JournalTOCs Blog

News and Opinions about current awareness on new research

Archive for the ‘Open Access’ tag

Systematic identification of OA articles from hybrid journals

with 2 comments

JournalTOCs is pleased to announce that the automated identification of Open Access (OA) articles from hybrid journals has started to work today

This is a highly important development in the efforts being made towards enabling systematic and easy identification of Open Access articles for aggregators, discovery services and A&I providers.

Publishers start to enable the systematic identification of Open Access at the Article Level

These first results are the product of collaboration between JournalTOCs and more than 10 established commercial forward thinking publishers.

Being able to systematically and consistently identify Open Access articles, regardless where they have been published, has a huge potential for the progress of Open Access and could play a vital role in the success of using the hybrid model to migrate subscription-based titles to full Open Access in a sustainable way for authors, readers, librarians and publishers.

The technology behind this new service is the simple and easy to use TOC RSS feeds. RSS feeds are also relatively easy to implement.

A publisher wanting to support the automated discovery of Open Access from its journals only needs to create its RSS feeds by following these best practices and these steps.

Example showing how an OA article from a hybrid journal is identified by JournalTOCs:

OA article in a Hybrid journal

At this stage the OA articles are only identified as such by the OA logo Open Access and an orange background. As more publishers implement the <cc:license> and <dc:rights> standard elements in their RSS feeds, we will be able to provide information on the type of CC licence and the copyright holder for each OA article. The information will be obtained by combining the possible implementations of the <cc:license> and <dc:rights> elements:

Article copyright
Article copyright belongs to the publisher:
<dc:rights>Copyright © Publication_Year Publisher_Name</dc:rights>
<dc:rights>Copyright © 2014 ScienceMed Publisher Ltd</dc:rights>
Article copyright belongs to the author(s):
<dc:rights>Copyright © Publication_Year First Author_Surname, First_Author_Initial [et al]</dc:rights>
<dc:rights>Copyright © 2014 Smith J.</dc:rights>
Type of Creative Commons licence (only for OA articles)
– for CC-BY licences:
<cc:license rdf:resource=”” />
– for CC-BY-NC licenses:
<cc:license rdf:resource=”” />
– for CC-BY-NC-SA licenses:
<cc:license rdf:resource=”” />
– for CC-BY-NC-ND licenses:
<cc:license rdf:resource=”” />
Subscription-based or non-OA articles
Example of an RSS feeds’ root element showing all the required namespaces to enable OA discovery at the article level:

Written by Santiago Chumbe

April 7th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

I am Open Access (OA)!

without comments

Alerting OA accessibility using available bibliographic metadata standards

Alerting Open Access Availability

Forward thinking publishers have started to include in their Table of Contents (TOC) RSS feed metadata, elements that describe the copyright and access rights associated with an OA article. Being able to identify the accessibility of an article becomes even more important when the article has been published in a hybrid journal in which some articles are OA while the rest of the articles are available on an individual pay-per-view basis or journal subscription. The following is a sample of those publishers and the metadata elements that they are using to identify article’s copyrights and access rights:

  • Inderscience Publishers
    For subscription articles:
    <dc:rights>© 2013 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.</dc:rights>

    For OA articles:
    <dc:rights>First Author [et al] (Open Access)</dc:rights>
    <cc:license rdf:resource=””/>

  • John Wiley and Sons
    For both OA and subscription articles:
    <dc:rights xmlns:dc=””/>
  • Wolters Kluwer – Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
    For both OA and subscription articles:
    <copyright><![CDATA[(C)2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.]]></copyright>

  • Biomed Central Ltd.
    All articles are OA. For all articles:
    <cc:license rdf:resource=”” />
  • Hindawi Publishing Corporation
    All articles are OA. For all articles:
    <copyright>Copyright © 2013 First Author [et al.] All rights reserved.</copyright>
  • Libertas Academica
    For subscription articles:

    For OA articles:
    <cc:license rdf:resource=””/>

  • ISRN International Scholarly Research Network
    All articles are OA. For all articles:
    <copyright>Copyright © 2013 First Author [et al.] All rights reserved.</copyright>
  • PeerJ
    All articles are OA. For all articles:
    <dc:rights>© 2013 First Author [et al.]</dc:rights>
        <terms:LicenseDocument rdf:about=””/>
    <prism:copyright>© 2013 First Author [et al.]</prism:copyright>
    <cc:license rdf:resource=””/>
    <cc:attributionURL rdf:resource=”[article URL]”/>
    <cc:attributionName> First Author [et al.]</cc:attributionName>

