Report Open Access
Report for The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU)
Data avalaible at: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2643367
Research into publication cultures commissioned by VSNU and carried out by Utrecht University Library has detailed university output beyond just journal articles, as well as the possibilities to assess open access levels of these other output types. For all four main fields reported on, the use of publication types other than journal articles is indeed substantial. For Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities in particular (with over 40% and over 60% of output respectively not being regular journal articles) looking at journal articles only ignores a significant share of their contribution to research and society. This is not only about books and book chapters, either: book reviews, conference papers, reports, case notes (in law) and all kinds of web publications are also significant parts of university output.
Analyzing all these publication forms and especially determining to what extent they are open access is currently not easy. Even combining some the largest citation databases (Web of Science, Scopus and Dimensions) leaves out a lot of non-article content and in some fields even journal articles are only partly covered. Lacking metadata like affiliations and DOIs (either in the original documents or in the scholarly search engines) makes it even harder to analyze open access levels by institution and field. Using repository-harvesting databases like BASE and NARCIS in addition to the main citation databases improves understanding of open access of non-article output, but these routes also have limitations. The report has recommendations for stakeholders, mostly to improve metadata and coverage and apply persistent identifiers.