Open and growing

Almost two decades since open access began, the upward trend in free journal publishing continues.

Jun 22, 2011
Edyta Zielinska

VMENKOV / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The number of new open access articles is growing at a rate of 30 percent per year since the year 2000, according to a study published last week in the open access journal PLoS ONE, in contrast to a 3.5 percent growth in overall journal publishing.  Some hail the results as evidence that open access is a successful business model. Nature Publishing Group, for example, recently announced its foray into open access with its new journal Scientific Reports, which like PLoS ONE, will publish peer-reviewed articles in all areas of science. But others say that a growth rate of 30 percent per year only highlights how far there is yet to go. "The rate is much too low for the needs of research," Stevan Harnad, at the University of Southampton, told Nature. According to the PLoS authors, less than 10 percent of all articles published are open access.