What are the benefits of open access? TIB study confirms advantages and dispels reservations – Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

“Open access – free access to scholarly publications – offers many advantages. As surveys show, however, some researchers still have reservations. In the past decade, numerous empirical studies have been published providing substantiated results on the hopes and concerns regarding open access….

To conduct this review, TIB identified a total of 318 scientific studies that empirically examine various effects of open access. From this corpus, the authors selected 61 particularly relevant studies for a systematic comparison; these were then analysed thoroughly and the various results were compared in detail.

The effects studied relate to seven major aspects of open access:

Attention in the scientific community
Quality of scientific publications
Knowledge transfer
Productivity of the publishing system
Use of publications
Inequality in the science system
Economic impact on the publishing system…

Dr. David Hopf, lead author of the study, reported the key findings: “The literature reviewed confirms several advantages of open access: open access leads to increased usage and to a professionally and geographically more diverse readership. At the same time, open access publications make a greater contribution to knowledge transfer than traditionally published research results, and the publishing process – the time between the submission and acceptance or publication of articles – is shorter. What is more, a number of negative concerns assumed in relation to the effects of open access – for example, that open access publications are of an inferior quality and lead to disadvantages in print edition sales – have been dispelled.”

However, one partial result came as a surprise: the fact that open access publications are cited more frequently than publications that are not freely available is often mentioned as an advantage of open access – and is also confirmed by most empirical studies. However, a substantial proportion of the empirical literature deviates from this result, which means that an OA citation advantage cannot be conclusively confirmed empirically. In light of a high level of plausibility and methodological difficulties in this area, however, it can still be assumed that such an advantage exists.

Just one finding indicates a negative effect of open access: where so-called article processing charges (APCs) – publication costs incurred by many open access publications – exist, authors with fewer resources may be discouraged from publishing open access, e.g. due to low income levels in some regions of the world or a lack of institutional funding. However, this is not an effect of open access per se, but rather an effect of a particular business model for financing open access publications….”

Hopf, D., Dellmann, S., Hauschke, C. and Tullney, M. (2022) Wirkungen von Open Access. Literaturstudie über empirische Arbeiten 2010-2021. Hannover : Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB).

Hopf, D., Dellmann, S., Hauschke, C. and Tullney, M. (2022) Wirkungen von Open Access. Literaturstudie über empirische Arbeiten 2010-2021. Hannover : Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB).

Open Access – the free access to scientific publications – intuitively offers many advantages. At the same time, some scientists, members of university administration, publishers, and policymakers continue to have reservations against open access. In the last decade, numerous empirical studies on the effects of open access were conducted. This report provides an overview of the state of research from 2010 to 2021. The empirical findings presented help determine the advantages and disadvantages of open access and serve as a knowledge base for scholars, publishers, academic institutions, and policy makers. An overview of the state of knowledge informs decisions on open access and publishing strategies. In addition, this report identifies aspects of open-access effects that are potentially highly relevant but have not yet been adequately studied. Overall, various advantages of open access can be considered empirically confirmed at the current state of research. These advantages include improved knowledge transfer, increased speed of the publication process, and increased usage by a more diverse readership, both in terms of profession and location. In addition, some presumed negative effects – such as lower quality of publications and disadvantages in the sale of print editions – can be considered empirically refuted. The empirical results on effects of open-access publishing therefore support the goal of a far-reaching transformation to open access, to which the German science organisations, among others, have committed themselves.

“Wirkungen von Open Access” – New TIB study on the effects of open access | TIB-Blog

Open access intuitively offers many advantages. However, surveys show that some scientists still have reservations. In the last decade, many empirical studies have been published, providing evidence regarding such hopes and concerns. What was missing is a literature review on the effects of open access that provides a comprehensive overview of these empirical findings. To fill this gap, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (abbreviated BMBF) recently completed a study named “Wirkungen von Open Access. Literaturstudie über empirische Arbeiten 2010 –2021”. The accompanying report is now published and freely available in the repository Renate. In this blog article, we provide a short overview over the results.

