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 17 November 2021 at 10 h 52 min.