Production and uptake of Open Access publications involving the private sector: the case of big pharma

Authors : Afredo Yegros-Yegros, Thed van Leeuwen

Over the last years Open Access has been ranked very high on science policy agenda’s both internationally as well as nationally. This resulted in many national mandates and international guidelines on OA publishing of scientific results.

One of the reasons OA has been pushed so strongly by science policy is found in the argument that what is financed publicly, should be publicly available. This argument, also known as the ‘tax payers argument’ is used to support and legitimize the push for open accessibility, not only of scientific publications, but also of the underlying research data, in order to guarantee the nonacademic sector, with lower degrees of accessibility to otherwise ‘behind-the-paywall’ information, access to outcomes of scientific research in the public sector.

In this study we will focus on the developments in the OA publishing in one particular institutional sector, the private sector. Business enterprises represent the main sector in terms of R&D investments.

According to Eurostat, in the year 2016 this sector represented 65% of the total R&D expenditures within the EU28. While objectives and incentives in the private sector might not always been aligned with the disclosure of research results in the open scientific literature, there is no doubt that this is the main actor when it comes to R&D performance.

Within the business sector, we will focus our study in the pharmaceutical sector, by selecting a number of large pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies represent an interesting case of study, given that is it one of the most R&D intensive industries, while it si also known for its shift in R&D orientation, from an in-house focus in the development of R&D towards a model much more open and collaborative, with more interactions with academic partners and other companies.

Despite the importance of industrial R&D, until now it remains relatively understudied how private sector institutions which are active in R&D have embraced the OA movement, hence it remains relatively unknown how the private sector adapts to and can benefit from the new paradigm of open scholarship.

Our objective is to shed more light on the extent to which big pharma both has been publishing in OA and also has been benefiting from OA publications to build their own research.

URL : Production and uptake of Open Access publications involving the private sector: the case of big pharma


Open-access policy and data-sharing practice in UK academia

Author : Yimei Zhu

Data sharing can be defined as the release of research data that can be used by others. With the recent open-science movement, there has been a call for free access to data, tools and methods in academia. In recent years, subject-based and institutional repositories and data centres have emerged along with online publishing.

Many scientific records, including published articles and data, have been made available via new platforms. In the United Kingdom, most major research funders had a data policy and require researchers to include a ‘data-sharing plan’ when applying for funding.

However, there are a number of barriers to the full-scale adoption of data sharing. Those barriers are not only technical, but also psychological and social. A survey was conducted with over 1800 UK-based academics to explore the extent of support of data sharing and the characteristics and factors associated with data-sharing practice.

It found that while most academics recognised the importance of sharing research data, most of them had never shared or reused research data. There were differences in the extent of data sharing between different gender, academic disciplines, age and seniority.

It also found that the awareness of Research Council UK’s (RCUK) Open-Access (OA) policy, experience of Gold and Green OA publishing, attitudes towards the importance of data sharing and experience of using secondary data were associated with the practice of data sharing.

A small group of researchers used social media such as Twitter, blogs and Facebook to promote the research data they had shared online. Our findings contribute to the knowledge and understanding of open science and offer recommendations to academic institutions, journals and funding agencies.


La coopération entre l’archive ouverte HAL AMU et les Presses universitaires de Provence : une dynamique au service de la science ouverte et de la bibliodiversité

Auteurs/Authors : Isabelle Gras, Charles Zaremba

Cette collaboration s’inscrit dans le cadre de la politique soutenue par la gouvernance d’AMU en faveur de l’open access, qui a notamment permis le déploiement de l’archive ouverte institutionnelle HAL AMU (Bertin, 2014).

URL : 

A Very Long Embargo: Journal Choice Reveals Active Non-Compliance with Funder Open Access Policies by Australian and Canadian Neuroscientists

Authors: Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo, Belinda Po Pyn Lay

Research funders around the world have implemented open access policies that require funded research to be made open access, usually by self-archiving, within 12 months of publication.

Elsevier is unique among major science publishers because it produces several journals with non-compliant self-archiving embargoes of more than 12 months. We used Elsevier’s Scopus database to study the rate at which Australian and Canadian neuroscientists publish in Elsevier’s non-compliant (embargoes > 12 months) and compliant journals (embargoes ≤ 12 months).

We also examined publications in immediate open access neuroscience journals that had the DOAJ Seal and neuroscience publications in open access mega-journals. We found that the implementation of Australian and Canadian funder open access policies in 2012/2013 and 2015 did not reduce the number of publications in non-compliant journals.