 

The OA Diamond Journals Study – Science Europe

“Science Europe and cOAlition S publish an in-depth report and recommendations arising from a study of community-driven Open Access journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as ‘OA diamond journals’.

The study examines the areas that are critical for OA diamond journals, from legal structures and governance to technical capabilities, editorial processes, and funding models. The recommendations made in the report are designed to help research funding organisations, institutions, scholarly societies, and infrastructures sustainably strengthen OA diamond journals in the context of Open Science.

The study was commissioned by cOAlition S and funded by Science Europe in order to gain a better understanding of the OA diamond landscape. It is the culmination of work undertaken from June 2020 to February 2021 by a consortium of 10 organisations: OPERAS, SPARC Europe, Utrecht University, DOAJ, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, LIBER, OASPA, ENRESSH, Redalyc-AmeliCA, CSI.”

The Rise of Open Access Journals in Radiation Oncology: Are We Paying for Impact? – ScienceDirect

Purpose/Objective(s)

We aimed to examine how the rise of open access (OA) journals in biomedicine has impacted resident research in radiation oncology.

Materials/Methods

We built a comprehensive database of first-author, PubMed-searchable articles published by US radiation oncology residents who graduated between 2015 and 2019. We then classified each journal in which these manuscripts appeared as either OA or non-OA, and obtained the current article processing charge (APC) for every publication that appeared in an OA journal. Lastly, we performed a secondary analysis to identify the factors associated with publishing an article in an OA journal.

Results

The US radiation oncology residents in this study published 2,637 first-author, PubMed-searchable manuscripts, 555 (21.0%) of which appeared in 138 OA journals. The number of publications in OA journals increased from 0.47 per resident for the class of 2015 to 0.79 per resident for the class of 2019. Likewise, the number of publications in OA journals with a 2019 impact factor of zero increased from 0.14 per resident for the class of 2015 to 0.43 per resident for the class of 2019. Publications in OA journals garnered fewer citations than those in non-OA journals (8.9 versus 14.9, P < 0.01). 90.6% of OA journals levy an APC for original research reports (median $1,896), which is positively correlated with their 2019 impact factor (r?=?0.63, P < 0.01). Aggregate APCs totaled $900,319.21 for all US radiation oncology residency programs and appeared to increase over the study period.

Conclusion

The number of first-author, PubMed-searchable manuscripts published by graduating US radiation oncology residents in OA journals rose significantly over the study period. US radiation oncology residency programs appear to be investing increasing and significant sums of money to publish the work of their residents in these journals. A more substantive discussion about the proper role of OA journals in resident research is needed.

The Roles of Female Involvement and Risk Aversion in Open Access Publishing Patterns in Vietnamese Social Sciences and Humanities

Abstract
Purpose: The open-access (OA) publishing model can help improve researchers’ outreach, thanks to its accessibility and visibility to the public. Therefore, the presentation of female researchers can benefit from the OA publishing model. Despite that, little is known about how gender affects OA practices. Thus, the current study explores the effects of female involvement and risk aversion on OA publishing patterns among Vietnamese social sciences and humanities.

Design/methodology/approach: The  study  employed  Bayesian  Mindsponge  Framework  (BMF) on a dataset of 3,122 Vietnamese social sciences and humanities (SS&H) publications during 2008–2019. The Mindsponge mechanism was specifically used to construct theoretical models, while Bayesian inference was utilized for fitting models.

Findings: The  result  showed  a  positive  association  between  female  participation  and  OA  publishing probability. However, the positive effect of female involvement on OA publishing probability was negated by the high ratio of female researchers in a publication. OA status was negatively associated with the JIF of the journal in which the publication was published, but the relationship was moderated by the involvement of a female researcher(s). The findings suggested that Vietnamese female researchers might be more likely to publish under the OA model in journals with high JIF for avoiding the risk of public criticism.

Research  limitations:  The  study  could  only  provide  evidence  on  the  association  between  female  involvement  and  OA  publishing  probability.  However,  whether  to  publish  under  OA  terms  is  often  determined  by  the  first  or  corresponding  authors,  but  not  necessarily  gender-based.Practical  implications:  Systematically  coordinated  actions  are  suggested  to  better  support  women and promote the OA movement in Vietnam.

