Authors : Noreen Kirkman, Gaby Haddow
In 2012, the National Health and Medical Research Council introduced Australia’s first national open access policy for funded journal articles. This study investigated the extent of compliance during the first two full years of the mandate.
The funding acknowledgment fields in Web of Science facilitated the identification of the population of funded articles. Google Scholar, the Directory of Open Access Journals, publishers’ Websites, Trove, and Australian institutional repositories were the sources of data about open access.
Quantitative analysis performed on the records of 3,190 articles and 1,137 journal titles enabled the calculation of descriptive statistics to present the characteristics of the sample.
Over two-thirds (67.3%) of the articles were open access: 56.24% in journals and 11.06% in repositories. Hybrid open access comprised 25.58%, with 20.85% in fully open access journals and 8.75% in delayed open access journals.
Author accepted manuscripts in Australian institutional repositories (7.24%) and PubMed Central (3.82%) contributed to overall compliance but represented a small proportion of the non-open access articles.
As the first comprehensive study to measure compliance with Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council Open Access Policy, this study found a relatively high level of open access in journals alongside a low level of author accepted manuscripts in repositories.
Recommendations include better guidelines, procedures, and programs for grant recipients and a coordinated approach aimed at improving institutional repository deposit rates to achieve higher levels of open access and increased compliance with funder mandates.