Open access 2013: A year of gaining momentum

Hilda Bastian | Scientific American | December 26, 2013

Was this the year open access for science reached critical mass?

Open access isn’t evenly spread among all disciplines though. One estimate of the growth of accessible publications indexed in the massive biomedical literature PubMed was that it grew from 27% of articles published in 2006 to 50% in 2010.

There are now thousands of open access academic repositories. Pushing for and enabling open access began decades ago. It gained serious energy with the emergence of the open source movement and the internet. By the early 1990s publishing in physics was being re-imagined. PubMed arrived later that decade and its public access repository PubMed Central (PMC) went live in 2000.

Open science is not just about access to publications, but encompasses open data, open educational resources and changes throughout the process of sharing, discussing and replicating scholarly findings. But the most basic access to those findings is the cornerstone.

Public debate, policy and infrastructure about access to publications gained momentum in 2013. By the end of the year, open access had been on the stage from the UN to the White House and The Colbert Report...