The growth of open access publishing in geochemistry

Authors : Olivier Pourret, Dasapta Erwin Irawan, Jonathan P. Tennant, Andrew Hursthouse, Eric D. van Hullebusch

In this communication, we look at Open Access (OA) publishing practices in geochemistry.

We examine a list of 56 journals and assess whether Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Journal Impact Factors (JIFs) appear to influence publication or not. More than 40% of articles in 2018-2019 were published OA, and about 70% of that portion in fully OA journals.

These had a mean APC of US$ 900, whereas the remaining were published in hybrid journals with a higher mean APC of more than $US 1,800. A moderate and positive correlation is found between the number of OA articles published in hybrids journals and their JIF, whereas there is a stronger positive relationship between the number of OA articles published in fully OA journals and the APC.

For OA articles published in hybrid journals, it seems that the proportion of OA articles tends to increase in journals with higher JIF.


Charting the Open Access scholarly journals landscape in the UAE

Author : Mohamed Boufarss

The purpose of this study is to chart the scholarly journal landscape in the UAE in order to provide a scientific perspective on research productivity, distribution, and access in the country and lay the foundations for further research in this area.

The study aims also to contribute to research endeavoring to paint a global picture of scholarly publishing. We carried out a mapping of scholarly journals published in the UAE compiled from international and local sources.

The resulting journal list was studied focusing on the share of OA titles, language of publication, discipline, and type of publisher.

Our results show that: (1) 534 journals are published in the UAE and that the share of OA is quite noteworthy with about 64% of all online journals; (2) the APC-based OA model is prevalent with around 75% of OA journals levying a publication fee; (3) UAE journals are predominantly in English while the number of Arabic-language journals is marginal; (4) science, technology and medicine prevail as the most prevalent subject areas of the journals; and (5) commercial publishers control most of the publications especially in the medical field.

The study lays a foundation for further studies on scholarly journals in the UAE. The combination of regional indexes and international directories to measure the country’s scholarly journal output can also be replicated and built upon for other countries where the major international bibliometric databases do not provide a comprehensive representation of scholarly publishing activities.

URL : Charting the Open Access scholarly journals landscape in the UAE


Canadian OA scholarly journals: An exhaustive survey

Author : Marc Couture

This report presents the results of an exhaustive study of more than 500 active, legitimate, Canadian, Open Access scholarly journals.

After an extensive discussion on the definition chosen for each of these terms, which determines the number of journals retained for the study, I present various characteristics of these journals, followed by a discussion on the issues faced by journals not indexed in DOAJ that would consider to apply.

I present next the results of a detailed investigation on the way these journals manage copyright, and the various problems I detected in this regard.


Article processing charges: Mirroring the citation impact or legacy of the subscription-based model?

Author : Nina Schönfelder

With the ongoing open-access transformation, article processing charges (APCs) are gaining importance as one of the main business models for open-access publishing in scientific journals.

This paper analyzes how much of APC pricing can be attributed to journal-related factors. With UK data from OpenAPC (which aggregates fees paid for open-access articles by universities, funders, and research institutions), APCs are explained by the following variables: (1) the “source normalized impact per paper” (SNIP), (2) whether the journal is open access or hybrid, (3) the publisher of the journal, (4) the subject area of the journal, and (5) the year.

The results of the multivariate linear regression show that the journal’s impact and the hybrid status are the most important factors for the level of APCs. However, the relationship between APC and SNIP is different for open-access journals and hybrid journals.

APCs paid to open-access journals were found to be strongly increasing in conjunction with higher journal citation impact, whereas this relationship was observed to be much looser for articles in hybrid journals.

This paper goes beyond simple statistics, which have been discussed so far in the literature, by using control variables and applying statistical inference.

URL : Article processing charges: Mirroring the citation impact or legacy of the subscription-based model?


