Charting variety, scope, and impact of open access diamond journals in various disciplines and regions: a survey-based observational study

Purpose: The variety, scope, and impact of open access (OA) diamond journals across
disciplines and regions from July 22 to September 11, 2020 were charted to characterize
the current OA diamond landscape.

Methods: The total number of diamond journals was estimated, including those outside the
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The distribution across regions, disciplines, and
publisher types was described. The scope of journals in terms of authorship and readership
was investigated. Information was collected on linguistic diversity, journal dynamics and life
cycle, and their visibility in scholarly databases.

Results: The number of OA diamond journals is estimated to be 29,000. OA diamond journals
are estimated to publish 356,000 articles per year. The OA diamond sector is diverse in terms of
regions (45% in Europe, 25% in Latin America, 16% in Asia, and 5% in the United States/Cana-
da) and disciplines (60% humanities and social sciences, 22% sciences, and 17% medicine). More
than 70% of OA diamond journals are published by university-owned publishers, including uni-
versity presses. The majority of OA diamond journals are small, publishing fewer than 25 articles
a year. English (1,210), Spanish (492), and French (342) are the most common languages of the
main texts. Out of 1,619 journals, 1,025 (63.3%) are indexed in DOAJ, 492 (30.4%) in Scopus,
and 321 (19.8%) in Web of Science.

Conclusion: The patterns and trends reported herein provide insights into the diversity and im-
portance of the OA diamond journal landscape and the accompanying opportunities and chal-
lenges in supporting this publishing model.

Open Access: an Australian model – Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM FAA FTSE, Chief Scientist of Australia

The publication process is a cornerstone of scientific research, but unequal access to journals means Australian innovation can be stymied behind a paywall. Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, will outline her work to develop a model for open access to benefit all Australians.