Open Access Books: do we need a Plan S moment? - Digital Science
infodocketGARY's bookmarks 2022-05-18
To judge from the progress of Open Access (OA) journal articles, you could be mistaken for thinking OA was the new paradigm for all research: a swift look at the charts below tells you everything you need to know.
According to Unpaywall and Dimensions, one by one the disciplines have tipped from majority-closed to majority-open. Life Sciences was the first to tip in 2013; Medical and Health Sciences followed in 2016; then the Social Sciences and Physical and Mathematical Sciences in 2017. The Humanities joined the majority open in 2020; and Engineering and Technology were at parity in 2021.
So what of books? While we can say with confidence that rates of OA publishing for both monographs and collected works have doubled over the last 10 years, the proportion of OA books remains very low, barely troubling the dominance of the traditional pay model. It’s possible to see a small increase in the last two years – which could be a consequence of more publishers making books ‘freely available’ during COVID (but, lacking a CC- licence not matching the formal status of being ‘Open Access’). Whether or not this trend continues, in a post-pandemic world, is a question that we’ll need to return to in 2024…