Stagnating Open Science compliance for doctoral theses?

Stagnating Open Science compliance for doctoral theses?When citing or referring please provide this DOI:10.6084/m9.figshare.6714038

Recently, I gathered data from the Bielefeld Search Engine BASE on the percentage of journal articles, books and doctoral theses published Open Access, licensed under Creative Commons Licenses and under Open License between 2013 to 2017.

Since dissertations have been published electronically and Open Access for a long time, they have traditionally been a document type that was more Open Science compliant than others. For example, the Open Access repository software OPUS, which is widely used in Germany, was in earlier years used exclusively for the electronic publication of doctoral theses. Unfortunately, this pioneering role could not be held: A look at the data provided by BASE shows that the Open Science penetration among theses published stagnates.  BASE knows three categories of accessibility: Open Access, Unknown, Non Open Access. In the following tables and graphs, figures reported as „Open Access“ have been categorised by BASE as Open Access. The following tables show data from BASE as follows:

  1. Indexed theses, books and journal articles (2013-2017)
  2. Indexed theses, books and journal articles published Open Access (2013-2017)
  3. indexed theses, books and journal articles under Creative Commons licenses (2013-2017)
  4. indexed theses, books and journal articles, which are published under Open Licenses in the sense of the Open License, i. e. reflect terms of use of the Open Source (2013-2017)

Open Licenses means licenses that fulfill the requirements of the Open Definition. This applies only to two Creative Commons licenses: CC-BY and CC-BY-SA.

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Doctoral Theses total 101,264 108,253 111,555 108,697 77,731
Doctoral Theses
published Open Access
43,322 51,397 50,671 50,427 36,935
Doctoral Theses
under Creative Commons Licenses
9,011 10,930 11,850 12,935 9,886
Doctoral Theses
under Open Licenses
1,849 1,959 2,339 1,959 1,432
Books total 68,257 64,982 67,130 61,236 46,187
Books
published Open Access
13,847 15,405 23,007 17,232 15,643
Books
under Creative Commons Licenses
2,519 2,869 3,515 4,611 5,940
Books
under Open Licenses
467 533 815 1,832 2,890
Journal Articles total 1,768,791 1,957,058 2,131,604 2,005,268 1,696,182
Journal Articles
published Open Access
782,801 940,576 1,175,890 1,117,097 1,035,434
Journal Articles
under Creative Commons Licenses
175,887 233,968 301,124 358,274 313,227
Journal Articles
under Open Licenses
84,548 105,820 141,038 168,626 175,587

 

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Doctoral Theses
percentage: Open Access
43% 47% 45% 46% 48%
Doctoral Theses
percentage: CC-licensed
9% 10% 11% 12% 13%
Doctoral Theses
percentage: Openly licensed
2% 2% 2% 2% 2%
Books
percentage: Open Access
20% 24% 34% 28% 34%
Books
percentage: CC-licensed
4% 4% 5% 8% 13%
Books
percentage: Openly licensed
1% 1% 1% 3% 6%
Journal Articles
percentage: Open Access
44% 48% 55% 56% 61%
Journal Articles
percentage: CC-licensed
10% 12% 14% 18% 18%
Journal Articles
percentage: Openly licensed
5% 5% 7% 8% 10%

Although doctoral theses already had a high share of Open Access by 2013 (43%), by 2017 it had risen by only 5% (2017: 48%). At the same time, the proportion of books published Open Access rose by 14% (from 20% to 34%) and articles by 17% from 44% (2013) to 61% (2017). The same effect can be seen in the proportion of CC-licensed items: Their share rose by 4% (from 9% to 13%) for doctoral theses, by 9% for books (from 4% to 13%) and 8% for articles (from 10% to 18%) between 2013 and 2017. However, the share of openly licensed items is most pronounced: it did not increase for doctoral theses, but remained at 2% between 2013 and 2017; in the same period it increased by 5% (from 1% to 6%) for books, and by 5% (from 5% to 10%) for articles. Even though this figure is illustrative, they show that although dissertations were published in earlier years more compatible with Open Science than books and articles, their penetration with Open Science stagnated and today they are compared with books and articles less compatible with Open Science.

Stagnating Open Science compliance for doctoral theses?

The proportion of books available under CC licenses rose sharply compared to the number of doctoral theses licensed under CC licenses and reached the same percentage in 2017.

Stagnating Open Science compliance for doctoral theses?

As the proportion of doctoral theses available under Open licenses stagnated the percentage of openly licensed books outnumbered theses already in 2016.

The data to this posting is available as:

Ulrich Herb (2018). Numbers of Articles, Books and Dissertation theses indexed in BASE and percentages of items published Open Access, under Creative Commons Licenses and under Open Licenses (2013-2017) [Data set]. Zenodo.
Online: DOI:10.5281/zenodo.1189807

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