The State of OA: A large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles

Authors : Heather Piwowar, Jason Priem, Vincent Larivière, Juan Pablo Alperin, Lisa Matthias, Bree Norlander, Ashley Farley, Jevin West, Stefanie Haustein

Despite growing interest in Open Access (OA) to scholarly literature, there is an unmet need for large-scale, up-to-date, and reproducible studies assessing the prevalence and characteristics of OA. We address this need using oaDOI, an open online service that determines OA status for 67 million articles.

We use three samples, each of 100,000 articles, to investigate OA in three populations: 1) all journal articles assigned a Crossref DOI, 2) recent journal articles indexed in Web of Science, and 3) articles viewed by users of Unpaywall, an open-source browser extension that lets users find OA articles using oaDOI.

We estimate that at least 28% of the scholarly literature is OA (19M in total) and that this proportion is growing, driven particularly by growth in Gold and Hybrid. The most recent year analyzed (2015) also has the highest percentage of OA (45%). Because of this growth, and the fact that readers disproportionately access newer articles, we find that Unpaywall users encounter OA quite frequently: 47% of articles they view are OA. Notably, the most common mechanism for OA is not Gold, Green, or Hybrid OA, but rather an under-discussed category we dub Bronze: articles made free-to-read on the publisher website, without an explicit Open license.

We also examine the citation impact of OA articles, corroborating the so-called open-access citation advantage: accounting for age and discipline, OA articles receive 18% more citations than average, an effect driven primarily by Green and Hybrid OA. We encourage further research using the free oaDOI service, as a way to inform OA policy and practice.

URL : The State of OA: A large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.3119v1

 

Grand challenges in altmetrics: heterogeneity, data quality and dependencies

Author : Stefanie Haustein

As uptake among researchers is constantly increasing, social media are finding their way into scholarly communication and, under the umbrella term altmetrics, were introduced to research evaluation.

Fueled by technological possibilities and an increasing demand to demonstrate impact beyond the scientific community, altmetrics received great attention as potential democratizers of the scientific reward system and indicators of societal impact. This paper focuses on current challenges of altmetrics.

Heterogeneity, data quality and particular dependencies are identified as the three major issues and discussed in detail with a particular emphasis on past developments in bibliometrics.

The heterogeneity of altmetrics mirrors the diversity of the types of underlying acts, most of which take place on social media platforms. This heterogeneity has made it difficult to establish a common definition or conceptual framework.

Data quality issues become apparent in the lack of accuracy, consistency and replicability of various altmetrics, which is largely affected by the dynamic nature of social media events.

It is further highlighted that altmetrics are shaped by technical possibilities and depend particularly on the availability of APIs and DOIs, are strongly dependent on data providers and aggregators, and potentially influenced by technical affordances of underlying platforms.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1603.04939