News & Views: Have We Reached Peak Hybrid? – Delta Think

“Although it’s still not perfect, the data about scholarly output has improved over the last couple of years. We recently analyzed all 110m records in the Unpaywall data set to see if we could determine the uptake of OA at scale and set it in the context of non-OA output. The results might surprise you….

Even allowing for different methodologies, like-for-like underlying trends appear consistent. It seems that even before the effects of Plan S have fully manifested, hybrid share of output is slowing. Note that the overall number of hybrid articles continues to grow – it’s just that other content types are growing more quickly.


There could be a number of reasons for this. For example, most of the funders pushing for OA rolled out their mandates over the last few years. We may therefore be seeing a natural slow-down as localized silos of OA uptake are nearing saturation. Meanwhile, until mandates in other areas of the world change or appear, further wholesale shift is unlikely….

Further deep analysis of the data lies outside the scope of this piece. But we leave you with one thought. If hybrid share is already in decline, but transformative agreements are on the rise, then will Plan S have the effect of slowing down the very change it’s trying to accelerate?…”

The Future of OA: A large-scale analysis projecting Open Access publication and readership | bioRxiv

Understanding the growth of open access (OA) is important for deciding funder policy, subscription allocation, and infrastructure planning. This study analyses the number of papers available as OA over time. The models includes both OA embargo data and the relative growth rates of different OA types over time, based on the OA status of 70 million journal articles published between 1950 and 2019. The study also looks at article usage data, analyzing the proportion of views to OA articles vs views to articles which are closed access. Signal processing techniques are used to model how these viewership patterns change over time. Viewership data is based on 2.8 million uses of the Unpaywall browser extension in July 2019. We found that Green, Gold, and Hybrid papers receive more views than their Closed or Bronze counterparts, particularly Green papers made available within a year of publication. We also found that the proportion of Green, Gold, and Hybrid articles is growing most quickly. In 2019:- 31% of all journal articles are available as OA. – 52% of article views are to OA articles. Given existing trends, we estimate that by 2025: – 44% of all journal articles will be available as OA. – 70% of article views will be to OA articles. The declining relevance of closed access articles is likely to change the landscape of scholarly communication in the years to come.


Kopernio, Lean Library, Anywhere Access & other “Access Broker” browser extensions – a roundup & update of current state of play | Musings about librarianship

It has been over a year in April 2018 since I had the opportunity to present at two panels in  conferences alongside experts such  as Lisa Hinchliffe, Johan Tilstra (Founder Lean Library), Jason Priem (Cofounder Unpaywall), Ben Kaube (Cofounder Kopernio) on the topic of browser extensions that help users gain quick access to the full text of articles while browsing the web. 

They would typically be installed as a browser extension in the user’s web browser, and would activate when they detected the user was on a page with article details and would typically popup a message with a link to where the article full text was available or offer to download the PDF directly for the user.

These browser extensions can be divided into two main categories. Early on many  of these extensions such as Unpaywall and Open Access Button focused only on discovery of free to read text only

We eventually started to see the rise of browser extensions (many of which were commerical) such as Kopernio and Lean Library, that extended the idea to finding copies available via institutional subscriptions.

Such extensions aimed to help users conveniently get one-click access to the best verson of the article available to them.  This could be very helpful if you didn’t start off your search from a library discovery service or page and was off campus. …”

Unpaywall extension adds 200,000th active user – Impactstory blog

“We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now supporting over 200,000 active users of the Unpaywall extension for Chrome and Firefox!

The extension, which debuted nearly two years ago, helps users find legal, open access copies of paywalled scholarly articles. Since its release, the extension has been used more than 45 million times, finding an open access copy in about half of those. …

However, although the extension gets the press, the database powering the extension is the real star. There are millions of people using the Unpaywall database every day:

  • We deliver nearly one million OA papers every day to users worldwide via our open API…that’s 10 papers every second!
  • Over 1,600 academic libraries use our SFX integration to automatically find and deliver OA copies of articles when they have no subscription access.
  • If you’re using an academic discovery tool, it probably includes Unpaywall data…we’re integrated into Web of Science, Europe PubMed Central, WorldCat, Scopus, Dimensions, and many others.
  • Our data is used to inform and monitor OA policy at organizations like the US NIH, UK Research and Innovation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the European Open Science Monitor, and many others.

The Unpaywall database gets information from over 50,000 academic journals and 5000 scholarly repositories and archives, tracking OA status for more than 100 million articles. You can access this data for free using our open API, or user our free web-based query tool. Or if you prefer, you can just download the whole database for free….”

Alternative routes to scholarly articles and research outputs

Many scholarly and peer-reviewed articles can be read open access today on the web. A number of free services and archives have developed tools and services helping users to discover research output in an easy and simple way: through installing a browser extension or plug-in; by using academic search engines and archives, or, by contacting the author directly. In the following text, we list a selection of services and ways to find scientific articles. The choice is yours….”

An Updated Methodology for the Open Science Monitor

“After an intense online debate and an excellent expert workshop, we?—?the Lisbon Council, ESADE Business School and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University?—?are happy to publish a revised methodology (soon to be posted on the official European Commission website). First and foremost, this is not the final methodology. It has become clear that open science is too dynamic and too difficult to measure for a “definitive” methodology. It is rather a second interim release?—?and it will require continuous collaboration with the open science community in the future, also in connection with other existing efforts by OpenAire, FAIR Metrics and the European Open Science Cloud….”

We will use Unpaywall data alongside Scopus data. Unpaywall has a very large footprint and will increase the coverage of the Open Science Monitor. And we will continue to look at and collaborate with Unpaywall in its new initiatives….

Secondly, we will make collaboration with the community not a one-off, but permanent. The commentable document worked well; we received more than 300 comments. Most of these comments are initial ideas that need clarification and refinement. We need more permanent and interactive ways to discuss. Hence, we have opened an Open Science Monitor Linkedin Groupto work on new indicators?—?anyone is able to join….”

This App Is Leading The Revolution in Free Access to Scientific Papers

“A perfect storm of technology and the public’s demand for knowledge are driving a surge towards open access (OA) science and academia that anyone can read for free.

Now, the researchers behind Unpaywall – a browser plug-in that helps you find free, legal copies of academic papers – have conducted a huge analysis of the state of OA literature, and it confirms that the barriers to scientific knowledge are truly crumbling.


The team used three separate sampling methods to analyse the state of access to 300,000 random journal articles available online, and estimate that a stunning 28 percent of all scholarly literature – some 19 million articles, basically everything with a DOI dating as far back as 1900 – is now open access….”

Funders PlanS – Dimensions/Unpaywall – Sept 2018 – Google Sheets

A spreadsheet of data on the public funding agencies who belong to cOAlition S, which produced Plan S, showing how many journal articles arose from their funding in 2017, and what percentage of those articles were gold OA and green OA. The data are from Dimensions, analysis from Unpaywall. 

Get the research

“Our plan: provide access to both content and context, for free, in one place. To do that, we’re going to bring together an open a database of OA papers with a suite AI-powered support tools we’re calling an Explanation Engine. We’ve already finished the database of OA papers. So that’s good. With the free Unpaywall database, we’ve now got 20 million OA articles from 50k sources, built on open source, available as open data, and with a working nonprofit sustainability model….”