How big is the open access publishing at KI?

During last spring, we at KIB ran a project to gather facts about the volume and costs of open access (OA) publishing at KI. Why a project looking in to OA data? Because we felt we need to be able to lean on hard facts in order to form positions and make decisions concerning the development of OA at KI.

So what does the situation for OA at KI look like?

Since a while back, there is a webservice called Unpaywall where it is possible to collect data about the OA-status of published articles, i.e. is an article OA or not, and if so, what kind of OA. We matched this with all the data we could gather about published KI-articles (meaning an article with at least one KI-affiliated author) for the years 2010-2017.

One of the things that came out of this matching of data is the diagram below showing shares of different categories of the KI publishing 2010-2017.

The most important distinction in the diagram is that between the category Closed, which is non-OA, and all the other categories, which are different forms of OA. As can be seen, the OA part of the total KI articles publication is steadily increasing (and the non-OA part diminishing), at least up until 2016. For 2017, one can see that the Bronze and the Green categories are smaller, making the Closed category increase. The main reason for this is that a part of the Closed/non-OA category further on will become Bronze and Green OA, but there is a lag to this, resulting in that the figures look a little askew.

The most interesting thing in the figures, in my mind at least, is the development of the Gold and Hybrid OA. They are increasing year by year and are now a substantial part of the total KI publication. The Gold and Hybrid categories are also the parts of KI articles that are paid-for to be published Open Access.

OA costs at KI

We found the most reliable method for gathering OA related costs at KI to look up payments to publishers (for OA publishing) in the KI accounting system Agresso. By this method, we could track payments to publishers for over 15 million SEK in 2017 from KI researchers to publish their articles OA. The Agresso account 5726 for OA related costs is crucial to be able to do this. If a payment isn't booked the right way, the risk is we don't find it. In that way, the 15 million SEK is a minimum, this is just what we could find and verify.

So, what are the take-aways from the project?

  • The OA part of the KI total publishing is continuously increasing. This must be taken in account when we form positions and make decisions about access to and publishing of scientific articles at KI.
  • Gathering costs from Agresso is the most reliable way to track costs for OA related costs at KI. This is important to put together the broader picture of the expenses for the complex of ¨publish and read¨ for scientific articles.
  • We must put in efforts to inform about the importance of always using the Agresso account for OA related costs, 5726, for payments for OA publishing, in order for us to be able to gather knowledge about the total costs for OA publishing at KI.

Of course, the situation for OA as a part of the publishing at KI is just part of bigger, international picture. Tomorrows theme about cOAlition S, will touch on that.

Lars Nordesjö

Librarian working with research support, Open Access and teaching about scientific publishing.