Who’s writing Open Access (OA) articles? Characteristics of OA authors at Ph.D. granting institutions in the USA
mdelhaye's bookmarks 2020-03-26
The adoption of open access (OA) publishing has grown rapidly in the last two decades; an increasing share of the research literature is available to the public at no cost and with no restrictions. Despite the enormous growth of OA publishing, few studies have explored the characteristics of the authors who choose to publish their research as OA articles. Understanding who produces the increasing number of OA articles is crucial for publishers and the research community seeking to democratize the results of knowledge production. We investigated the number of OA articles authored by 182,320 scholars with known demographic and institutional characteristics at American research universities across 11 broad fields of study. Results show that male scholars at more prestigious institutions (e.g., AAU members) and scholars with greater job security (e.g., higher professorial rank) are likely to publish more OA articles. Securing federal research grants is also a significant predictor of OA publishing activity. Although OA is growing in terms of the quantity of articles published, participation in OA publishing appears to be skewed towards scholars in STEM fields with greater access to resources and greater job security.