Open-access papers are more popular in the scholarly literature than they’ve ever been, and this trend shows no signs of abating, according to a study of hundreds of thousands of papers published in journals spanning disciplines from physics and astronomy to chemistry and social science. The sprawling study, published this week (August 2) in PeerJ, found that 28 percent of the total scholarly literature is open access, and in 2015 (the most recent year with data complete enough to analyze), 45 percent of papers were open access.
By analyzing the recently unveiled web extension Unpaywall, which points users in the direction of open-access [OA] versions of papers, the authors found that nearly half of a sample of 100,000 papers users searched for in June were open-access. Information scientist and coauthor Jason Priem, cofounder of Impactstory, the nonprofit that spun out the open-source data platform OADOI, which powers Unpaywall, spoke with The Scientist about the study and its implications.
The Scientist | Open Access On the Rise