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


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.


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.


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.


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


The counting house: measuring those who count. Presence of Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, Informetrics, Webometrics and Altmetrics in the Google Scholar Citations, ResearcherID, ResearchGate, Mendeley & Twitter

Authors : Alberto Martin-Martin, Enrique Orduna-Malea, Juan M. Ayllon, Emilio Delgado Lopez-Cozar

Following in the footsteps of the model of scientific communication, which has recently gone through a metamorphosis (from the Gutenberg galaxy to the Web galaxy), a change in the model and methods of scientific evaluation is also taking place.

A set of new scientific tools are now providing a variety of indicators which measure all actions and interactions among scientists in the digital space, making new aspects of scientific communication emerge.

In this work we present a method for capturing the structure of an entire scientific community (the Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, Informetrics, Webometrics, and Altmetrics community) and the main agents that are part of it (scientists, documents, and sources) through the lens of Google Scholar Citations.

Additionally, we compare these author portraits to the ones offered by other profile or social platforms currently used by academics (ResearcherID, ResearchGate, Mendeley, and Twitter), in order to test their degree of use, completeness, reliability, and the validity of the information they provide.

A sample of 814 authors (researchers in Bibliometrics with a public profile created in Google Scholar Citations was subsequently searched in the other platforms, collecting the main indicators computed by each of them.

The data collection was carried out on September, 2015. The Spearman correlation was applied to these indicators (a total of 31) , and a Principal Component Analysis was carried out in order to reveal the relationships among metrics and platforms as well as the possible existence of metric cluster.