Monitoring the transition to open access: progress in 2017

By Rob Johnson

Over the past few months, we have been involved in a consortium to deliver the 2017 iteration of the ‘Monitoring the transition to open access’ report. Led by Jubb Consulting, we worked with colleagues at the University of Sheffield and Elsevier to evaluate recent developments in this ever-changing field and their implications for the stakeholders involved.

The report was launched on Tuesday 5 December, and is now freely available at: http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/2017/monitoring-transition-open-access-2017.pdf

Please find below a summary of the study’s findings, as reported by Universities UK:

The proportion of UK research which is available via open access is increasing at a considerable rate, with 37% of research outputs freely available to the world immediately at publication.

​​This report, the second in a series commissioned by the Universities UK Open Access Coordination Group, aims to build on previous findings, and to examine trends over the period since the major funders of research in the UK established new policies to promote open access.​

Key findings include:

  • More than half of UK-authored articles are made accessible for public view within 12 months, either through Gold or Green OA
  • 37% of UK outputs (vs. 25% globally) are freely available to the world immediately on publication, either through Gold or Green OA
  • The proportion of UK-authored articles published open access rose from 12% in 2012 to 30% in 2016, an annual growth rate of over 30% sustained throughout the period
  • The global proportion of articles accessible for public view after 12 months via Gold or Green OA rose from 25% to 32% between 2012 and 2016; and the UK proportion rose from 37% to 54%
  • The proportion of journals indexed in Scopus that offer immediate OA is rising, with over 60% of journals offering the option in 2016
  • OA articles are downloaded from publishers’ sites more than non-OA articles ​