International Open Access Week is here again, and with it comes a reminder for our industry that openness, accessibility, and sustainability are vital to the future of scholarly publishing — and an absolute necessity if we want the work happening on the frontiers of science to be as equitable and impactful as possible.
With a ship so large and seemingly slow to turn as scholarly publishing, it’s easy to assume dramatic, industry-shaping changes aren’t possible. But open science is exactly that, and it’s happening right now. One need only look to the STM OA Dashboard, now updated to include data from 2022, to see that the push toward open access (OA) is making remarkable progress. According to the dashboard, the share of subscription-only articles has fallen 22% for scientific, technical, and medical disciplines over the past decade. The share of gold OA articles in those same arenas, meanwhile, has grown 27%. One number from the dashboard that’s particularly stunning: among every article, review, and conference paper published in 2022, 79% had the option to be published as gold OA.
By giving authors the agency to make their work open — by democratizing access to scientific advances — we’re pushing toward a more transparent, collaborative, groundbreaking future. A future of “science by all, for all,” where financial and geographic barriers no longer stand in the way.
At AIP Publishing, we’re working hard to make OA publishing easier than ever before. It’s why we offer waivers and discounts to more than 130 countries. It’s why our portfolio holds nine gold OA titles and two platinum OA titles, with more being added annually. It’s why, looking forward, our publishing plans include only OA journals.
Moreover, it’s why we provide authors with the ability to publish OA in any of our subscription journals through our Author Select Program. We give researchers the opportunity to maximize their reach through use of the CC BY license — the most liberal Creative Commons license available, granting anyone the ability reuse and distribute content without restriction. It’s why we allow and encourage authors to self-archive their accepted manuscript in an institutional or subject repository, such as arXiv, immediately upon acceptance.
All of this allows for the rest of the scientific world to quickly build upon foundational work and accelerate discovery. And these things make an impact: OA articles published in AIP Publishing journals garner four times the readership, generate twice as many citations, and get shared one-and-a-half times more than non-OA articles. Open science works. It’s why our strong OA portfolio is just one part of our broader efforts to support the cause.
Take, for example, our Subscribe to Open pilot. Announced earlier this year, the pilot is a bold, exciting milestone in our open science journey. It’s a smart and novel way to make content free to read and publish for as wide an audience as possible without any service disruptions or additional costs. You can read more about how Subscribe to Open works at the link above, but the gist is: Subscribers are offered continued access through the normal renewal process, and if enough renew, the publication flips to OA for that year.
We’re the largest STM-only publisher to date to run a Subscribe to Open pilot, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it benefits institutions, researchers, and the broader scientific community.
Our rollout of the Subscribe to Open pilot is a demonstration of our belief that it is incumbent upon scholarly publishers to serve as catalysts for change. The shift to open science is a long-overdue way for our industry to put weight behind the rhetoric of accessibility and equity. While it’s a change we push for every week here at AIP Publishing, this week underscores its importance.