Instead, scientific output in all publication types increased with the greatest growth in immediate open access journals. This data suggests that funder open access policies that are similar to the Australian and Canadian policies are likely to have little effect beyond an association with a general cultural trend towards open access.

URL : A Very Long Embargo: Journal Choice Reveals Active Non-Compliance with Funder Open Access Policies by Australian and Canadian Neuroscientists



Measuring Open Access Policy Compliance: Results of a Survey

Authors : Shannon Kipphut-Smith, Michael Boock, Kimberly Chapman, Michaela Willi Hooper


In the last decade, a significant number of institutions have adopted open access (OA) policies. Many of those working with OA policies are tasked with measuring policy compliance.

This article reports on a survey of Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) members designed to better understand the methods currently used for measuring and communicating OA policy success.


This electronic survey was distributed to the COAPI member listserv, inviting both institutions who have passed an implemented policies and those who are still developing policies to participate.


The results to a number of questions related to topics such as policy workflows, quantitative and qualitative measurement activities and related tools, and challenges showed a wide range of responses, which are shared here.


It is clear that a number of COAPI members struggle with identifying what should be measured and what tools and methods are appropriate. The survey illustrates how each institution measures compliance differently, making it difficult to benchmark against peer institutions.


As a result of this survey, we recommend that institutions working with OA policies be as transparent as possible about their data sources and methods when calculating deposit rates and other quantitative measures.

It is hoped that this transparency will result in the development of a set of qualitative and quantitative best practices for assessing OA policies that standardizes assessment terminology and articulates why institutions may want to measure policies.

URL : Measuring Open Access Policy Compliance: Results of a Survey


Open Access Policy in the UK: From Neoliberalism to the Commons

Author : Stuart Andrew Lawson

This thesis makes a contribution to the knowledge of open access through a historically  and theoretically informed account of contemporary open access policy in the UK (2010–15).

It critiques existing policy by revealing the influence of neoliberal ideology on its creation, and proposes a commons-based approach as an alternative. The historical context in Chapters 2 and 3 shows that access to knowledge has undergone numerous changes over the centuries and the current push to increase access to research, and political  controversies around this idea, are part of a long tradition.

The exploration of the origins and meanings of ‘openness’ in Chapter 4 enriches the understanding of open access as a concept and makes possible a more nuanced critique of specific instantiations of open access in later chapters.

The theoretical heart of the thesis is Chapter 5, in which neoliberalism is analysed with a particular focus on neoliberal conceptions of liberty and openness. The subsequent examination of neoliberal higher education in Chapter 6 is therefore informed by a thorough grounding in the ideology that underlies policymaking in the neoliberal era.

This understanding then acts as invaluable context for the analysis of the UK’s open access policy in Chapter 7. By highlighting the neoliberal aspects of open access policy, the political tensions within open access advocacy are shown to have real effects on the way that open access is unfolding.

Finally, Chapter 8 proposes the commons as a useful theoretical model for conceptualising a future scholarly publishing ecosystem that is free from neoliberal ideology. An argument is made that a commons-based open access policy is possible, though must be carefully constructed with close attention paid to the power relations that exist between different scholarly communities.

URL : Open Access Policy in the UK: From Neoliberalism to the Commons

Alternative location :

How open is open access research in Library and Information Science?

Authors : Wanyenda Leonard Chilimo, Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha

The study investigates Library and Information Science (LIS) journals that published research articles between 2003 and 2013, which were about open access (OA) and were indexed in LIS databases.

The purpose was to investigate the journals’ OA policies, ascertain the degree to which these policies facilitate OA to publications, and investigate whether such texts are also available as OA. The results show that literature growth in the domain has been significant, with a total of 1,402 articles produced during the eleven years under study.

The OA policies of the fifty-six journals that published the highest number of articles were analysed. The results show that most articles (404; 41%) were published in hybrid journals, whereas 272 (29.7%) appeared in OA journals.

Some 143 (53%) of the articles published in hybrid journals were available as green OA copies. In total, 602 (66%) of all the articles published were available as OA.

The results show that the adoption of OA for research articles on that very subject is somewhat higher than in other fields. The study calls on LIS professionals to be conversant with the OA policies of the various journals that may publish their research.

URL : How open is open access research in Library and Information Science?

Alternative location :