ASSESSING THE OPEN ACCESS EFFECT FOR HYBRID JOURNALS
peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-10-14
"Recognising the importance of the hybrid option, we commissioned Digital Science to undertake the analysis summarised in this white paper, to show whether there is real benefit for authors, their institutions, and funders in choosing the gold OA publishing option in hybrid journals. This topic spawns much debate, particularly around the economic value of the hybrid model. In our view, in the complex international research ecosystem, hybrid journals are critical for facilitating the on-going growth of OA in a sustainable way, where underpinning support remains via subscriptions in most cases. The results of this analysis clearly show that hybrid OA offers significant benefits for researchers, increasing usage, citations, and attention. On average, OA articles are downloaded four times as often as non-OA articles. Some of this is undoubtedly usage by interested people that do not have the benefit of an affiliation with a subscribing institution, but some is likely by researchers from subscribing institutions that are travelling or just not on their campus. Turning to citations, on average OA articles are cited 1.6 times more frequently than similar subscription articles. And looking at Altmetric, on average, OA articles attracted 2.4 times more attention than non-OA articles. As noted in the discussion at the end of this white paper, we cannot control for all variables in this type of analysis, and in particular there is a selection bias risk – for example, that authors choose OA for their most significant work. Nonetheless, several of the specific findings from this study indicate that OA does of itself confer benefits, including the comparison of article cohorts from a single country (the UK). The most direct comparison is between recognised users where usage of OA articles is approximately 1.5 times higher, indicating likely enhanced discovery, resulting in part from greater sharing...."