Gold open access: some trends

No-fee gold open access has been growing every year. But fee-based gold OA, at least in number of published articles, has been growing considerably faster–thanks to a variety of factors, some of which I could speculate about but will choose not to. The unfortunate result (from my perspective as a library person who wants to see strong academic libraries with strong collections and staffing, that aren’t being hollowed out by subscription costs and now OA fees) is that the “transformation” seems to benefit mostly the big established publishers. But that’s a different argument, and I’ve basically retired from that battleground.

Peter Suber, who really has been one of the best and most rational voices in the OA arena, asked whether there was an easy way to look at the trends in fee/no-fee percentages during the years I’ve been doing the Gold OA studies. Actually, there is: Chapter 4 of GOA6 has a set of tables and graphs, and along with the Key Facts on page 3 of that book, contains all the data provided below–but these five tables take the same numbers and show them in a slightly different and perhaps more accessible way. Note that these tables only cover 2016-2020, actually the most recent year of each snapshot study, because DOAJ toughened its listing requirements and dropped many journals in 2015, resulting in a drop from 2014 to 2015.

No-fee gold OA has been growing

No-feeJournalsChangeArticlesChange
20166,155224,757
20177,17116.51%246,3109.59%
20188,67420.96%297,84420.92%
20199,84813.53%332,00011.47%
202010,5437.06%370,33811.55%

Clear enough: reasonable growth every year.

Fee-based gold OA articles grow faster

FeeJournalsChangeArticlesChange
20162,837298,448
20173,12210.05%316,8366.16%
20183,50612.30%413,82630.61%
20194,09016.66%522,01826.14%
20204,58512.10%690,91832.36%

Not from 2016 to 2017, but every year since.

So while the no-fee journal % is stable

JournalsFee%No-fee%
20168,9922,83731.55%6,15568.45%
201710,2933,12230.33%7,17169.67%
201812,1803,50628.78%8,67471.22%
201913,9384,09029.34%9,84870.66%
202015,1284,58530.31%10,54369.69%

Remarkably stable, actually: 70% plus or minus 1,5%

The fee article % keeps rising

ArticlesFee%No-fee%
2016523,205298,44857.04%224,75742.96%
2017563,146316,83656.26%246,31043.74%
2018711,670413,82658.15%297,84441.85%
2019854,018522,01861.12%332,00038.88%
20201,061,256690,91865.10%370,33834.90%

Again, except for 2016-2017.

And the cost per article keeps rising

CostAllChangeFeeChange
2016$803$1,407
2017$8769.14%$1,55710.65%
2018$9134.18%$1,5690.80%
2019$1,02312.06%$1,6736.60%
2020$1,20317.69%$1,84810.50%

Cost is determined by taking total fees (without waivers or discounts) divided by total articles.

Leave a Reply

Comments will be closed on February 11, 2022.

Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield Spam Blocker