Re: Growth rate of OA mandates?

From: Arif Jinha <arif_at_STRATONGINA.NET>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 16:34:09 -0500

This is great, thank you Heather, Richard and Gavin.

I met this week with my thesis supervisor (M. Geist - uOttawa) to revise my
proposal. I began with an interest in access opportunities for African
institutions and researchers. Clearly global metrics for OA have key
relevance for all, with some varied significances for different parts of the

What I would like to do now, is to:

a) replicate the Bjork et al study for the current year, 2010 - and review
critically the methodology.

b) see if we can then take those methods and the replication, and look at
growth rates for mandates, repositories and gold OA to see if we can begin
not only to measure, but to predict the growth rate of OA- or 'gratis'
literature, as a portion of annual global research output.

c) If possible, I would like to add to this, the impact of concession
programs for African institutions through the UN, publisher concessions and
other programs (such as INASP-Perii), to describe the overall access
opportunity for African institutions who typically have minimal to no

d) I may not be able to include this in my thesis except by mention, but it
is interesting to note that while we look to the future, access to
publications of the past is important to researchers. Going backwards in
time, the portion of OA is smaller with perhaps very little gratis access to
20th century literature. Going back further, (about 95-120 years), articles
enter the public domain but unless they are in physical archives, they are
only accessible if digitized. I have an estimate of a grand total of how
many articles exist globally and historically - 1665 to present (and it
provides year to year approximations), the result is conditionally accepted,
revised and resubmitted for publication.

The remainder is further notes on what I'm thinking about for these
questions, if you have time. Please don't hold back on feedback, criticism,
enthusiasm, ideas, collaboration, and help!!

Many thanks - Arif.

For the growth of the OA portion - Gold OA journal growth seems to be the
most straightforward metric, since we have an understanding of the number
and growth rate of OA journals, and the average # of articles/journal, as
well as other forms of gold OA as defined by Bjork et al.

Green OA is responsible for a larger portion and perhaps is more complex.
It may be necessary to get an understanding of what calculation issues may
arise with varied scope and nature of mandates (departmental, facutly level,
insitutional, governmental) as well as overlap (government/institution) and
compliance. There may also be duplication between gold OA and deposit in
repositories, since some authors may both publish gold OA (or embargo), and
deposit as well.

 When I looked in spring 2009, OpenDOAR listed 1300+ repositories, currently
they list 1500+ repositories. If we know the growth rate of the # of
repositories, and we can relate the growth in the size of repositories to
growth in mandates, this may help as well.

If we can get averages and reasonable assumptions, we can then relate the
growth of mandates to the growth of the portion of green OA, add the growth
of gold OA, and subtract the duplications.

Please suggest, if you can, the best way to determine the growth rate of
green OA as a portion of global annual output.

 For the metric for African institutions and concession programs, here the
biggest problem may be calculating the duplication, HINARI, AGORA and OARE
contain provide subscription-access journals but the articles themselves may
also appear in repositories. There is also the possibility of overlap of
these programs.


It may be possible in the future to develop an index that would tell
librarians at any institution in the world what portion and quantity of
global annual research would be available to their researchers without
subscription, what portion/quantity would be available with their
subscriptions and concession programs, and perhaps even what access they
have to older literature, or indeed what access they have as a portion of
all journal research that exists. And of course, how they obtain access to
what they need, and how they can contribute to improving access for all.

This could also indicate to policymakers and advocates where the tipping
point may be in the future, in terms of the impact of the OA portion on the
vision of a truly open global system of research communication, what
decisions libraries can take with regard to managing the cost of
subscriptions, for journals in terms of deciding on a revenue model, and for
policymakers in terms of mandates. For instance, if in 2006 we have almost
20% of global literature accessible gratis, what kind of 'game-changer'
might there be when that number approaches 50%? Is there a plateau to this

For advocates, it may be useful in moving closer to that vision so well
described by Stephen Harnad.

The optimal situations for researchers are:

Online availability of the entire full-text refereed research corpus
Availability on every researcher's desktop, everywhere 24 hours a day
Interlinking of all papers & citations
Fully searchable, navigable, retrievable, impact-rankable research papers
For free, for all, forever

Arif Jinha
MA (can I say ABD candidate?)
Globalization and International Development
University of Ottawa

----- Original Message -----
From: "Heather Morrison" <hgmorris_at_SFU.CA>
Sent: Monday, January 11, 2010 1:34 PM
Subject: Re: Growth rate of OA mandates?

> Since 2005, I have been tracking a number of data to determine a
> reasonable estimate of the extent and rate of growth of open access,
> on a quarterly basis. It is difficult to determine accurate macro-
> level data; this discussion and the work of other researchers is much
> appreciated.
> DOAJ has grown from 1,400 journals in 2005 to over 4,500 today. This
> is an imperfect measure, but sufficient to illustrate the dramatic
> growth in number of journals. Net DOAJ growth for 2009 was 723 titles,
> approximately 2 titles per day. About a third of DOAJ journals are
> searchable at article level; the number of articles available through
> such a search showed a 33% growth in 2009, to over 300,000 items.
> DOAJ does not include journals with free back issues, or gold OA
> articles in hybrid journals, so DOAJ numbers are an underestimate of
> gold OA.
> The number of documents available through the broadest cross-
> repository search engines grew from about 5 million in 2005 (based on
> OAIster statistics) to over 22 million in 2009 (based on BASE stats).
> These, too, are imperfect figures as not all items in repositories are
> full-text research articles, and there is likely some duplication,
> however even allowing for these imperfections the very strong growth
> rate is clear.
> The percentage of medical research literature published in the last 3
> years and indexed in PubMed that is freely available is 20% (very
> similar to Bjork's figure). This is based on a search of PubMed, and
> does not distinguish between gold and green OA.
> For data showing 2009 growth, see:
> The full series, including links to all open data versions and
> commentary, can be found at:
> Heather Morrison
> The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics
Received on Sat Jan 16 2010 - 00:05:01 GMT

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