Choice of Open Access in Elsevier Hybrid Journals

Author : Sumiko Asai

Open access articles in hybrid journals have recently increased despite high article processing charges. This study investigated the impacts of grants and transformative agreements on authors’ choice of open and non-open access articles by comparing two article types. The samples were hybrid journals launched independently by Elsevier.

The results revealed that the authors who received more grants in countries with transformative agreements were more likely to choose open access articles. By contrast, authors in developing countries were likely to publish non-open access articles.

These findings imply that authors’ choices depend on the funding systems and open access policies in individual countries. Consequently, open access may become a barrier to the dissemination of work for researchers who have financial difficulty choosing open access, although it enables everyone to access articles free of charge.

URL : Choice of Open Access in Elsevier Hybrid Journals


How open are hybrid journals included in transformative agreements?

Author : Najko Jahn

The ongoing controversy surrounding transformative agreements, which aim to transition journal publishing to full open access, highlight the need for large-scale studies assessing the uptake of open access in hybrid journals. This includes evaluating the extent to which transformative agreements enabled open access.

By combining publicly available data from various sources, including cOAlition S Journal Checker, Crossref, and OpenAlex, this study presents a novel approach that analyses over 700 agreements and nine million journal articles published in more than 11.000 hybrid journals. Estimates suggest a strong growth in open access between 2018 and 2022 from 4.3% to 15%. In 2022, 58% of hybrid open access was enabled by transformative agreements.

This trend was largely driven by the three commercial publishers Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley, but the open access uptake varied substantially across journals, publishers, disciplines, and country affiliations. In particular, comparing the developments in the OECD and BRICS areas revealed different publication trends relative to hybrid open access.

In conclusion, estimates suggest that current levels of implementation of transformative agreements is insufficient to bring about a large-scale transition to full open access.

URL : How open are hybrid journals included in transformative agreements?

Arxiv :

Citation differences across research funding and access modalities

Authors : Pablo Dorta-González, María Isabel Dorta-González

This research provides insight into the complex relationship between open access, funding, and citation advantage. It presents an analysis of research articles and their citations in the Scopus database across 40 subject categories.

The sample includes 12 categories from Health Sciences, 7 from Life Sciences, 10 from Physical Sciences & Engineering, and 11 from Social Sciences & Humanities. Specifically, the analysis focuses on articles published in 2016 and the citations they received from 2016 to 2020.

Our findings show that open access articles published in hybrid journals receive considerably more citations than those published in gold open access journals. Articles under the hybrid gold modality are cited on average twice as much as those in the gold modality, regardless of funding.

Furthermore, we found that funded articles generally obtain 50 % more citations than unfunded ones within the same publication modality. Open access repositories significantly increase citations, particularly for articles without funding. Thus, articles in open access repositories receive 50 % more citations than paywalled ones.

URL : Citation differences across research funding and access modalities


Understanding differences of the OA uptake within the German university landscape (2010–2020): part 1—journal-based OA

Authors : Niels Taubert, Anne Hobert, Najko Jahn, Andre Bruns, Elham Iravan

This study investigates the determinants for the uptake of Full and Hybrid Open Access (OA) in the university landscape of Germany and distinguishes between three factors: The disciplinary profile, infrastructures and services of universities that aim to support OA, and large transformative agreements.

The uptake of OA, the influence of the disciplinary profile of universities and the influence of transformative agreements is measured by combining several data sources (incl. Web of Science, Unpaywall, an authority file of standardised German affiliation information, the ISSN-Gold-OA 4.0 list, and lists of publications covered by transformative agreements).

For infrastructures and services that support OA, a structured data collection was created by harvesting different sources of information and by manual online search. To determine the explanatory power of the different factors, a series of regression analyses was performed for different periods and for both Full as well as Hybrid OA.

As a result of the regression analyses, the most determining factor for the explanation of differences in the uptake of both OA-types turned out to be the disciplinary profile. For the year 2020, Hybrid OA transformative agreements have become a second relevant factor.

However, all variables that reflect local infrastructural support and services for OA turned out to be non-significant. To deepen the understanding of the adoption of OA on the level of institutions, the outcomes of the regression analyses are contextualised by an interview study conducted with 20 OA officers of German universities.

URL : Understanding differences of the OA uptake within the German university landscape (2010–2020): part 1—journal-based OA


Hybrid Gold Open Access Citation Advantage in Clinical Medicine: Analysis of Hybrid Journals in the Web of Science

Authors : Chompunuch Saravudecha, Duangruthai Na Thungfai, Chananthida Phasom, Sodsri Gunta-in, Aorrakanya Metha, Peangkobfah Punyaphet, Tippawan Sookruay, Wannachai Sakuludomkan, Nut Koonrungsesomboon

Biomedical fields have seen a remarkable increase in hybrid Gold open access articles. However, it is uncertain whether the hybrid Gold open access option contributes to a citation advantage, an increase in the citations of articles made immediately available as open access regardless of the article’s quality or whether it involves a trending topic of discussion.

