Open access is on the way

One librarian makes a strong claim for open access.  It’s going to dominate scholarly publishing of articles in journals by 2020 or so, according to David Lewis, at least in the “Gold OA” form.

Gold OA could account for 50 percent of the scholarly journal articles sometime between 2018 and 2020, and 90 percent of articles as soon as 2021 and more conservatively by 2024.

Lewis has been analyzing and predicting this for several years, and takes apparent delight in charting what he calls “The Inevitability of Open Access”.


Lewis has intriguing data to back up his point.  Measurements of Gold OA growth over the past decade yield rising curves, which can be extrapolated into the future.  Lewis also applies Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation curve.

He published his predictions in 2012. Then, Hari-Seldon-like, he’s appearing in the present to demonstrate how his futuring has come true.

It’s a bold claim, not least because open access has been slow to grow despite publicity and obvious benefits.  I admire the way Lewis staked his claim, then checks up on it in public.

If he’s right, what happens to print publishers?  How will “Green OA” fare?

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