Open Access Uptake: 5 Years On

( Oxford University Press ) Through the Oxford Open initiative, launched in July 2005, Oxford University Press has experimented with open access models and has been carefully monitoring and sharing results. Today, over 90 Oxford journals are hybrid open access and six are fully open access.

In 2009 the average uptake of the open access option for participating journals fell to 5.9%, compared with 6.7% in 2008. This reduction was due to a lower uptake amongst 11 new titles joining Oxford Open in 2009. On a like-for-like basis, the average uptake in 2009 for journals which entered the scheme prior to 2008 was stable (6.7%, compared with 6.8% in 2008).

Based on titles included in Oxford Open prior to 2008, by broad subject area the highest uptake continues to be in the Life Sciences (11.4% compared with 11.2% in 2008). However, there was substantial variation between individual titles; for example, Bioinformatics (31%) and HMG (20%) have seen continued growth, whilst some other life science titles have seen a reduction of 5%-10%. Medical titles have declined from 5.0% to 4.6%, whilst Humanities, Social Science, and Law continue to have a much lower uptake (2.5%). At 8.2%, Mathematics was the second largest uptake, an increase compared with 2008 (6.8%).

"These results indicate that, when given the option, most authors are not yet choosing to publish their research articles under an open access model," commented Martin Richardson, Managing Director of OUP's Academic and Journals Divisions.