers and other stakeholders about strategies for increasing the use of repositories for sharing research data.


Publish and flourish: investigating publication requirements for PhD students in China | Scientometrics

Abstract:  This study analyzes the publication requirements of PhD programs in China. It is based on a representative sample of PhD programs from 164 Chinese universities from all fields of science. Our results show that Chinese PhD student significant pressures to publish in order to obtain their degree, with papers indexed in the Science Citation Index often a mandatory requirement for students to obtain their degree. Moreover, it is found that first authorship is also mandatory: only as first authors count towards the degree, which may affect PhD students’ collaborative behavior. These findings highlight the role of publications indexed in the Science Citation Index for China’s PhD programs and contributes to our understanding of the landscape of research evaluation in China’s higher education system.


arXiv sets new record for monthly submissions – arXiv blog

“Since its founding in 1991, arXiv has been growing exponentially – and in October, we hit a new milestone! arXiv has tracked the number of new submissions we receive every month from our very first submission in August 1991, and we share our monthly submission data on our stats page (which houses lots of interesting break downs of the data).

In the month of October of 2023, there were a total of 20,710 new submissions to arXiv, beating the previous monthly record from May 2023. This past May is when we first broke the 20,000 marker for number of submissions received in a single month. This brings arXiv’s overall total submission count, from August 1991 to today, to 2,358,545!

The three subjects with the most submissions in October 2023 were computer science, math, and physics – there were over 15,000 new submissions to arXiv in those subject areas alone.”

Open access movement in the scholarly world: Pathways for libraries in developing countries – Arslan Sheikh, Joanna Richardson, 2023

Abstract:  Open access is a scholarly publishing model that has emerged as an alternative to traditional subscription-based journal publishing. This study explores the adoption of the open access movement worldwide and the role that libraries can play in addressing those factors which are slowing its progress within developing countries. The study has drawn upon both qualitative data from a focused literature review and quantitative data from major open access platforms. The results indicate that while the open access movement is steadily gaining acceptance worldwide, the progress in developing countries within geographical areas such as Africa, Asia and Oceania is quite a bit slower. Two significant factors are the cost of publishing fees and the lack of institutional open access mandates and policies to encourage uptake. The study provides suggested strategies for academic libraries to help overcome current challenges.


Public funds being swallowed up by scientific journals with dubious articles | Science | EL PAÍS English

“A strange phenomenon has transformed the world scientific system. Suddenly, academic journals that were previously weekly or biweekly have started publishing several special issues each day. There are unusual cases, such as the hyperprolific environmental and health research journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), which last year published 17,000 scientific studies, 13 times more than in 2016, according to engineer Pablo Gómez Barreiro’s calculations. The theoretically biweekly journal has reached an output speed of six special issues per day and in recent years has been the preferred journal of Spanish scientists seeking to publish their work. The publishing house that owns it, MDPI, was founded in Switzerland by the Chinese chemist Shu-Kun Lin and has multiplied its income, thanks to a transfer of millions of euros of public money budgeted for science. It is a bubble that is about to burst, as a study by Gómez Barreiro and three other colleagues suggests….

Gómez Barreiro gives an extreme example: Professor Elsayed Tag Eldin, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the Future, a private institution in Cairo (Egypt) had barely published studies before, but this year he has already published 418, more than one every day, on all kinds of topics: Covid-19, solar panels, nanofluids, agriculture, even cyberattacks. He publishes more studies than anyone other scientist in the world….”



