Green and Gold OA percentage, growth and potential

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Wed May 16 13:20:16 EDT 2012

On 2012-05-16, at 12:05 PM, Bo-Christer Björk wrote:

> [1] Hybrid OA is a uptake of 1-2% of eligible article and less 
> than 1 % of the global article volume.
> [2] Gold OA published in DOAJ registered journals has continued growing at 
> around 20 % per annum... The share of all SCOPUS or all ISI  articles is also
> rapidly rising and approaching 10 %.

[1] is unquestionably true, for the reasons Bo-Christer has mentioned.

For [2] it is important to note that what is growing at 20% per year is the
number of Gold OA articles, not the annual percentage of Gold OA articles
as a percentage of the total number of articles published annually!

At that rate, as noted by Yassine Gargouri in Richard Poynder's 
"Open Access By the Numbers" (Figure 6), Gold OA will not reach
100% till 2022 (or even 2029, by Springer's estimate) and it won't
even reach the current percentage of Green OA (15% according to
Bo-Christer) till 2015 (2018 according to Springer).

Now about Green OA's growth rate:

> [3] We haven't done much research concerning green OA but I have to note one 
> thing. It might certainly be true that mandates raise the level of 
> uploading from 15 % to say 60-70 % but what counts is not the number of 
> institutions or funders with mandates but what share of the total global 
> article volume their mandates cover.
> So the evidence seems to show that gold (excluding hybrid) is growing 
> quite rapidly, whereas I'm not aware of any research showing similar 
> growth rates for green in recent years.

The evidence certainly does not show that gold is growing *rapidly*
as a percentage of total annual articles, as just noted. It is growing 
exceedingly slowly, and the annual percentage green is
still higher than the annual percentage gold.

But it is also true that green is growing exceedingly slowly too -- when
it is unmandated.

What really makes a difference is mandating green. Then green OA
jumps from 15% to 60-70% of total annual output within a year of 
adoption (of an *effective* mandate) and keeps climbing toward 
100% thereafter.

But that's as a percentage of a given mandating institution's total 
annual output.

It is also true that the number of green OA mandates (let alone 
effective ones) is currently far too few, hence contributes little
to overall OA growth as a percentage of total articles published per
year  by all institutions.

Yet the implication is very clear:

To radically accelerate OA growth, institutions and funders need
to mandate green OA.

And the mandate needs to be an effective one, the most effective
green OA model being ID/OA (immediate-deposit/optional-access),
which is the one being promoted by EnablingOpenScholarship (EOS),
founded by Alma Swan and Bernard Rentier, who is chairman of the
EOS Board and Rector of University of Liege, which adopted the
ID/OA mandate and linked it to submitting papers for institutional 
performance review. (It was extended lately to U Lexembourg):

For the effectiveness of U Liege's ID/OA mandate, see:

The Liège ORBi model: 
Mandatory policy without rights retention but linked to assessment procedures


Integrating Institutional and Funder Open Access Mandates: 
Belgian Model

Stevan Harnad

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