This study aimed to compare the citation counts of hybrid Gold open access articles to subscription articles published in hybrid journals. The study aimed to ascertain if hybrid Gold open access publications yield an advantage in terms of citations.

This cross-sectional study included the list of hybrid journals under 59 categories in the ‘Clinical Medicine’ group from Clarivate’s Journal Citation Reports (JCR) during 2018–2021. The number of citable items with ‘Gold Open Access’ and ‘Subscription and Free to Read’ in each journal, as well as the number of citations of those citable items, were extracted from JCR.

A hybrid Gold open access citation advantage was computed by dividing the number of citations per citable item with hybrid Gold open access by the number of citations per citable item with a subscription.

A total of 498, 636, 1009, and 1328 hybrid journals in the 2018 JCR, 2019 JCR, 2020 JCR, and 2021 JCR, respectively, were included in this study. The citation advantage of hybrid Gold open access articles over subscription articles in 2018 was 1.45 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.24–1.65); in 2019, it was 1.31 (95% CI, 1.20–1.41); in 2020, it was 1.30 (95% CI, 1.20–1.39); and in 2021, it was 1.31 (95% CI, 1.20–1.42).

In the ‘Clinical Medicine’ discipline, the articles published in the hybrid journal as hybrid Gold open access had a greater number of citations when compared to those published as a subscription, self-archived, or otherwise openly accessible option.

URL : Hybrid Gold Open Access Citation Advantage in Clinical Medicine: Analysis of Hybrid Journals in the Web of Science


Do open-access dermatology articles have higher citation counts than those with subscription-based access?

Authors : Fangyi Xie, Sherief Ghozy, David F. Kallmes, Julia S. Lehman


Open-access (OA) publishing is increasingly prevalent in dermatology, and many journals now offer hybrid options, including conventional (subscription-based access [SA]) publishing or OA (with an author publishing charge) in a subscription journal. OA publishing has been noted in many disciplines, but this has been rarely studied in dermatology.


Using the Clarivate Journal Citation Report, we compiled a list of English-language dermatology hybrid OA journals containing more than 5% OA articles. We sampled any OA review or original research article in 4 issues from 2018 to 2019 and matched an equal number of SA articles. Citation count, citation count excluding self-citations and view counts found using Scopus and Altmetrics score were recorded for each article. Statistical analyses were performed using logistic and negative binomial models using R software.


Twenty-seven hybrid dermatology journals were found, and 538 articles were sampled (269 OA, 269 SA). For both original research and review articles, OA articles had significantly higher mean citation counts (mean 13.2, standard deviation [SD] 17.0) compared to SA articles (mean 7.9, SD 8.8) (odds ratio [OR] 1.04; 95% CI 1.02–1.05; P < .001) including when adjusted for time from publication.

Original research OA articles had significantly higher citation counts than original research SA articles (excluding self-citations; OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01–1.05; P = .003), and review articles also had OA citation advantage than review SA articles (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02–1.11; P = .008). There was, however, no significant difference in citation counts between review articles and original research articles (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.19–5.31; P = 1.000).

There was no significant difference seen in view counts (OA: mean±SD 17.7±10.8; SA: mean±SD 17.1±12.4) and Altmetric score (OA: mean±SD 13.2±47.8; SA: mean±SD 6.3±25.0) between OA and SA articles. Potential confounders included the fact that more OA articles were published in Europe than in Asia, and pharmaceutical-funded articles were more likely to be published OA.


We noted a higher citation count for OA articles than SA articles in dermatology hybrid journals. However, dermatology researchers should take into account confounding factors when deciding whether to increase the impact of their work by selecting OA over SA publishing.

URL : Do open-access dermatology articles have higher citation counts than those with subscription-based access?


Choices of immediate open access and the relationship to journal ranking and publish-and-read deals

Author : Lars Wenaas

The role of academic journals is significant in the reward system of science, which makes their rank important for the researcher’s choice in deciding where to submit. The study asks how choices of immediate gold and hybrid open access are related to journal ranking and how the uptake of immediate open access is affected by transformative publish-and-read deals, pushed by recent science policy.

Data consists of 186,621 articles published with a Norwegian affiliation in the period 2013–2021, all of which were published in journals ranked in a National specific ranking, on one of two levels according to their importance, prestige, and perceived quality within a discipline.

The results are that researchers chose to have their articles published as hybrid two times as often in journals on the most prestigious level compared with journals on the normal level. The opposite effect was found with gold open access where publishing on the normal level was chosen three times more than on the high level.

This can be explained by the absence of highly ranked gold open access journals in many disciplines. With the introduction of publish-and-read deals, hybrid open access has boosted and become a popular choice enabling the researcher to publish open access in legacy journals.

The results confirm the position of journals in the reward system of science and should inform policymakers about the effects of transformative arrangements and their costs against the overall level of open access.

URL : Choices of immediate open access and the relationship to journal ranking and publish-and-read deals