Dataset Open Access

Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Open Access Compliance Monitoring 2018

Kunzmann, Martina

I. Executive summary

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF), which is Austria's main funding organisation for basic research, encourages and helps all project leaders and project staff members to make their peer-reviewed research results freely available on the Internet. Since 1 January 2016, open access has been mandatory for all peer-reviewed publications listed in final reports on FWF-funded projects. Any exceptions must be clearly indicated and justified. For projects that started after 1 January 2015, open access has been compulsory for all peer-reviewed publications.

All principal investigators in FWF-funded projects are obliged to submit a final report within three months of completing their projects. In 2018 all in all 549 final reports were submitted to the FWF, 37 out of them couldn't report publications by now.

The publications and other data mentioned in those reports are archived and analysed by the FWF. This report examines the state of compliance with open access requirements on the basis of final project reports submitted in the year 2018.

Main findings:

  • A total of 10.354 publications were listed in the final project reports submitted in 2018.
  • Of those publications, 7.702 were conclusively identified as peer-reviewed.
  • Regarding compliance with the FWF's Open Access Policy, the report shows that 92% of the peer-reviewed publications that arose from submitted final reports of FWF projects in 2018 are openly accessible (2015: 83%, 2016: 92%, 2017: 90%).
  • The most frequently chosen option is hybrid open access (39%). Since last year's report, the use of hybrid open access has declined by 2% and gold open access has increased by 4%. The share of green open access and other open access remained contant (20% and 16%).
  • The majority of peer-reviewed publications submitted are journal articles (90%), 93% of which are openly accessible.
  • The lowest rate of compliance with the FWF's Open Access Policy can be found in editions, contributions to edited volumes and monographs (65%).
  • Although open access is not compulsory, 41% of non peer-reviewed publications are freely available through the internet.
  • The absolute number of publications listed in final reports in 2018 includes 886 publications that are mentioned several times in different projects; however, those repetitions do not ultimately affect the relative share of open access publications (92%).

II. Bias

All publications were entered in the FWF’s database manually and with the utmost care when the final project reports were received. Nevertheless, it is not possible to rule out minor errors entirely. Moreover, some systematic problems need to be solved in the future; the FWF is currently preparing to implement a research information system in which FWF-funded researchers will be able to enter and update their research data on an ongoing basis.

  • Due to the amount of data involved, it was not possible to check the current open access status of all publications twice. The last check was performed in January 2019.
  • In some cases, the embargo period may have expired after submission, and publications labelled other open access in the FWF’s database may now be accessible through green open access.
  • Whenever the status "peer-reviewed" could not be clearly identified according to FWF guidelines, the publications were classified as non peer-reviewed.
  • Openly available non peer-reviewed publications were entered as other open access.

I would like to thank Falk Reckling for his support with the data analysis and Harald Kroneisl and Ralph Reimann for their support with collecting and correcting the data.
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