Analyzing Faculty Open Access Publishing: A citation analysis of select colleges at the University of South Florida – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  In scholarly communication literature, an Open Access citation advantage refers to articles published or released as Open Access receiving a higher citation count than articles that are not released Open Access. This article considers Open Access citation advantage factors at the University of South Florida. Data from Scopus and Open Access Button was used to examine publication activity from a five-year range in seven different departments. The data indicated that an Open Access citation advantage does exist in most of those departments. Future research is necessary to look at other departments.

 

Publication cultures and the citation impact of open access – Eger – 2021 – Managerial and Decision Economics – Wiley Online Library

Does open access (OA) to journal articles foster citations to these articles? We compare the citation impact of gold and green OA in two disciplines: Biology and Economics & Management. The empirical analysis covers all articles of these disciplines included in the Web of Science “Journal Citation Reports” between 2000 and 2019. We show that, controlling for confounding variables pertaining to the journals and articles, gold OA increases citations across all articles. However, the individual disciplines feature starkly different effects: a 18.3% increase in Biology, compared to a decrease by 30.9% in Economics & Management. Also Green OA leads to an increase in citations to academic research. These results are confirmed by a number of robustness checks.

Misinformation: an empirical study with scientists and communicators during the COVID-19 pandemic | BMJ Open Science

Abstract:  Objectives To study the experiences and views within the health science community regarding the spread and prevention of science misinformation within and beyond the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods An exploratory study with an empirical ethics approach using qualitative interviews with Australians who produce, communicate and study health science research.

Results Key elements that participants considered might facilitate misinformation included: the production of low-quality, fraudulent or biased science research; inadequate public access to high-quality research; insufficient public reading of high-quality research. Strategies to reduce or prevent misinformation could come from within the academic community, academic and lay media publishing systems, government funders and educators of the general public. Recommended solutions from within the scientific community included: rewarding research translation, encouraging standardised study design, increasing use of automated quality assessment tools, mandating study protocol registration, transparent peer review, facilitating wider use of open access and use of newer technologies to target public audiences. There was disagreement over whether preprints were part of the problem or part of the solution.

Conclusions There is concern from within the health science community about systemic failings that might facilitate the production and spread of false or misleading science information. We advocate for further research into ways to minimise the production and spread of misinformation about COVID-19 and other science crises in the future.

The OA Diamond Journals Study

“We are delighted to present the results of the study commissioned last year by cOAlition S, with financial support from Science Europe, to provide an analysis and overview of collaborative, community-driven open access journals and platforms (aka “OA diamond”). The main objectives of the study were to provide an analysis of the global landscape of OA diamond journals and platforms, identify their current funding models and their technical and organisational challenges, and examine the potential for collaboration and shared services. In addition, we asked for an action plan and recommendations to bolster and co-finance this crucial part of the academic publishing landscape.

The study presented today reveals a vast archipelago of OA diamond journals that was previously obscured by discussions mainly focused on the transformation of commercial models for academic publishing. The rich landscape that heaves into view shows, for the first time, to what extent the diamond publishing model serves the academic community through its variety of scholarly disciplines, languages, and cultures. To a large extent, the study uncovers the full dimension of an important part of the world of scholarly dissemination that is as old as science itself: the scientific community assessing scientific quality and managing scholarly communication on its own.

Moreover, the study shows that the collaborative, community-driven publishing model needs to be more efficiently organised, coordinated and funded to better support researchers in disseminating their work. These elements are essential for this type of publishing to be sustainable in the long term, and to reveal its full potential in the context of open science. We hope that the study will initiate a community-wide discussion leading to concrete steps for consolidating this vital infrastructure.

We would like to thank the consortium of 10 organisations (OPERAS , Sparc Europe , Utrecht University , DOAJ , UiT The Arctic University of Norway , LIBER , OASPA , ENRESSH , Redalyc-AmeliCA , CSI ) that conducted this study, and particularly the authors of the reports.”

