How open are hybrid journals included in transformative agreements?

28 Feb 2024  ·  Najko Jahn ·

The ongoing controversy surrounding transformative agreements, which aim to transition journal publishing to full open access, highlight the need for large-scale studies assessing the impact of these agreements on hybrid open access. By combining publicly available data from various sources, including cOAlition S Journal Checker, Crossref, and OpenAlex, this study presents a novel approach that analyses over 700 agreements. Results suggest a strong growth in open access between 2018 and 2022 from 4.3% to 15%. During this period, 11,189 hybrid journals provided open access to 742,369 out of 8,146,958 articles, representing a five-year open access proportion of 9.1%. Authors who could make use of transformative agreements at the time of publication contributed 328,957 open access articles. In 2022, 143,615 out of 249,511 open access articles in hybrid journals or 58% were enabled by transformative agreements. This trend was largely driven by the three commercial publishers Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley, but the open access uptake varied substantially across journals, publishers, disciplines, and country affiliations. In particular, the OECD and BRICS areas revealed different publication trends. In conclusion, this study suggests that current levels of implementation of transformative agreements is insufficient to bring about a large-scale transition to full open access.

PDF Abstract


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper