Full-year results from Oxford Open show wide variation in open access uptake across disciplines

Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press, today released full year figures from its optional open access experiment, Oxford Open (http://www.oxfordjournals.org/oxfordopen/). In the first year of launch, almost 400 papers have been published under the optional open access model across 36 of the 49 participating titles.

The majority of uptake of optional open access has, as predicted, been in the life sciences, with approximately 10% of authors selecting the open access option across 16 participating journals in this area, compared with approximately 5% in medicine and public health, and 3% in the humanities and social sciences. Three life sciences titles in the areas of molecular and computational biology have seen over 20% uptake. The highest of these was for Bioinformatics, which has published over 50 open access papers in 2006. 2007 online subscription prices have been adjusted for these journals to reflect this uptake.

Oxford Open, launched in July 2005, gives authors the option of paying for their research to be made freely available online immediately upon publication in the participating journals. Twenty-one titles adopted this model in July 2005, and further titles have joined in 2006, giving 49 journals participating at present.

Claire Bird, Senior Editor, Oxford Journals, commented, "we continue to see wide variation in uptake, and different levels of interest in 'author-pays' open access models between disciplines. The highest uptake has been in areas where more funding for open access is available, such as the life sciences, and we would expect this trend to continue in 2007."

Managing Director, Martin Richardson also commented: "We launched Oxford Open to help foster a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of open access and subscription-based business models. These results show that while open access is beginning to be embraced in some subject areas, the level of uptake is generally quite low. These results continue to 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.

"We remain committed to sharing the results of these experiments with the community in order to increase knowledge and understanding of open access, and to help direct us, and other publishers, towards viable business models for the future."

Oxford Journals will continue to offer optional open access to the 49 participating journals for 2007, in addition to continuing its other experiments with open access with Nucleic Acids Research (NAR), Journal of Experimental Botany, and Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ECAM). It also expects further journals to join the initiative over the coming year.

Oxford Journals continues to offer two standard charges: 1500 GBP standard, and a discounted rate of 800 GBP for authors based in an institution with an online subscription to the journal. 80% of authors who chose open access in the first year of Oxford Open have paid a discounted open access charge, as members of a subscribing institution.

Oxford Open charges will remain the same for authors wishing to publish open access in 2007. Further reduced charges are also available to authors in developing countries: see the Oxford Open website, and participating journal homepages, for further information.

The online subscription prices of 3 journals (Bioinformatics, Carcinogenesis and Human Molecular Genetics) have been adjusted for 2007 to reflect how much original research material was made freely available in the first phase of the initiative in 2005-2006.

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The Oxford Open experiment is an optional open access model, allowing authors the option to pay for their paper to be made freely available online immediately upon publication. There are 49 journals currently participating. Read more about the initiative (www.oxfordjournals.org/oxfordopen)

Oxford University Press (OUP), a department of the University of Oxford, is the world's largest and most international university press. Founded in 1478, it currently publishes more than 4,500 new books a year, has a presence in over fifty countries, and employs some 3,700 people worldwide. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and journals. Read more about OUP (www.oup.com/about)

Oxford Journals, a Division of OUP, publishes over 180 journals covering a broad range of subject areas, two-thirds of which are published in collaboration with learned societies and other international organizations. The collection contains some of the world's most prestigious titles, including Nucleic Acids Research, JNCI (Journal of the National Cancer Institute), Brain, Human Reproduction, English Historical Review, and the Review of Financial Studies. Read more about Oxford Journals (www.oxfordjournals.org/about_us.html)


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