This study investigates the extent to which a company’s usage of open access (OA) literature for R&D activities depends on its size. The authors’ assumption is that smaller pharmaceutical companies have less access to (usually expensive) journal subscriptions.
A fixed-effect Poisson model was used to study a panel dataset of USPTO pharmaceutical company patents. The dependent variable is the count of citations to OA resources in a given company patent.
Results support current anecdotal evidence that many SMEs suffer from high journal prices.
This result justifies the assumption made by policymakers about the potentially positive impact OA mandates have on national innovation activity. It was also shown that collaborating with universities can be a potential coping mechanism for companies that struggle to gain access to the journals they need. In addition to the novelty of its findings, this study introduces a new way to study the impact of OA in nonacademic contexts.