Open Access (25) Subscription journals and open access repositories (2)

2 August, 2019

Neil, regarding your question about knowledge of self-archiving ["I would be very interested to know what % of authors are (a) aware of the possibility they can self-archive an open-access version of their subscription-journal article, and (b) what % of authors actually make their article available in this way], there is some recent research on this:

Smith E, Haustein S, Mongeon P, Shu F, Ridde V, Larivière V. Knowledge sharing in global health research - the impact, uptake and cost of open access to scholarly literature. Health Res Policy Syst. 2017;15(1):73. Published 2017 Aug 29. doi:10.1186/s12961-017-0235-3

Method: A total of 3366 research articles indexed under the Medical Heading Subject Heading 'Global Health' published between 2010 and 2014 were retrieved using PubMed to (1) quantify the uptake of various types of OA, (2) estimate the article processing charges (APCs) of OA, and (3) analyse the relationship between different types of OA, their scholarly impact and gross national income per capita of citing countries.

Results: Most GHR publications are not available directly on the journal's website (69%). Further, 60.8% of researchers do not self-archive their work even when it is free and in keeping with journal policy. The total amount paid for APCs was estimated at US$1.7 million for 627 papers, with authors paying on average US$2732 per publication; 94% of APCs were paid to journals owned by the ten most prominent publication houses from high-income countries. Researchers from low- and middle-income countries are generally citing less expensive types of OA, while researchers in high-income countries are citing the most expensive OA.

Conclusions: Although OA may help in building global research capacity in GHR, the majority of publications remain subscription only. It is logical and cost-efficient for institutions and researchers to promote OA by selfarchiving publications of restricted access, as it not only allows research to be cited by a broader audience, it also augments citation rates. Although OA does not ensure full knowledge transfer from research to practice, limiting public access can negatively impact implementation and outcomes of health policy and reduce public understanding of health issues.

Baro, E., Tralagba, E. and Ebiagbe, E. (2018), "Knowledge and use of self-archiving options among academic librarians working in universities in Africa", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 119 No. 3/4, pp. 145-160.


An online survey was designed using SurveyMonkey software to collect data from 455 academic librarians working in 52 universities in Africa.

The study revealed that the academic librarians in Africa are aware of ResearchGate, institutional repository, personal website/server, kudos and Mendeley and they actually upload papers to self-archiving platforms such as institutional repository, ResearchGate, and personal websites/servers. Factors such as increased exposure of one's previously published work, provides exposure for works not previously published (e.g. seminar papers), broadens the dissemination of academic research generally and increases one's institutions visibility were among the options the academic librarians rated as very important factors that motivate them to submit their scholarly output to the self-archiving options. It was also found that majority of the academic librarians in Africa checked the publishers' website for copyright policy compliance before submitting their papers to the platform.

Baro, E. and Eze, M. (2017), "Perceptions, preferences of scholarly publishing in open access routes", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 3/4, pp. 152-169.


Online questionnaire was designed to collect data using SurveyMonkey software from 335 academic librarians in 57 institutions (Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education) in Nigeria.

Findings: The findings of the study revealed that majority of the academic librarians are aware of the gold and green publishing routes, while the majority of academic librarians are not aware of the diamond publishing route. The study also revealed that when considering where to publish, reputation and impact factor of journal were rated as very important among the factors that inform their choice of OA. The study further revealed that academic librarians have little or no knowledge about the existence of institutional repositories in their institutions, and only a few actual use institutional repositories and ResearchGate to self-archive their publications. The majority of the academic librarians agreed that author fees (Article Processing Charges) and low impact factor of journal are barriers to publishing in OA journals. Training on OA publishing is recommended for librarians to increase their knowledge and confidence to discuss OA with faculty members in future.

So, there is definitely a role for librarians. Our research among European medical/health librarians showed that 63,8% are involved in training and individual support on scholarly communications topics (reference management tools, linking profiles with unique identifiers like ORCID, to use and understand impact indicators, comply with institutional/ national open access policies, understand publishers' licenses and Creative Commons); 49,4% assist individuals with registering and publishing their research (publishing of research protocols in various new kinds of journals and registers, publishing preprints, selecting journal for publishing); 45,7 % participate in discovery and preservation of locally produced knowledge (e.g. collecting and distributing staff publications, organising open access to locally produced content)



Irina Ibraghimova, PhD

Library and Information Management Consultant.

Regional Editor (Europe), International Journal of Health Governance

HIFA profile: Irina Ibraghimova is a medical librarian, based in Croatia, and works with health care professionals in the countries of the Former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, and Africa. Her interests include evidence-based practice (both in health care and in library/informatics field).

ibra AT