Re: Journals > Peer-Reviewed Journals > Open-Access Journals < Open Access

From: Michael Eisen <mbeisen_at_LBL.GOV>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2003 15:04:39 -0800

I think Sally is absolutely correct that less than 2.5% of published content
is published in open access journals, but that doesn't count the large
amount of material that is made freely available by fee-for-access
publishers through their own websites or through PubMed Central. I, of
course, don't count this later class as being truly open access, but it is
as available as self-archived content and should be given its proper due.

I would also like to object, once again, to Stevan's continued use of this
5% open access / 95% self-archiving number. It's grossly unfair to contrast
reality (<5% of articles currrently published in open access journals) on
one side with potential (that 95% - or more accurately something like 50% -
of articles COULD be self-archived). With BMC's diverse collection of
journals, PLoS, and the many other open-access publishers in DOAJ (including
high-end journals like PLoS Biology, J. Biol, JCI, BMJ) virtually any
biomedical research article could be published in an open-access journal

Thus, most authors - many, many more than the 5% you imply - who want to
make their work freely available have a choice - they can publish it in a
"green" fee-for-access journal and self-archive it, or they can publish in
an open access "gold" journal. They may have reasons to choose the former
route, and there is certainly a lot of work that needs to be done to make
open access journals more appealing, but let's stop implying that the open
access journal option wasn't available.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stevan Harnad" <>
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 1:29 PM
Subject: Re: Journals > Peer-Reviewed Journals > Open-Access Journals < Open Access

> On Thu, 11 Dec 2003, Sally Morris wrote:
> > I would question Stevan's estimate that 2.5% of articles are published
in OA
> > journals. While it does indeed look as if 2 - 2.5% of peer reviewed
> > journals are OA (that is, if all those listed by Lund et al are peer
> > reviewed), I very much doubt that they carry as many articles as the
> > This is because OA journals are, almost without exception, relatively
> > and extremely long-established journals tend to be far, far, bigger in
> > of issues and articles published per year.
> I don't disagree with Sally's suggestion that 2.5% of journals does
> not necessarily mean 2.5% of articles published in journals. I was
> very deliberately using a very conservative, high-end estimate (sometimes
> I even use 5%) merely to illustrate how minuscule is the amount of OA that
> can currently be provided via the OA journal route ("gold") and hence
> how important it is to supplement it via the OA self-archiving route
> ("green"), today.
> Stevan Harnad
> NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
> access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
> the American Scientist Open Access Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
> Post discussion to:
> Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
> BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
> journal whenever one exists.
> BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
> toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Thu Dec 11 2003 - 23:04:39 GMT

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