Geographic Differences in the Uptake of Open Access

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Open  Access  (OA)  is  a  process  that  aims  to  make  research  output  freely  available  on  the  internet.  The  OA  movement originated from the growing demand to make research more accessible worldwide. It has been gaining a lot of momentum, with the implementation of several OA policies by funding institutions and the development of several new platforms that facilitate the publication of OA content at low cost. Studies have shown that nearly half  of  the  scientific  literature  could  be  available  online  for  free,  but  only  a  few  have  compared  the  use  of  OA  literature at the country level and from a worldwide perspective. Along these lines, this study aims to provide a global  picture  of  the  current  state  of  OA  adoption  by  countries,  using  two  indicators:  publications  in  OA  and  references to articles in OA. We find that, on average, low-income countries are publishing and citing OA at the highest  rate,  while  upper  middle-income  countries  and  higher-income  countries  publish  and  cite  OA  articles  at  below world-average rates. These results highlight national differences in OA uptake and suggest that more OA initiatives  at  the  institutional,  national  and  international  levels  are  needed  to  support  a  wider  adoption  of  open  scholarship.

This content has been updated on November 17th, 2021 at 11 h 12 min.