Monitoring the transition to Open Access

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16 September saw the release of a major new study of the transition to Open Access (OA) in the United Kingdom and across the world. Our role at Research Consulting was to develop a set of metrics to monitor the impact of OA on learned societies, while our partners at the Research Information Network, Elsevier and the University of Sheffield gathered data on OA options available to authors; authors’ take-up of OA options; the levels of usage of OA articles; the financial stability of the transition to OA for universities.

The report finds that two-thirds of the world’s journals now offer an OA option, and that gold OA accounted for just under 17% of global articles in 2014. Including green OA, 27% of articles are now available in OA form within 2 years of publication globally – and 35% in the UK. Meanwhile, centrally-managed APC expenditure in UK universities has risen 6-fold since 2012, and now constitutes 12% of universities total expenditure on journals. Publishing revenues are worth over £300m to those UK learned societies which publish peer-reviewed journals, and so far societies’ published accounts provide no evidence (up to the end of 2013) that OA had any adverse impact.

These figures only scratch the surface of the wealth of data available in the report. The key findings are nicely summarised in a fact sheet available on the Universities UK website, and the full report can be downloaded here.

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