All libraries remain closed, but we're here to support you remotely: COVID-19 Updates from the Library System

Scholarly Communications@WSU

A guide for Faculty and Librarians covering DigitalCommons@WayneState, Author's Rights, Open Access, and other related topics.

Open Access: Widgets and Apps

Open Access@WSU

WSU Libraries have actively encouraged the spread of open access through several initiatives:

  • Partnering with the Office of the Vice President of Research, WSU became members of BioMed Central. This provides faculty and graduate students with 15% off of article processing charges when publishing in a BioMed Central, Chemistry Central, or Physical Math, all open access publications.
  • Provide easy and free method for open access publishing tool for faculty, staff and students via DigitalCommons@WayneState
  • Increased the visibility of open access journals to WSU library users by including open access journal titles in our library catalog
  • Provide open access options for student electronic theses and dissertations

Benefits of Open Access

Open Access benefits researchers, institutions, nations and society as a whole.

  • For researchers it brings increased visibility, usage and impact for their work.
  • Institutions enjoy the same benefits in aggregated form.
  • There is growing evidence to show that countries also benefit because Open Access increases the impact of the research in which they invest public money (see Houghton and Sheehan's study on the economic impact of enhanced access to research findings) and therefore there is a better return on investment.
  • Society as a whole benefits because research is more efficient and more effective, delivering better and faster outcomes for us all.

Citation Impact
(adapted from Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook)

The most commonly cited benefit to making work open access is the ability to increase the citation impact of your work. A number of studies have now been carried out on the effect of Open Access on citations to articles, showing the increased citation impact that Open Access can bring. Steve Lawrence's was the earliest study, finding in 2001 that free online access tripled citations of computer science papers. Michael Kurtz's early study on the astronomy literature demonstrated that Open Access can double the readership of articles. A study published in the same year by Brody & Harnad showed an increase in citations to articles in several disciplines as a result of their being Open Access. And Kristin Antelman's work corroborated these findings in the fields of philosophy, political science, electrical & electronic engineering and mathematics. More recently, Michael Norris has published his doctoral thesis that reports similar impact advantage in the form of increased citations for articles in four other disciplines - economics, applied mathematics, sociology and ecology. There is a summary of all the impact studies to date here.


Growth of Open Access

In the past five-years, open access has experienced a dramatic growth in support, demonstrated through the production of open-access journals, repositories, and mandates. Below are some numbers that indicate growing support of the open access movement:

  • There are now over 5,000 registered peer-reviewed open access journals, growing at a rate of 2 journals per day over the last year.
  • By some estimates, these numbers indicate that nearly 20% of the world's peer-reviewed journals are open access.
  • As reported by Bjork et al in PLoS One, about 1 in 5 articles published in 2009 are now freely available.
  • The number of repositories have nearly tripled since 2005, from 400 to just under 1,700 today. These 1,700 repositories are collectively contributing an average of 14,000 open access items per day.
  • As of June 2010, there are more than 220 open access mandates adopted by institutions worldwide. 42 of these mandates have been adopted in 2010.
  • In the past year, over 120 journals began contributing all their content as open access to PubMedCentral.

Statistics from: Morrison, H. (2010). Dramatic growth of open access: June 30, 2010 edition. Imaginary journal of poetic economics. Data available at:

Open Access Resources

What is Open Access?

Open Access is free, unrestricted online access to scholarly peer-reviewed publications. In general, a work can be made open access via two methods:

Jennifer Jenkins on Open Access