A recent study, funded by the European Commission, suggests that around 50% of scientific papers published in 2011 are made available via open access.
Open access will be mandatory for all scientific publications produced with funding from the new EU research funding programme Horizon2020.
The study, undertaken by Science-Metrix, looked at the availability of scholarly publications in 22 fields of knowledge in the European Research Area, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the United States. Two further reports by the same group have also been released, one examining open access policies and the second focusing on issue surrounding open access to data. The research suggests that open access is reaching the tipping point, with around 50% of scientific papers published in 2011 now available for free. This is about twice the level estimated in previous studies, explained by a refined methodology and a wider definition of open access. The study also estimates that more than 40% of scientific peer reviewed articles published worldwide between 2004 and 2011 are now available online in open access form. The study looks at the EU and some neighbouring countries, as well as Brazil, Canada, Japan and United States of America.