How many articles are free?

From: David Goodman <David.Goodman_at_LIU.EDU>
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 15:29:08 -0500

I _guess_ that Stevan's figures may be approximately
correct, but, outside of physics,
they are correct only by accident.

Stevan himself has acknowledged the the robot-based data
are at present not sufficiently accurate, in an technical report done
jointly with my group, and that he has signed,
Robots are the only way to go for large scale counts,
but an improved one is necessary, and I believe Stevan's
group is now engaged in developing one.

None of these doubts about the
present extent detract in the least from the arguments for OA:
that when an author publishes, his intent is to disseminate his work
as widely as possible; that an author is also a reader, and wants
to be able to read the widest range of publications possible, that
an author is generally part of an educational or other
institutional body, which wants its work to be available as
widely as possible. that the author publishes in a journal,
which ought to want its articles distributed as widely as possible
and that an author is also a citizen, and thus
wants the widest possible public to know what s/he is doing.

The methods that Stevan primarily advocates are not the only road to OA,
and self-archiving is not necessarily the best method.
It is also possible for a journal to obtain sufficient
funding from institutional sources--and sometimes its authors--
that it can make all its articles available through OA, the
so-called "gold" method. Brazil has an honorable record in
this, as some of its journals have been gold for several
years already. See, for example

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum on behalf of Stevan Harnad
Sent: Thu 2/2/2006 7:14 AM
Subject: Re: how much articles are free?
On Thu, 2 Feb 2006, Simone R Weitzel wrote:

> I need this information to show how far this initiative for free
> scientific literature can go in a brief article to disseminate these ideas
> to a group of Brazilian scientists (communication studies area).
> During a Internation Seminar on Digital Libraries in Brazil. I have heard
> from a researcher some datas about those number and he cited one article
> wrote by Mr. Harnad who made this count (He did not mention reference
> datas).
> Accord to him, there are about 15% of the literature totally free. I just
> would like to confirm this data because I do not want inform wrong datas.
> I looked for many articles wrote by Mr. Harnad, but I could not find. Do
> you know something about this?

The global average of about 15% self-archiving comes from the following
ogling empirical samples across fields and years:

For physics, which is more advanced (consider only the light and dark green
data -- the white data are based on too tiny samples):

For other fields (robot-based):

This is published in:

    Hajjem, C., Harnad, S. and Gingras, Y. (2005) Ten-Year
    Cross-Disciplinary Comparison of the Growth of Open Access and How
    it Increases Research Citation Impact. IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin
    28(4) pp. 39-47.

In addition to these data, which are based on author self-archiving, you may
also take into account that about 2000 of the about 24,000 peer-reviewed
journals that exist are Open Access journals, which adds about 8% more to this

A survey that has estimated that 49% of authors have self-archived *at least
one* of their articles is:

    Swan, A. (2005) Open access self-archiving: An Introduction. Technical
    Report, JISC, HEFCE

The baseline against which these numbers should be compared is either year (for
year by year change), discipline (for interdisciplinary difference in rates of
OA self-archiving and OA publishing), and country (relative to annual national
research output).

You will find that the only way to significantly accelerate the rate of
self-archiving is by adopting an institutional or research-funder policy to
require it. Authors themselves have said as much, in the above Key Perspectives
Survey, and the actual self-archiving rates of the first 4 institutions
(Southampton, CERN, Queensland U. Technology and CERN) that have already
implemented a self-archiving mandate bear this out (see their ROAR growth data):

Stevan Harnad

Received on Thu Feb 02 2006 - 20:52:09 GMT

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