Re: How many articles are free?

From: Barbara Kirsop <barbara_at_BIOSTRAT.DEMON.CO.UK>
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 11:08:30 -0000

David said:

>Brazil has an honorable record in
>this, as some of its journals have been gold for several
>years already. See, for example

Perhaps we should mention that the Bioline system has indeed been in
operation for some10 years, but the 50 journals on the system are not all
Brazilian. They are generated in 14 different developing countries,
including Brazil. All are non-profit journals, all still sell hard copy
versions as the market permits (publishers from India report significantly
increased sales) , full text is made available, and all are very aware that
the impact OA gives to research from their country is of fundamental

The Brazilian partner of Bioline is CRIA (Centre for Environmental Research
Information ) which has provided the software
development, system management and system development since the service
started - all free of charge - so that all material provided to Bioline is
now OA-compatible. An honourable effort indeed. The University of Toronto
now manages the journals, provides liaison with the publishers and transfers
e-publishing technology as appropriate. It also archives all material
distributed by Bioline in its eprints server So the best of all worlds.

Similarly, the SciELO service ( provides free access
to Latin American journals and is funded by BIREME, FAPESP and others
specifically to provide exposure and impact to LA research.

Similarly again, LA scientists and information experts issued the Salvador
Declaration on Open Access: the developing world perspective September 2005


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Goodman" <David.Goodman_at_LIU.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 8:29 PM
Subject: Re: how much articles are free?

I _guess_ that Stevan's figures may be approximately
correct, but, outside of physics,
they are correct only by accident.

Stevan himself has acknowledged the the robot-based data
are at present not sufficiently accurate, in an technical report done
jointly with my group, and that he has signed,
Robots are the only way to go for large scale counts,
but an improved one is necessary, and I believe Stevan's
group is now engaged in developing one.

None of these doubts about the
present extent detract in the least from the arguments for OA:
that when an author publishes, his intent is to disseminate his work
as widely as possible; that an author is also a reader, and wants
to be able to read the widest range of publications possible, that
an author is generally part of an educational or other
institutional body, which wants its work to be available as
widely as possible. that the author publishes in a journal,
which ought to want its articles distributed as widely as possible
and that an author is also a citizen, and thus
wants the widest possible public to know what s/he is doing.

The methods that Stevan primarily advocates are not the only road to OA,
and self-archiving is not necessarily the best method.
It is also possible for a journal to obtain sufficient
funding from institutional sources--and sometimes its authors--
that it can make all its articles available through OA, the
so-called "gold" method. Brazil has an honorable record in
this, as some of its journals have been gold for several
years already. See, for example

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum on behalf of Stevan Harnad
Sent: Thu 2/2/2006 7:14 AM
Subject: Re: how much articles are free?

On Thu, 2 Feb 2006, Simone R Weitzel wrote:

> I need this information to show how far this initiative for free
> scientific literature can go in a brief article to disseminate these ideas
> to a group of Brazilian scientists (communication studies area).
> During a Internation Seminar on Digital Libraries in Brazil. I have heard
> from a researcher some datas about those number and he cited one article
> wrote by Mr. Harnad who made this count (He did not mention reference
> datas).
> Accord to him, there are about 15% of the literature totally free. I just
> would like to confirm this data because I do not want inform wrong datas.
> I looked for many articles wrote by Mr. Harnad, but I could not find. Do
> you know something about this?

The global average of about 15% self-archiving comes from the following
ogling empirical samples across fields and years:

For physics, which is more advanced (consider only the light and dark green
data -- the white data are based on too tiny samples):

For other fields (robot-based):

This is published in:

    Hajjem, C., Harnad, S. and Gingras, Y. (2005) Ten-Year
    Cross-Disciplinary Comparison of the Growth of Open Access and How
    it Increases Research Citation Impact. IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin
    28(4) pp. 39-47.

In addition to these data, which are based on author self-archiving, you may
also take into account that about 2000 of the about 24,000 peer-reviewed
journals that exist are Open Access journals, which adds about 8% more to

A survey that has estimated that 49% of authors have self-archived *at least
one* of their articles is:

    Swan, A. (2005) Open access self-archiving: An Introduction. Technical
    Report, JISC, HEFCE

The baseline against which these numbers should be compared is either year
year by year change), discipline (for interdisciplinary difference in rates
OA self-archiving and OA publishing), and country (relative to annual
research output).

You will find that the only way to significantly accelerate the rate of
self-archiving is by adopting an institutional or research-funder policy to
require it. Authors themselves have said as much, in the above Key
Survey, and the actual self-archiving rates of the first 4 institutions
(Southampton, CERN, Queensland U. Technology and CERN) that have already
implemented a self-archiving mandate bear this out (see their ROAR growth

Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Feb 03 2006 - 14:41:52 GMT

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