"Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009"

Bo-Christer Björk et al. have published "Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009" in PLoS ONE.

Here's an excerpt:

Methodology/Principal Findings

The proportion of peer reviewed scholarly journal articles, which are available openly in full text on the web, was studied using a random sample of 1837 titles and a web search engine. Of articles published in 2008, 8.5% were freely available at the publishers' sites. For an additional 11.9% free manuscript versions could be found using search engines, making the overall OA percentage 20.4%. Chemistry (13%) had the lowest overall share of OA, Earth Sciences (33%) the highest. In medicine, biochemistry and chemistry publishing in OA journals was more common. In all other fields author-posted manuscript copies dominated the picture.

Conclusions/Significance

The results show that OA already has a significant positive impact on the availability of the scientific journal literature and that there are big differences between scientific disciplines in the uptake. Due to the lack of awareness of OA-publishing among scientists in most fields outside physics, the results should be of general interest to all scholars. The results should also interest academic publishers, who need to take into account OA in their business strategies and copyright policies, as well as research funders, who like the NIH are starting to require OA availability of results from research projects they fund. The method and search tools developed also offer a good basis for more in-depth studies as well as longitudinal studies.

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