Oxford Open ­first quarter results show marked differences in uptake across disciplines


Oxford Journals today released the first results from its optional open access model, Oxford Open, maintaining its commitment to sharing first hand open access evidence with the scholarly community. It has also confirmed a further 19 journals to join the initiative from January 2006.

The initiative, launched on July 1, 2005, gives authors the option of paying for their research to be made freely available online immediately on publication. Results from the first quarter of operation show an average of 9% open access take-up by authors across the 21 participating journals, with take-up limited to the Life Sciences and Medicine. There has been no take-up by authors publishing in participating Humanities and Social Sciences titles.

Martin Richardson, Managing Director, Oxford Journals, commented, "Nine of the 21 journals involved in the first phase of Oxford Open have published open access papers since July. There has been a noticeable variation in the take-up of open access amongst these journals; some life science journals have published up to 5% of papers under the open access model, while others have seen take-up of approximately 17%."

Most authors submitting papers for open access are from subscribing institutions[1], who as part of the Oxford Open model pay a discounted rate (£800 or $1500, compared to £1500 or $2800 at full charge for authors from non-subscribing institutions).

"The optional open access model supports our authors by allowing them the choice of paying for immediate free access to their articles, with unrestricted reuse for education and research." commented Richardson. He added,

"Ultimately, Oxford Open will allow us to examine whether optional open access is a long term sustainable financial model for publishing peer-reviewed journals, and in which subject areas the market demands might be strong enough to move more proactively in this direction.

"These early results suggest that open access is likely to be only one of a range of models that will be necessary to support the requirements of different research communities."

Oxford Open is the latest of four open access models being tested by Oxford Journals. Further trials include partially funded open access (Journal of Experimental Botany); sponsored open access, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM); and full open access, Nucleic Acids Research (NAR). NAR, one of the first major science journals of such stature and prestige to move to a full open access model in January 2005, will remain full open access in 2006 based on positive feedback from readers and authors, and a continued increase in submissions.

Oxford Journals will continue to investigate the effects of these open access models, with research projects commissioned from CIBER, University College London, and with the Library and Information Statistics Unit (LISU), based at Loughborough University, designed to measure the impact of open access in terms of usage and citation. The results of these studies will provide further evidence for the scholarly community to assess the benefits of open access.

List of titles joining Oxford Open in January 2006

  • Annals of Botany
  • Annals of Occupational Hygiene
  • Brain
  • European Journal of Orthodontics
  • European Journal of Public Health
  • Family Practice
  • Forestry
  • Human Reproduction Update
  • Human Reproduction
  • International Journal of Epidemiology
  • Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
  • Journal of Petrology
  • Journal of Plankton Research
  • Molecular Human Reproduction
  • Mutagenesis
  • Occupational Medicine
  • QJM: An International Journal of Medicine
  • Quarterly Journal of Mathematics
  • Rheumatology

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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