The Pricing of Open Access Journals: Diverse Niches and Sources of Value in Academic Publishing

Authors : Kyle Siler, Koen Frenken

Open Access (OA) publishing has created new academic and economic niches in contemporary science. OA journals offer numerous publication outlets with varying editorial philosophies and business models.

This article analyzes the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (N=12,127) to identify characteristics of OA academic journals related to the adoption of Article Processing Charge (APC)-based business models, as well as price points of journals that charge APCs. Journal Impact Factor (JIF), language, publisher mission, DOAJ Seal, economic and geographic regions of publishers, peer review duration and journal discipline are all significantly related to the adoption and pricing of journal APCs.

Even after accounting for other journal characteristics (prestige, discipline, publisher country), journals published by for-profit publishers charge the highest APCs. Journals with status endowments (JIF, DOAJ Seal), articles written in English, published in wealthier regions, and in medical or science-based disciplines are also relatively costlier.

The OA publishing market reveals insights into forces that create economic and academic value in contemporary science. Political and institutional inequalities manifest in the varying niches occupied by different OA journals and publishers.

URL : The Pricing of Open Access Journals: Diverse Niches and Sources of Value in Academic Publishing


Completeness of reporting in abstracts of randomized controlled trials in subscription and open access journals: cross-sectional study

Authors : Iva Jerčić Martinić-Cezar, Ana Marušić


Open access (OA) journals are becoming a publication standard for health research, but it is not clear how they differ from traditional subscription journals in the quality of research reporting.

We assessed the completeness of results reporting in abstracts of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in these journals.


We used the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials Checklist for Abstracts (CONSORT-A) to assess the completeness of reporting in abstracts of parallel-design RCTs published in subscription journals (n = 149; New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Lancet) and OA journals (n = 119; BioMedCentral series, PLoS journals) in 2016 and 2017.


Abstracts in subscription journals completely reported 79% (95% confidence interval [CI], 77–81%) of 16 CONSORT-A items, compared with 65% (95% CI, 63–67%) of these items in abstracts from OA journals (P < 0.001, chi-square test). The median number of completely reported CONSORT-A items was 13 (95% CI, 12–13) in subscription journal articles and 11 (95% CI, 10–11) in OA journal articles.

Subscription journal articles had significantly more complete reporting than OA journal articles for nine CONSORT-A items and did not differ in reporting for items trial design, outcome, randomization, blinding (masking), recruitment, and conclusions. OA journals were better than subscription journals in reporting randomized study design in the title.


Abstracts of randomized controlled trials published in subscription medical journals have greater completeness of reporting than abstracts published in OA journals.

OA journals should take appropriate measures to ensure that published articles contain adequate detail to facilitate understanding and quality appraisal of research reports about RCTs.

URL : Completeness of reporting in abstracts of randomized controlled trials in subscription and open access journals: cross-sectional study


Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers

Authors : Andy Nobes, Sian Harris

Open Access is often considered as particularly beneficial to researchers in the Global South. However, research into awareness of and attitudes to Open Access has been largely dominated by voices from the Global North.

A survey was conducted of 507 researchers from the developing world and connected to INASP’s AuthorAID project to ascertain experiences and attitudes to Open Access publishing.

The survey revealed problems for the researchers in gaining access to research literature in the first place. There was a very positive attitude to Open Access research and Open Access journals, but when selecting a journal in which to publish, Open Access was seen as a much less important criterion than factors relating to international reputation.

Overall, a majority of respondents had published in an Open Access journal and most of these had paid an article processing charge. Knowledge and use of self-archiving via repositories varied, and only around 20% had deposited their research in an institutional repository.

The study also examined attitudes to copyright, revealing most respondents had heard of Creative Commons licences and were positive about the sharing of research for educational use and dissemination, but there was unease about research being used for commercial purposes.

Respondents revealed a surprisingly positive stance towards openly sharing research data, although many revealed that they would need further guidance on how to do so. The survey also revealed that the majority had received emails from so called ‘predatory’ publishers and that a small minority had published in them.

URL : Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers

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