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.


Beta version of BMBF project B!SON is now online | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

Project B!SON: How can I find the right open access journal for my publication?

Beta version of BMBF project B!SON is now online

The requirements for publishing open access are continually increasing and the number of open access journals continues to grow. And yet, many authors are unaware of relevant, quality-assured open access journals that would be suitable for publishing their research results. B!SON, a Recommendation service for quality-assured open access journals helps authors to select a suitable journal for publishing their research results. A beta version has recently been released for all those interested: https://service.tib.eu/bison



Examining Wikidata and Wikibase in the context of research data management applications | TIB-Blog

For several months now, our team at the Open Science Lab has been working with Wikibase to provide research data management services for the NFDI4Culture community. We have already shown its advantages when it comes to real world data with a specific use case for architectural and art historical data [1, 2]. At the monthly NFDI InfraTalk last week, there was an interesting question at the end of the session regarding the potential of Wikidata to be used as an application for science and research. We take this as an opportunity to expand the answer to this question with some more details about Wikidata, its potential applications, its relation to standalone Wikibase instances, and what Wikibase can offer in its own right.

NextGen Books: A TIB Project Site Launch | TIB-Blog

NextGen Books brings together two existing Open Science Lab R&D threads — book sprints and semantic publishing pipelines.

The goal of the project is to support research and services in new methods and open-source infrastructures for making the future book.

NextGen Books is part of the Open Science Lab’s contribution to the NFDI4Culture Consortium’s work on enhanced publications.

Modern digital infrastructures have neglected the book. The challenge is how to connect these new technologies and renew how the book is made and read. One strength of the book is its age-old function of being a condensing point of complex or fast-moving knowledge domains. NextGen Books looks at the different roles of the book in the research life cycle and how to improve its functionality. Our focus is on how to apply technologies such as: multi-format pipelines, computational publishing, and the application of open standards.