Do Open Access Mandates Work? A Systematized Review of the Literature on Open Access Publishing Rates

Authors : Elena Azadbakht, Tara Radniecki, Teresa Schultz, Amy W. Shannon

To encourage the sharing of research, various entities—including public and private funders, universities, and academic journals—have enacted open access (OA) mandates or data sharing policies.

It is unclear, however, whether these OA mandates and policies increase the rate of OA publishing and data sharing within the research communities impacted by them. A team of librarians conducted a systematized review of the literature to answer this question. A comprehensive search of several scholarly databases and grey literature sources resulted in 4,689 unique citations.

However, only five articles met the inclusion criteria and were deemed as having an acceptable risk of bias. This sample showed that although the majority of the mandates described in the literature were correlated with a subsequent increase in OA publishing or data sharing, the presence of various confounders and the differing methods of collecting and analyzing the data used by the studies’ authors made it impossible to establish a causative relationship.

URL : Do Open Access Mandates Work? A Systematized Review of the Literature on Open Access Publishing Rates


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


The Transformation of the Green Road to Open Access

Authors : Joachim Schöpfel, Stéphane Chaudiron, Bernard Jacquemin, Eric Kergosien, Hélène Prost, Florence Thiault

(1) Background: The 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative recommended on self-archiving of scientific articles in open repositories as the “green road” to open access. Twenty years later, only one part of the researchers deposits their publications in open repositories; moreover, one part of the repositories’ content is not based on self-archived deposits but on mediated nonfaculty contributions. The purpose of the paper is to provide more empirical evidence on this situation and to assess the impact on the future of the green road.

(2) Methods: We analyzed the contributions on the French national HAL repository from more than 1,000 laboratories affiliated to the ten most important French research universities, with a focus on 2020, representing 14,023 contributor accounts and 166,939 deposits.

(3) Results: We identified seven different types of contributor accounts, including deposits from nonfaculty staff and import flows from other platforms. Mediated nonfaculty contribution accounts for at least 48% of the deposits. We also identified difference between institutions and disciplines.

(4) Conclusions: Our empirical results reveal a transformation of open repositories from self-archiving and direct scientific communication towards research information management. Repositories like HAL are somewhere in the middle of the process. The paper describes data quality as the main issue and major challenge of this transformation.

URL : The Transformation of the Green Road to Open Access


The Landscape of Scholarly Book Publishing in Croatia: Finding Pathways for Viable Open Access Models

Author : Iva Melinščak Zlodi

1) Background: Open access to scholarly works is globally recognized as a goal to be achieved as soon as possible; however, there is not yet a general understanding of how to achieve open access for books. In considering the most appropriate models of transition, an accurate and detailed insight into national and regional specifics can be of great importance.

The aim of this research is to show the current state of scholarly book publishing in Croatia: recognising the key stakeholders, their characteristics, and the current level of open access to scholarly books.

(2) Methods: The existing data from two different sources were used: the data about the public subsidies for book publishers by the Ministry of Science and Education and the data on published books from the Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI, both for the period from 2018 to 2021.

(3) Results: In the four-year period, 224 Croatian publishers were awarded subsidies to publish 2359 book titles. The majority of the publishers received support for only a small number of titles and relatively low amounts of subsidies. More than half of the titles are published by small private commercial publishers.

However, the uptake of digital publishing among commercial publishers is very modest. Open access to scholarly books is almost entirely in the domain of non-commercial publishers. Most open access titles are available on the websites of their publishers.

(4) Conclusions: The analysis of the data from these two sources have resulted in an overview of the current state of book publishing in Croatia. Such an overview provides a good basis for designing future measures and creating a national open science plan and can also be a useful contribution to international discussions.

URL : The Landscape of Scholarly Book Publishing in Croatia: Finding Pathways for Viable Open Access Models


PreprintMatch: A tool for preprint to publication detection shows global inequities in scientific publication

Authors : Peter Eckmann, Anita Bandrowski

Preprints, versions of scientific manuscripts that precede peer review, are growing in popularity. They offer an opportunity to democratize and accelerate research, as they have no publication costs or a lengthy peer review process. Preprints are often later published in peer-reviewed venues, but these publications and the original preprints are frequently not linked in any way.

To this end, we developed a tool, PreprintMatch, to find matches between preprints and their corresponding published papers, if they exist. This tool outperforms existing techniques to match preprints and papers, both on matching performance and speed. PreprintMatch was applied to search for matches between preprints (from bioRxiv and medRxiv), and PubMed.

The preliminary nature of preprints offers a unique perspective into scientific projects at a relatively early stage, and with better matching between preprint and paper, we explored questions related to research inequity.

We found that preprints from low income countries are published as peer-reviewed papers at a lower rate than high income countries (39.6% and 61.1%, respectively), and our data is consistent with previous work that cite a lack of resources, lack of stability, and policy choices to explain this discrepancy.

Preprints from low income countries were also found to be published quicker (178 vs 203 days) and with less title, abstract, and author similarity to the published version compared to high income countries. Low income countries add more authors from the preprint to the published version than high income countries (0.42 authors vs 0.32, respectively), a practice that is significantly more frequent in China compared to similar countries.

Finally, we find that some publishers publish work with authors from lower income countries more frequently than others.

URL : PreprintMatch: A tool for preprint to publication detection shows global inequities in scientific publication


An open automation system for predatory journal detection

Authors : Li‑Xian Chen, Shih‑Wen Su, Chia‑Hung Liao, Kai‑Sin Wong, Shyan‑Ming Yuan

The growing number of online open-access journals promotes academic exchanges, but the prevalence of predatory journals is undermining the scholarly reporting process. Data collection, feature extraction, and model prediction are common steps in tools designed to distinguish between legitimate and predatory academic journals and publisher websites.

The authors include them in their proposed academic journal predatory checking (AJPC) system based on machine learning methods. The AJPC data collection process extracts 833 blacklists and 1213 whitelists information from websites to be used for identifying words and phrases that might indicate the presence of predatory journals.

Feature extraction is used to identify words and terms that help detect predatory websites, and the system’s prediction stage uses eight classification algorithms to distinguish between potentially predatory and legitimate journals.

We found that enhancing the classification efficiency of the bag of words model and TF-IDF algorithm with diff scores (a measure of differences in specific word frequencies between journals) can assist in identifying predatory journal feature words.

Results from performance tests suggest that our system works as well as or better than those currently being used to identify suspect publishers and publications.

The open system only provides reference results rather than absolute opinions and accepts user inquiries and feedback to update the system and optimize performance.

URL : An open automation system for predatory journal detection


Characteristics of European Universities that Participate in Library Crowdfunding Initiatives for Open Access Monographs

Author : Mirela Roncevic

The aim of the study was to identify the traits of 100 European universities across 26 countries that did or did not support one particular library crowdfunding initiative for open access (OA) monographs over the past few years.

By relying on the rankings of four sources, including THE, ARWU, QS, and Leiden, the study identifies some of the traits of the universities that have shown strong interest in the model by already taking part in an established library crowdfunding initiative, as well as those that may play a vital role in its sustainability.

The study’s results show that the institutions that are likely to participate in library crowdfunding initiatives for OA monographs may be defined as highly ranked and produce research in quantity, quantity, relevance, and timeliness. The study’s key revelation is the high academic standing of the institutions that rarely participate in one crowdfunding initiative.

These institutions may not be as “international” in their outlooks, but they stand out for their high-quality and significant research output. As such, they may accelerate the model’s adoption with more consistent participation in library crowdfunding.

URL : Characteristics of European Universities that Participate in Library Crowdfunding Initiatives for Open Access Monographs