Changes in the absolute numbers and proportions of open access articles from 2000 to 2021 based on the Web of Science Core Collection: a bibliometric study

The ultimate goal of current open access (OA) initiatives is for library services to use OA resources. This study aimed to assess the infrastructure for OA scholarly information services by tabulating the number and proportion of OA articles in a literature database.
We measured the absolute numbers and proportions of OA articles at different time points across various disciplines based on the Web of Science (WoS) database.
The number (proportion) of available OA articles between 2000 and 2021 in the WoS database was 12 million (32.4%). The number (proportion) of indexed OA articles in 1 year was 0.15 million (14.6%) in 2000 and 1.5 million (48.0%) in 2021. The proportion of OA by subject categories in the cumulative data was the highest in the multidisciplinary category (2000–2021, 79%; 2021, 89%), high in natural sciences (2000–2021, 21%–46%; 2021, 41%–62%) and health and medicine (2000–2021, 37%–40%; 2021, 52%–60%), and low in social sciences and others (2000–2021, 23%–32%; 2021, 36%–44%), engineering (2000–2021, 17%–33%; 2021, 31%–39%) and humanities and arts (2000–2021, 11%–22%; 2021, 28%–38%).
Our study confirmed that increasingly many OA research papers have been published in the last 20 years, and the recent data show considerable promise for better services in the future. The proportions of OA articles differed among scholarly disciplines, and designing library services necessitates several considerations with regard to the customers’ demands, available OA resources, and strategic approaches to encourage the use of scholarly OA articles.

Wilson et al. (2022) Global Diversity in Higher Education Workforces: Towards Openness | Open Library of Humanities

Wilson, K., Neylon, C., Montgomery, L., Huang, C., Handcock, R. N., Roelofs, A., Hosking, R. and Ozaygen, A. (2022) “Global Diversity in Higher Education Workforces: Towards Openness”, Open Library of Humanities 8(1). doi:

Abstract: In this article we discuss the collection and nature of diversity data relating to origin (ethnicity, race, nationality, indigeneity), gender/sex and disability in higher education institutional workforces across 24 locations within Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania. The research emerges from the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative project (n.d.), in which we analyse data relating to published research literature, its open access status, citations and collaborations for institutions, publishers and research funding bodies. Our project explores demographic data relating to workforce diversity and research production; we examine who creates knowledge and how diversity is transmitted through research. Collecting and analysing higher education workforce demographic diversity data reveals a global datascape with considerable variation in practices and data collected. The data reflect political and social histories, national and international policies and practices, priorities and funding. The presence and absence of public data provide an opportunity to understand differing national situations and priorities beneath the statistics. We open a conversation about how the concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion differ between groups of countries, which makes global comparisons difficult. By identifying higher education data and gaps, we also encourage institutions and countries to review their workforce demographics and their intersection with research production. Awareness of institutional diversity levels through data analysis can guide institutions towards knowledge openness.


Knowledge Unlatched Presents Open Access Heroes 2022

Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA), is pleased to announce OA Heroes 2022, highlighting the countries, institutions, publishers, disciplines and scholarly titles seeing the most usage worldwide. The number of total user interactions (including downloads and views) for KU titles has grown year on year by 16 percent and now stands at a total of 16.2 million. On average, each title unlatched through KU gets 5,450 user interactions.

STM Global Brief 2021 – Economics & Market Size

“At STM, we promote the contribution that publishers make to innovation, openness and the sharing of knowledge and embrace change to support the growth and sustainability of the research ecosystem. As a common good, we provide data and analysis for all involved in the global activity of research. For the past 15 years, we have produced the STM report which has explored the trends, issues and challenges facing scholarly publishing. This latest iteration sees the adoption of a new format for the report, with a wealth of industry-leading data and insights presented across an annual selection of ‘supplements’ – each providing compelling snapshots on specific aspects and characteristics of the industry. The next issue will cover Open Access and Open Research, which remain a key area of focus for STM and its members as a means to advance knowledge worldwide. This first supplement in the new series – ‘STM Global Brief 2021 – Economics and Market Size’ shines a light on the scale and shape of scholarly publishing and provides updated figures covering 2018 onwards. We would like to thank all the contributors for their input, advice and insights….”

Finland: Follow the Number of OA Articles

Researchers from Finnish universities and research institutions, can publish their articles open access thanks to the FinELib Consortium agreements. A total of 2929 open articles were published in 2020. The number of open access articles increases as more and more researchers utilise the open access benefits included in the consortium agreements.

You can track the yearly development in the number of open access articles on FinELib’s new web page.

Open Access surpasses subscription publication globally for the first time | Dimensions

“In the vein of keeping things moving, the Dimensions team has introduced many new features over the last few years. Most recently, they have updated the Open Access classifications in Dimensions and introduced some additional fields that some of you may find helpful.

The Open Access data in Dimensions is sourced from our colleagues at Unpaywall.  When we first launched Dimensions, Unpaywall was almost as new as we were, but in the meanwhile, both Unpaywall and Dimensions have moved on. The new release of Dimensions now tracks the Unpaywall OA classifications.  This means that the filters in Dimensions should be more consistent and easier to understand – we now have: Green, Bronze, Gold, Hybrid, All OA and Closed.  Of course, all the Open Access filters are available in the free version of Dimensions as well.

While we have seen the percentage of OA increasing rapidly in recent years, especially in countries like China, Germany and the UK, it was not until 2020 that more outputs were published through Open Access channels than traditional subscription channels globally….”

2020 locked in shift to open access publishing, but Australia is lagging

In Australia the first challenge is to overcome the apathy about open access issues. The term “open access” has been too easy to ignore. Many consider it a low priority compared to achievements in research, obtaining grant funding, or university rankings glory.