Saturday, 15 December 2007

Where are we now? - OA strides ahead

It’s the time of year to assess the progress of on-going developments, and looking critically at OA is no exception. Both Peter Suber and Heather Morrison (see and respectively) have provided very encouraging statistics to end the year.

It is now important to remind all libraries and scientific users in the developing world that there are now vast quantities of OA material available for free and immediate use from OA journals and Institutional Repositories.

For example, in Heather Morrison’s blog, the following information is provided:

"There are already more journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals than in the holdings of the world's largest commercial scholarly publisher. There are more non-embargoed, scholarly journals in DOAJ than in the largest of the aggregated packages purchased by libraries.Some brief and approximate figures (non-embargoed, fulltext, peer-reviewed journals):

DOAJ: 3,000 journals
Science Direct: 2,000 journals
EBSCO Academic Search Complete / Gale Cengage
Academic OneFile: 1,700 journals"

For full details, see Directory of Open Access Journals: Already the Biggest of the Big Deals? . . . . Could the Directory of Open Access Journals already be the world's biggest big deal, or aggregation of scholarly journals?’

And how many OA articles are now available from Institutional Repostories?
Heather Morrison provides the following statistics (though not all articles in OAI, for example, are published refereed research articles):

Scientific Commons: Close to 17 million items, from 7 million authors
OAIster: 14 million items, 914 contributors
PubMedCentral, the world's largest open access archive, hits the one million mark June 21, 2007
rePEC, Research Papers in Economics, surpasses half a million records in the third quarter, about 400,000 or so were online
OpenDOAR lists more than 1,000 repositories November 21, 2007.”

Many developing countries are in the top 15 countries using IRs, as recorded by a number of repositories able to provide this kind of information.

So these facts provide a wonderful end of year gift with which to celebrate the transition from 2007 to 2008. We should be hugely encouraged and celebrate!

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