Monday, 29 November 2010

Almost 60% of Wellcome-funded papers in PMC are fully open access

The Wellcome Trust's Open Access policy has always made it clear that it considers dissemination costs as legitimate research costs and as such provides grantholders with additional funding, through their institutions, to cover open access charges.

In view of this I thought it would be interesting to see how many papers, attributed to the Wellcome Trust and available through PMC and UKPMC, were "fully" open access papers, in accordance with the Bethesda Principles.

In summary, this means research articles which:
  • were made available in PMC with no embargo
  • deposited by the publisher as "version of record" articles (i.e. excluding Accepted Author Manuscripts (AAMs)
  • included an article-level licence that permitted re-use.
To identify the number of "full" OA articles I ran the following search on PMC (on 29th November 2010)
  1. "wellcome trust" [gr] 14748 articles
    [This finds all articles in which the Wellcome Trust has been identified as a research funder]
  2. Limit #1 to articles published in 2009 = 2483
    [This includes "full" OA articles, as well as author manuscripts, and articles which were made available through PMC because the publisher makes all content available through this repository.]
  3. Limit #2 to "open access" articles = 1436
    [This limits the previous set to full OA articles, as described above.]

    A simple test to validate that the articles are "full OA" is to check that these articles are included in the OA subset, and thus can downloaded in XML format.  The syntax for this is: (simply replace the last 7 digits with any open access PMC ID to see the XML
Using the above strategy we can see that around 58% of these articles are fully OA (in accordance with the Bethesda Principles). 

Full figures are shown below:
  • Number of full, Bethesda-compliant, OA articles: 1436 (58%)
  • Number of AAM's: 483 (19%)
  • Number of other Version of Record articles, but had no explicit re-use licence: 564 (23%)

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