More readers in more places: the benefits of open access for scholarly books

Open access to scholarly contents has grown substantially in recent years. This includes the number of books published open access online. However, there is limited study on how usage patterns (via downloads, citations and web visibility) of these books may differ from their closed counterparts. Such information is not only important for book publishers, but also for researchers in disciplines where books are the norm. This article reports on findings from comparing samples of books published by Springer Nature to shed light on differences in usage patterns across open access and closed books. The study includes a selection of 281 open access books and a sample of 3,653 closed books (drawn from 21,059 closed books using stratified random sampling). The books are stratified by combinations of book type, discipline and year of publication to enable likewise comparisons within each stratum and to maximize statistical power of the sample. The results show higher geographic diversity of usage, higher numbers of downloads and more citations for open access books across all strata. Importantly, open access books have increased access and usage for traditionally underserved populations.

Neue Studie vom OA-Monitor: 15 Jahre Open Access Entwicklung (New study from the OA Monitor: 15 years of Open Access development) | BMBF Digitale Zukunft

Open Access – i.e. the free, digital publishing of scientific literature – has increased significantly worldwide and also in Germany since the beginnings of the Open Access (OA) movement in 2003. How has publishing behaviour changed in Germany? The recently published study by the BMBF-funded project “Synergies for Open Access” provides an overview of developments from 2005 to 2019.

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Open Access – also das freie, digitale Publizieren wissenschaftlicher Literatur – hat weltweit und auch in Deutschland deutlich zugenommen seit den Anfängen der Open Access (OA)-Bewegung in 2003. Wie hat sich das Publikationsverhalten in Deutschland verändert? Die jüngst veröffentlichte Studie des BMBF-geförderten Projektes „Synergien für Open Access“ gibt einen Überblick über die Entwicklungen der Jahre 2005 bis 2019.

Scientists who share data publicly receive more citations | Science Codex

“A new study finds that papers with data shared in public gene expression archives received increased numbers of citations for at least five years. The large size of the study allowed the researchers to exclude confounding factors that have plagued prior studies of the effect and to spot a trend of increasing dataset reuse over time. The findings will be important in persuading scientists that they can benefit directly from publicly sharing their data.

The study, which adds to growing evidence for an open data citation benefit across different scientific fields, is entitled “Data reuse and the open citation advantage”. It was conducted by Dr. Heather Piwowar of Duke University and Dr. Todd Vision of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and published today in PeerJ, a peer reviewed open access journal in which all articles are freely available to everyone….”

Scientists who share data publicly receive more citations | Science Codex

“A new study finds that papers with data shared in public gene expression archives received increased numbers of citations for at least five years. The large size of the study allowed the researchers to exclude confounding factors that have plagued prior studies of the effect and to spot a trend of increasing dataset reuse over time. The findings will be important in persuading scientists that they can benefit directly from publicly sharing their data.

The study, which adds to growing evidence for an open data citation benefit across different scientific fields, is entitled “Data reuse and the open citation advantage”. It was conducted by Dr. Heather Piwowar of Duke University and Dr. Todd Vision of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and published today in PeerJ, a peer reviewed open access journal in which all articles are freely available to everyone….”

Open Access Publishing Cooperative Study: Final Report | Public Knowledge Project

The Open Access Publishing Cooperative Study was a two-year investigation, undertaken under the auspices of the Public Knowledge Project with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The intent of this initiative was to examine whether scholarly publishing models, involving cooperation between the relevant stakeholder, might provide a means of moving subscription journals to a sustainable form of open access publishing. The study explored potential cooperative associations involving disciplines, national initiatives, and regional models. It utilized a series of (a) three case studies, (b) a publishing industry/library survey and interviews, (c) a publishing internship, and (d) a number of related technical developments with Open Journal Systems.

Direct to Full Text Report https://docs.google.com/document/d/1COaY7PM8jXA97b9uMpSQ0a0vYhQGSaDrIooGvd8G2Jw/