Some diversity can be seen in the implementation of the copyright and license elements. However, it is positive to notice that a pattern is emerging, where the dc:rights element is used to identify the copyrights holder for the article and cc:license to indicate the access rights for the article. JournalTOCs supports the use of dc:rights and cc:license that follow this pattern:

  • For Non-OA articles:
    <dc:rights>Copyright © [Publication Year] [Publisher_Name]</dc:rights>
  • For OA articles:
    <dc:rights>Copyright © [Publication Year] First Author_Surname, First_Author_Initial [et al]</dc:rights> (if copyright is retained by the author)
    <cc:license rdf:resource=”[Selected_CC_License]”/>

These elements should be included in the journal RSS feeds and in any metadata that publishers expose for aggregators and discovery services. A&I, aggregators and discovery services will be able to identify an item as an OA article by checking that its dc:rights element contains the text “Open Access” and/or the cc:license element is pointing to a specific CC license.

JournalTOCs supports the use of standard metadata to identify OA content in particular from hybrid journals in which OA and subscription articles are published together. In that sense we advise publishers to use the dc:rights and cc:license elements as describe above. Publishers are welcome to contact JournalTOCs at for further information and guidance in the implementation of these two elements for their RSS feeds.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

March 18th, 2013 at 4:17 pm

How many Open Access journals have ceased to publish?

with 3 comments

Predatory publishers are already damaging the Open Access reputation. Unfortunately, the uncontrolled proliferation of new Open Access journals is also negatively impacting on the standing of the Open Access movement.

From the list of 3,850 Open Access journals currently indexed by JournalTOCs, we detect that in average two of those Open Access journals cease publishing or disappear altogether every month. In addition, we noticed that various Open Access journals indexed by JournalTOCs are struggling to continue publishing new issues. The temptation for some of those journals to publish “anything” is real.

The questions we would like to ask to our friends at DOAJ are:
1. How many of the Open Access journals, registered with DOAJ, have ceased to publish?
2. Can DOAJ provide us with an API to help us to detect the OA journals that no longer exist?

Not found at DOAJ

In average, JournalTOCs receives 10 requests per day to add new Open Access journals to its database. In most of the cases, those journals do not meet our selection criteria and consequently they are not added to JournalTOCs.

Open Access journals are helping researchers to boost their number of publications and citations. For example Prof. Syed Tauseef Mohyud-Din has achieved an impressive number of 350 new papers published in less than four years. However, aren’t we abusing the current explosion of spurious scholarly Open Access journals? Is the peer-review model working in the same way for both Open Access and commercial “traditional” publishers? Many questions are still to be answered regarding Open Access.

Written by admin

May 28th, 2012 at 11:55 am

John Wiley & Sons is the first publisher to use <dc:rights> in TOC RSS feeds

without comments

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has become the first publisher to use the <dc:rights> element from the Dublin Core Metadata standard to indicate copyright at the paper level.

While their values have not yet been defined, all John Wiley’s journal TOC RSS feeds include a <dc:rights> element in each of their items.

The granularity of this development would enable aggregators, discovery systems and other bibliographic services to provide accurate information about the full-text access rights for a particular paper. Thus, for example we would be able to alert end-users when an Open Access paper has been published in a hybrid (open access) journal.

A hybrid journal is a closed or subscription journal that also publishes Open Access papers.

Notably John Wiley has various hybrid journals. Hybrid journals are considered as a transitional model by some publishers and an optional publishing model by others. The publishers said (on the whole) that it is easier to start new pure Open Access journals than to transition a subscription journal.

Nevertheless, we are aware that there is a lot of Open Access (OA) papers published in hybrid journals that are not being systematically identified as OA by aggregators and discovery systems. This is an issue that would be solved by using <dc:rights> or CC-BY licensing in the RSS feeds at the item level.

In a recent message sent by Peter Murray-Rust to the Open Bibliography list when talking about “Open Science Bibliography – where can I find Open Access papers on … ?“, Peter concluded: “The attraction of this is that the results can go straight into CKAN (metadata about open access) and Open Bibliography. Obviously full open access publishers (BMC, PLoS) are straightforward. Hybrid journals (e.g. Springer, Wiley, Elsevier, ACS) are the most immediate gain. This will locate and publicize the Open Access papers, even when hidden in traditional closed journals.

Our interest at JournalTOCs is to make easier or evident the identification of OA papers published in hybrid journals. At the moment we only can identify OA at the journal level. In that sense we look forward of reusing the new John Wiley’s TOC RSS feeds to identify OA at the paper level from hybrid journals.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

August 16th, 2011 at 1:58 pm