The changing face of MedEdPublish | MedEdPublish

Abstract:  MedEdPublish has come a long way since it was launched in 2016 by AMEE as an independent academic e-journal that supports scholarship in health professions education. Beginning as a relatively small, in-house publication on a web platform adapted for the purpose, we invited members of our community of practice to submit articles on any topic in health professions education, and encouraged a wide range of article types. All articles were published so long as they met editing criteria and where within scope. Reviews were welcomed from both members of our Review panel and the general readership, all published openly with contributors identified. Many articles attracted several reviews, responses and comments, creating interactive discussion threads that provided learning opportunities for all. The outcome surpassed our expectations, with over 500 articles submitted during 2020, beyond the capacity of our editing team and platform to achieve our promise of rapid publishing. We have now moved to a much larger and powerful web platform, developed by F1000 Research and within the Taylor and Francis stable, the home of AMEE’s other journal, Medical Teacher. Most of our innovations are supported by the new platform and there is scope for further developments. We look forward to an exciting new phase of innovation, powered by the F1000 platform.


Investigating Global Trends in Open Access: The Influence of Policies, Culturalization, and Funds on the Future of Iran’s Scientific Position

Abstract:  Objective: Previous research has shown that the number of open access documents in the world is increasing. Although the speed of this phenomenon is worthy of attention, some supporters of science want this process to be faster. One of the important challenges of open access for the country is to cover its relatively high costs, and along with that, due to sanctions, it is also important to predict the methods of paying these costs. Anticipating the necessary arrangements in this field, including credit provision, policy making and cultural building, requires knowledge of the speed of progress of free access in the world. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the trend of open access development worldwide and its impact on Iran’s international scientific standing and to provide solutions in this field.

Methodology: This research is an applied and survey-based study, conducted with a bibliometric approach. The study population consists of the data on 23 years of golden open access obtained from Clarivate and Incites.

Findings: The trend towards open access publishing is expected to continue in the most prestigious journals worldwide in the next 10 to 13 years. However, the growth rate of this trend is not uniform across all fields. The findings indicate that over the past five years, Iran ranks fifth among the countries with the lowest percentage of open access documents. This is happening while the share of open access documents is increasing rapidly in most countries. Also, major publishers are rapidly increasing their share of open access documents. Additionally, while journals with higher impact factors tend to publish more open access documents, the proportion of open access documents in journals with different citation degrees is relatively consistent.

Conclusion: The future of open access will be affected by the approach of financial sponsors in science, publishers and universities and research centers, but sooner or later a large part of the articles will be published as open access, an issue that will affect the future of the country’s scientific position, especially with regard to financial dimensions. It will have a significant impact. The development of international scientific interactions, the development of interactions with financial sponsors of international science, policy-making, cultural creation and funding are the solutions facing this phenomenon. The formation of a consortium to pay the cost of processing articles as a unit at the country level and the formation of a consortium that includes both the subscription of databases and the payment of the cost of processing articles are among the solutions that increase the possibility of bargaining with publishers. Adding the country’s science and technology funds to this consortium will increase the possibility of bargaining again.

News & Views: Market Sizing Update 2023 – Delta Think

“We estimate the OA segment of the market to have grown to just over $2bn in 2022. This is strong growth over the previous year, although it is significantly lower than the year before. The overall scholarly journals market showed very little growth during the same period….

We estimate that the OA market grew to just over $2bn in 2022.

2022’s OA market grew by a little over 24% from 2021. This is around two thirds of the growth we saw in 2021.
We estimate the total scholarly journals market to have increased by 0.4% in 2022, compared with its long-term low single-digit growth of 2%-4%.
Given the exceptionally high growth in 2020 and 2021, a correction in 2022 was expected. We saw this in the whole market. It is less obvious in the OA segment as its growth remains strong; however, OA’s growth was significantly lower than it had been previously.
Growth in hybrid revenues was a major factor driving growth in OA, although all types of OA saw improved revenues per article, which helped to drive growth.
Currency effects contributed to reduced growth. Many publishers operate in non-USD currencies, which lost value against the US dollar in 2022. If we exclude currency changes, the OA market would have grown by over 29% (an additional 5 points) in 2022, and the overall journals market would have grown at 3.6% (around 8x its headline growth). This suggests that underlying growth in the OA market has slowed slightly, and that of the overall market is growing in line with long-term trends.
Growth in OA remains significantly above that of the underlying scholarly journals market.
Just over 49% of all scholarly articles were published as paid-for open access in 2022, accounting for just under 20% of the total journal publishing market value.
We anticipate a 2022-2025 CAGR (average growth each year) of 13% in OA output and 13% in OA market value….

