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Hybrid open access—A longitudinal study


  • Laakso, Mikael
  • Björk, Bo-Christer


This study estimates the development of hybrid open access (OA), i.e. articles published openly on the web within subscription-access journals. Included in the study are the five largest publishers of scholarly journals; Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis, and Sage. Since no central indexing or standardized metadata exists for identifying hybrid OA an explorative bottom-up methodological approach was developed. The individual search and filtering features of each publisher website and a-priori availability of data were leveraged to the extent possible. The results indicate a strong sustained growth in the volume of articles published as hybrid OA during 2007 (666 articles) to 2013 (13994 articles). The share of hybrid articles was at 3.8% of total published articles for the period of 2011–2013 for journals with at least one identified hybrid OA article. Journals within the Scopus discipline categorization of Health and Life Sciences, in particular the field of Medicine, were found to be among the most frequent publishers of hybrid OA content. The study surfaces the many methodological challenges involved in obtaining metrics regarding hybrid OA, a growing business for journal publishers as science policy pressures for reduced access barriers to research publications.

Suggested Citation

  • Laakso, Mikael & Björk, Bo-Christer, 2016. "Hybrid open access—A longitudinal study," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 919-932.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:10:y:2016:i:4:p:919-932
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2016.08.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wang, Qi & Waltman, Ludo, 2016. "Large-scale analysis of the accuracy of the journal classification systems of Web of Science and Scopus," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 347-364.
    2. Bo-Christer Björk & Mikael Laakso & Patrik Welling & Patrik Paetau, 2014. "Anatomy of green open access," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 65(2), pages 237-250, February.
    3. Mikael Laakso & Bo-Christer Björk, 2013. "Delayed open access: An overlooked high-impact category of openly available scientific literature," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 64(7), pages 1323-1329, July.
    4. Huang, Ding-wei, 2016. "Positive correlation between quality and quantity in academic journals," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 329-335.
    5. Müller-Langer, Frank & Watt, Richard, 2014. "The Hybrid Open Access Citation Advantage: How Many More Cites is a $3,000 Fee Buying You?," MPRA Paper 61801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mikael Laakso & Andrea Polonioli, 2018. "Open access in ethics research: an analysis of open access availability and author self-archiving behaviour in light of journal copyright restrictions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 116(1), pages 291-317, July.
    2. Sergio Copiello, 2019. "The open access citation premium may depend on the openness and inclusiveness of the indexing database, but the relationship is controversial because it is ambiguous where the open access boundary lie," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 121(2), pages 995-1018, November.
    3. Hajar Sotudeh & Zohreh Estakhr, 2018. "Sustainability of open access citation advantage: the case of Elsevier’s author-pays hybrid open access journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(1), pages 563-576, April.
    4. Tony Ross-Hellauer & Birgit Schmidt & Bianca Kramer, 2018. "Are Funder Open Access Platforms a Good Idea?," SAGE Open, , vol. 8(4), pages 21582440188, November.
    5. Sergio Copiello, 2020. "Business as Usual with Article Processing Charges in the Transition towards OA Publishing: A Case Study Based on Elsevier," Publications, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14, January.
    6. Mingkun Wei, 2020. "Research on impact evaluation of open access journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(2), pages 1027-1049, February.


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