Worldwide inequality in access to full textscientific articles: the example ofophthalmology

Authors : Christophe Boudry, Patricio Alvarez-Muñoz, Ricardo Arencibia-Jorge, Didier Ayena, Niels J. Brouwer, Zia Chaudhuri, Brenda Chawner, Emilienne Epee, Khalil Erraïs, Akbar Fotouhi, Almutez M. Gharaibeh, Dina H. Hassanein, Martina C. Herwig-Carl, Katherine Howard, Dieudonne Kaimbo Wa Kaimbo, Patricia-Ann Laughrea, Fernando A. Lopez, Juan D. Machin-Mastromatteo, Fernando K. Malerbi, Papa Amadou Ndiaye, Nina A. Noor, Josmel Pacheco-Mendoza, Vasilios P. Papastefanou, Mufarriq Shah, Carol L. Shields, Ya Xing Wang, Vasily Yartsev, Frederic Mouriaux

Background

The problem of access to medical information, particularly in low-income countries, has been under discussion for many years. Although a number of developments have occurred in the last decade (e.g., the open access (OA) movement and the website Sci-Hub), everyone agrees that these difficulties still persist very widely, mainly due to the fact that paywalls still limit access to approximately 75% of scholarly documents.

In this study, we compare the accessibility of recent full text articles in the field of ophthalmology in 27 established institutions located worldwide.

Methods

A total of 200 references from articles were retrieved using the PubMed database. Each article was individually checked for OA. Full texts of non-OA (i.e., “paywalled articles”) were examined to determine whether they were available using institutional and Hinari access in each institution studied, using “alternative ways” (i.e., PubMed Central, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, and Online Reprint Request), and using the website Sci-Hub.

Results

The number of full texts of “paywalled articles” available using institutional and Hinari access showed strong heterogeneity, scattered between 0% full texts to 94.8% (mean = 46.8%; SD = 31.5; median = 51.3%).

We found that complementary use of “alternative ways” and Sci-Hub leads to 95.5% of full text “paywalled articles,” and also divides by 14 the average extra costs needed to obtain all full texts on publishers’ websites using pay-per-view.

Conclusions

The scant number of available full text “paywalled articles” in most institutions studied encourages researchers in the field of ophthalmology to use Sci-Hub to search for scientific information.

The scientific community and decision-makers must unite and strengthen their efforts to find solutions to improve access to scientific literature worldwide and avoid an implosion of the scientific publishing model.

This study is not an endorsement for using Sci-Hub. The authors, their institutions, and publishers accept no responsibility on behalf of readers.

URL : Worldwide inequality in access to full textscientific articles: the example ofophthalmology

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7850

Bibliodiversity in Practice: Developing Community-Owned, Open Infrastructures to Unleash Open Access Publishing

Authors : Lucy Barnes, Rupert Gatti

Academic publishing is changing. The drive towards open access publishing, which is being powered in the UK by funding bodies (SHERPA Juliet), the requirements of REFs 2021 (UKRI) and 2027 (Hill 2018), and Europe-wide movements such as the recently-announced Plan S (‘About Plan S’), has the potential to shake up established ways of publishing academic research.

Within book publishing, the traditional print formats and the conventional ways of disseminating research, which are protected and promoted by a small number of powerful incumbents, are being challenged.

Academic publishing, and academic book publishing, is at a crossroads: will it find ways to accommodate open access distribution within its existing structures?

Or will new systems of research dissemination be developed? And what might those new systems look like?In this article we look at the main features of the existing monograph publication and distribution ecosystem, and question the suitability of this for open access monographs.

We look specifically at some of the key economic characteristics of the monograph publishing market and consider their implications for new infrastructures designed specifically to support open access titles.

The key observations are that the production of monographs displays constant returns to scale, and so can (and does) support large numbers of publishing initiatives; at the same time the distribution and discovery systems for monographs display increasing returns to scale and so naturally leads to the emergence of a few large providers.

We argue that in order to protect the diversity of players and outputs within the monograph publishing industry in the transition to open access it is important to create open and community-managed infrastructures and revenue flows that both cater for different business models and production workflows and are resistant to take over or control by a single (or small number) of players.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02175276/

 

Strengthening bibliodiversity: The current situation in France at national and institutional levels

Authors : Jean-François Lutz, Jacques Lafait

Almost one year after the announcement of the French National Plan for Open Science, the intervention aims at presenting a progress report on achievements in strengthening bibliodiversity and setting up a National Open Science Fund, two of the objectives of the Plan.

At the national level, the work was carried out within a working group the Open Science Committee.

Four complementary aspects were taken into account:

  • the establishment of exemplary criteria to assess infrastructures and platforms in terms of governance, ethics, openness and sustainability. These 40 criteria are to be used in the evaluation of the initiatives that will apply to the National Open Science Fund.
  • support for the strategic orientation of the National Open Science Fund.
  • the drafting of recommendations for the implementation of Plan S by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), which is member of cOAlition S.
  • information exchange and coordination with other initiatives such as OA2020 and SCOSS.

URL : https://elpub.episciences.org/5529

‘Publication favela’ or bibliodiversity? Open access publishing viewed from a European perspective

Author : Pierre Mounier

A number of initiatives exist in European countries to support open scholarly communication in humanities and social sciences.

This article looks at the work of Open Access in the European Research Area through Scholarly Communication (OPERAS), a consortium of 36 partners from all over Europe, including many university presses, that is working to build a future European infrastructure to address the challenges in open access publishing.

Their initial study, OPERAS‐D, revealed a variety of models among the partners influenced by national cultures. Although the partners’ activities were found to be fragmented, they also reflect the ‘bibliodiversity’ that exists in European societies.

To address the challenge of fragmentation, it is argued that, by following a cooperative model, European actors can benefit by sharing expertise, resources, and costs of development for the good of all.

As a future infrastructure to support open scholarly communication across Europe, OPERAS aims to coordinate a range of publishers and service providers to offer researchers and societies a fully functional web of services to cover the entire research lifecycle.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1194