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Growth In Open Access Publication

Since a significant portion of the research is financially supported with public funds, the publication of research findings in Open Access has become an established method of providing society with an idea of the cost of the resources that are used in carrying out research, taking into consideration that a significant portion of this research is funded with public funds. In addition, society as a whole – and not just the academic community – reaps enormous advantages from the enhanced awareness that is generated in all domains of human knowledge and experience. When you publish an article with open access, anybody may read and download the paper without paying a fee to do so. This has been demonstrated to be beneficial, as open access publications are cited more frequently in other scholarly journals than studies that are exclusively available through premium access.

Current Trend In Open Access Growth

  • The increase of 13% open access market during 2020 over the previous year is more than the underlying academic journals market growth, which is usually in the low- to mid-single-digit percentage range. The data trends imply that the growth rate in open access has been declining in recent years and will continue to decline in the following years to about 12% yearly, but that it will remain above the underlying market rates over this period. The open access sector has generated more than $850 million revenue during 2020. The paid-for open access publication of scholarly articles accounts for little more than 30% of all scholarly articles published, accounting for slightly more than 7% of the overall journal publishing market value.
  • 2019 has been a fantastic year for open access! The Global Open Access Indicators: Dramatic Growth covers 57 macro-level global OA indicators, 50 (88%) of which indicate growth rates exceeding the long-term trend of academic journal and article growth of 3–3.5%. Over three times the background growth rate, more than half of the companies expanded by 10% or more, while 13 (nearly a quarter) grew by 20% or more.
  • Newer services have an advantage in terms of percentage growth, as seen by the above 20% growth category for 2019. BioRxiv has expanded by 74 percent, while the Directory of Open Access Books has nearly doubled in size (98 percent). There were considerable increases in the number of people using certain services. With a 68 percent rise in audio recordings, a 58 percent increase in collections, and a 48 percent increase in software, the Internet Archive continues to shine. DOAJ added about 900,000 goods in 2019. (25 percent growth). In Asia, the Americas, and Africa, OpenDOAR is exploding, with over 20% growth in each area, and SCOAP3 is exploding as well.
  • PubMedCentral is the only source of worry. Although the number of people using PubMed's free full-text service is steadily increasing. Searching for "cancer" now yields 7–10% more free full-text articles than it did a year ago. The number of journals that submitted to PMC with "all papers open access" decreased by 138, or 9%. If anybody else wants to look at the PMC journal listings from 2018 and 2019, they're available in the dataverse (sort the "deposit status" column to remove all Predecessor and No New Content journals, then sort the "Open Access" column to see how many journals say "All"). The number of journals in the NIH portfolio grew by just one.

COVID Pandemic Effect On Open Access Publication

The COVID epidemic has caused many elements of our lives and activities to slow down, but this has not been the case with open access! The OA efforts have continued to demonstrate significant growth annually and quarterly. Important milestones are being accomplished are as below.

  • The Directory of Open Access Journals now contains over 15,000 fully open access, peer-reviewed journals, with 379 new journals (an average of more than four per day) being added in the past quarter. It also allows searching for over 5 million articles at the article level, with over 379 new journals added in the past quarter.
  • A PubMed search for "cancer" confined to material published within the last five years now connects to full-text for more than half of the articles found. The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine will search a quarter billion papers shortly, which presently searches over 8,000 repositories and soon reaches the quarter-billion mark.
  • The analysis of quarterly and annual growth for 39 indicators from ten services that reflect open access publishing and archiving (Internet Archive, Bielefeld Academic Search Engine, Directory of Open Access Books, bioRxiv, PubMedCentral, PubMed, SCOAP3, Directory of Open Access Journals, RePEC, and arXiv) demonstrates ongoing robust growth above and beyond the baseline growth of scholarly journals and articles of 3 – 3.5% per year. The growth rates for these variables ranged from 4% to 100% during the same period (doubling). Twenty-six indicators saw growth rates greater than 10%, 15 experienced growth rates greater than 20%, and six professional growth rates greater than 40%.


As funders, research institutions, researchers, and publishers seek new and inventive ways to make science more accessible to the general public, open access publication is gaining steam. As a result, tremendous progress has been made in the adoption of novel open access approaches, which benefit both scholars and the general public. However, there are still a few obstacles to overcome.

About The Authors

Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah - Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.

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