Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, January 01, 2007

Dramatic recent growth in OA

Heather Morrison, Dramatic Growth December 2006 & Predictions for 2007, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, December 31, 2006.  Excerpt:

Synopsis.  The dramatic growth of open access, both publishing and self-archiving, continued in the final quarter of 2006. The Directory of Open Access Journals passed a significant milestone in December, exceeding 2,500 journals; about 10% of the world's peer-reviewed journals are now fully open access. When new journals are created, there is evidence that they are at least 30% likely to be fully open access. This trend is likely to accelerate as more journals become knowledgeable about new, efficient, freely available open source software such as Open Journal Systems, which greatly facilitates online and open access publishing.

Strong growth continues in open access archiving, with more archives and more full-text documents; all archives tracked showed very strong growth in 2006.

There are signs of an open access movement that is on the verge of emerging from the innovative edge into the mainstream. Open access has become an academic area unto itself, and a challenge to study, as those who have read even a portion of Peter Suber's more than 10,000 well-selected, thoughtful blogposts can attest. Open access education, however, is just beginning. PhD students in librarianship, for example, are finding open access and related topics an interesting field of study. Students are beginning to hear about open access in their courses, but soon they will be taught by teachers for whom this is their area of expertise.

My predictions for 2007 are continued, and accelerating, growth in open access. The most important trends I see for 2007, however, are less tangible in nature; a shift in focus from debate on the pros, cons, and feasibility of open access, to more solid work on the details of implementation. For librarians, a key will be a shift in perspective on collections, from the idea of purchasing or leasing what our users need, to building and preserving the collections our researchers and others produce. I see this trend as beginning in 2007....

PS:  That's just the synopsis.  See the whole post for a raft of specific numbers. 

My own predictions for 2007 came out last month and my review of OA in 2006 will come out in tomorrow's issue of SOAN.