Open Access Week

October 23 - 29, 2023 | Everywhere

Small overview on Open Access practices in geochemistry

Open Access (OA) describes the free, unrestricted access to and re-use of research articles. Recently, a new wave of interest, debate, and practice surrounding OA publishing has emerged. In this paper, we provide a simple overview of the trends in OA practice in the broad field of geochemistry. Characteristics of the approach such as whether or not an article processing charge (APC) exists, what embargo periods or restrictions on self-archiving’ policies are in place, and whether or not the sharing of preprints is permitted are described. The majority of journals have self-archiving policies that allow authors to share their peer reviewed work via green OA without charge (green SHERPA/RoMEO* colour, Figure 1). There is no clear relationship between journal impact and APC. The journals with the highest APC are typically those of the major commercial publishers, rather than the geochemistry community themselves.

Figure 1 SHERPA/RoMEO colours. Green indicates that preprints and postprints can be archived, blue that postprints can be archived, yellow that preprints can be archived, and white that archiving is not formally supported.

More than 40% of articles in 2018-2019 were published OA, and about 70% of that portion in fully OA journals. These had a mean APC of US$ 900, whereas the remaining were published in hybrid journals with a higher mean APC of more than $US 1,800. A moderate and positive correlation is found between the number of OA articles published in hybrids journals and their JIF, whereas there is a stronger positive relationship between the number of OA articles published in fully OA journals and the APC. For OA articles published in hybrid journals, it seems that the proportion of OA articles tends to increase in journals with higher JIF.

Figure 2 Evolution of the number of (a) ‘gold’ OA articles and (b) fully OA journals in geochemistry.

The rise in OA publishing (Figure 2) has potential impacts on the profiles of researchers and tends to devolve costs from organizations to individuals. Until the geochemistry community makes the decision to move away from journal-based evaluation criteria, it is likely that such high costs will continue to impose financial inequities upon research community. However, geochemists could more widely choose legal self-archiving as an equitable and sustainable way to disseminate their research.

This blog post is based on my two articles

Pourret, O.; Hursthouse, A.; Irawan, D. E.; Johannesson, K.; Liu, H.; Poujol, M.; Tartèse, R.; van Hullebusch, E. D.; Wiche, O., Open Access publishing practice in geochemistry: overview of current state and look to the future. Heliyon 2020, 6 (3), e03551. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03551.

Pourret, O.; Irawan, D. E.; Tennant, J. P.; Hursthouse, A.; van Hullebusch, E. D., The growth of open access publishing in geochemistry. Results in Geochemistry 2020, 100001. doi:10.1016/j.ringeo.2020.100001.

*Since the publication of those articles, SHERPA/RoMEO colours are not used anymore.

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