Finally, OA’s share of value (just under 20% in 2022) has always lagged behind its share of output (just over 49% in 2022). If this were to continue, then the overall value of the market will reduce as more OA is adopted. However, the gap is narrowing. In 2022, as in previous years, we saw the value of OA grow faster than its output, suggesting that yields from OA articles continue to increase. This is a critical dynamic if the value of the market is to be maintained. While publishers have been actively pursuing activities that diversify revenue and manage costs for years, their efforts to maintain value remain critical….”

Celebrating 20,000 journals in DOAJ: the value (and cost) of maintaining trust in scholarly publishing – DOAJ News Service

“Today, the DOAJ team is happy to share a significant milestone with our community: the Directory of Open Access Journals now proudly lists 20,000 journals! This achievement is not just a number; it is a testament to our rigorous evaluation process and dedication to ensuring the trustworthiness and quality of scholarly journals in our index. For 20 years, DOAJ has been at the forefront of advocating for open access and facilitating access to reliable academic research. For the DOAJ team, this milestone reflects the tremendous growth of the open access movement and our commitment to transparency and best practice in journal publishing. As the number of journals increases, so does the potential for sharing knowledge, connecting researchers, and advancing science and scholarship.”

The Rise of Open Science: Tracking the Evolution and Perceived Value of Data and Methods Link-Sharing Practices

Abstract:  In recent years, funding agencies and journals increasingly advocate for open science practices (e.g. data and method sharing) to improve the transparency, access, and reproducibility of science. However, quantifying these practices at scale has proven difficult. In this work, we leverage a large-scale dataset of 1.1M papers from arXiv that are representative of the fields of physics, math, and computer science to analyze the adoption of data and method link-sharing practices over time and their impact on article reception. To identify links to data and methods, we train a neural text classification model to automatically classify URL types based on contextual mentions in papers. We find evidence that the practice of link-sharing to methods and data is spreading as more papers include such URLs over time. Reproducibility efforts may also be spreading because the same links are being increasingly reused across papers (especially in computer science); and these links are increasingly concentrated within fewer web domains (e.g. Github) over time. Lastly, articles that share data and method links receive increased recognition in terms of citation count, with a stronger effect when the shared links are active (rather than defunct). Together, these findings demonstrate the increased spread and perceived value of data and method sharing practices in open science.



[2309.15884] The strain on scientific publishing

Abstract:  Scientists are increasingly overwhelmed by the volume of articles being published. Total articles indexed in Scopus and Web of Science have grown exponentially in recent years; in 2022 the article total was 47% higher than in 2016, which has outpaced the limited growth, if any, in the number of practising scientists. Thus, publication workload per scientist (writing, reviewing, editing) has increased dramatically. We define this problem as the strain on scientific publishing. To analyse this strain, we present five data-driven metrics showing publisher growth, processing times, and citation behaviours. We draw these data from web scrapes, requests for data from publishers, and material that is freely available through publisher websites. Our findings are based on millions of papers produced by leading academic publishers. We find specific groups have disproportionately grown in their articles published per year, contributing to this strain. Some publishers enabled this growth by adopting a strategy of hosting special issues, which publish articles with reduced turnaround times. Given pressures on researchers to publish or perish to be competitive for funding applications, this strain was likely amplified by these offers to publish more articles. We also observed widespread year-over-year inflation of journal impact factors coinciding with this strain, which risks confusing quality signals. Such exponential growth cannot be sustained. The metrics we define here should enable this evolving conversation to reach actionable solutions to address the strain on scientific publishing.