AARC strongly supports the Open Access (OA) publication model, and the overarching goals of Open Science. We are committed to depositing the datasets we produce for our projects in a publicly accessible repository, and we commit to produce only OA articles. Upon the occasion of #OpenAccessWeek, AARC researchers completed a study of Open Access literature, and their new study is now available on the Quantitative Science Studies website.

AARC Director Anthony J. Olejniczak, Ph.D. and AARC Researchers Molly J. Wilson, Ph.D. studied the characteristics of  authors who choose to publish their work in OA venues. Their article, titled Who’s writing Open Access (OA) articles? Characteristics of OA authors at Ph.D. granting institutions in the USA, demonstrates that the democratization of the research literature through increased adoption of the OA publishing model may be skewed towards only a subset of scholars. Their findings are summarized in the article’s abstract:

The open access (OA) publication movement aims to present research literature to the public at no cost and with no restrictions. While the democratization of access to scholarly literature is a primary focus of the movement, it remains unclear whether OA has uniformly democratized the corpus of freely available research, or whether authors who choose to publish in OA venues represent a particular subset of scholars – those with access to resources enabling them to afford article processing charges (APCs). We investigated the number of OA articles with article processing charges (APC OA) authored by 182,320 scholars with known demographic and institutional characteristics at American research universities across 11 broad fields of study. Results show, in general, that the likelihood for a scholar to author an APC OA article increases with male gender, employment at a prestigious institution (AAU member universities), association with a STEM discipline, greater federal research funding, and more advanced career stage (i.e., higher professorial rank). Participation in APC OA publishing appears to be skewed toward scholars with greater access to resources and job security.