• Open Access

A Changing Landscape



No Abstract

Since the launch of ChemistryOpen in 2011, more and more governments are mandating publicly funded research results to be made available in an open-access form; the main idea being that scientific research should be available to the public free of charge to allow creative and innovative research. The Research Councils UK (RCUK) mandated that from April 1st, 2013 all publications resulting from RCUK-funded research should be made open access. As a result, over 20 UK-based universities have opened a Wiley Open Access account thereby ensuring the funding for their open-access articles published with Wiley and Wiley-VCH. In the US, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) bill, which would require funding agencies to make articles reporting on publicly funded research results freely available, is under ongoing discussion. The EU research and innovation program, Horizon 2020, and governments and agencies in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Belgium, are issuing similar open-access mandates.

To comply with these growing government-driven initiatives, authors need to make sure that their research papers are openly accessible, and publishers are responding with a variety of open-access options. As a result, many different publishing models have emerged. Traditional publishing houses offer the option to make selected articles openly accessible in subscription-based journals (hybrid journals), and they have also created new fully open-access journals—typically a fee must be paid and so this is called gold open access, also known as the “author-pays” model. In addition, new open-access publishing houses have been founded, which often cater to a specific institution or society (e.g., eLife or the Beilstein journals). Many universities and institutions have created repositories to make the post-peer-review accepted version accessible after publication (green open access), when permitted by the terms of the publisher license. Unfortunately, so-called “predatory” publishers focusing on high publication numbers and revenue rather than scientific considerations have emerged, and their actions have harmed the term “open access” immensely. This has led to authors feeling insecure about open-access publishing in general.

Overall, these different models and players and the increasing pressure from governments to publish open access have led to a very diverse publishing landscape in which a uniform and efficient model for making research accessible to everyone has not yet been found. And, it may well be that the time for a single uniform model has passed. Today, we are faced with a publishing landscape in which everything seems possible.

A look back

Within this dynamic setting, ChemistryOpen continues to publish top-quality primary research articles in chemistry and its related fields. Our five most accessed articles between January and November 2013 reached between 1730 and 1004 views (see Table 1).

Table 1. The top-five most accessed ChemistryOpen articles between January and November 2013.
Corresponding AuthorTitleReference[a]Type[b]Views[c]
  1. [a] Year, volume, first page. [b] C=Communication, F=Full Paper. [c] Full-text views from January to November 2013.

T. WirthFacile Oxidative Rearrangements Using Hypervalent Iodine Reagents2012, 1, 245F1730
S. GrimmeBenchmark Study of the Performance of Density Functional Theory for Bond Activations with (Ni,Pd)-Based Transition-Metal Catalysts2013, 2, 115F1561
J. WeberCarbon Dioxide Adsorption in Betulin-Based Micro- and Macroporous Polyurethanes2013, 2, 17Z1076
J. EppingerMetal-Conjugated Affinity Labels: A New Concept to Create Enantioselective Artificial Metalloenzymes2013, 2, 50Z1049
N. ShibataEfficient Difluoromethylation of sp3 Carbon Nucleophiles by Bromodi fluoromethylation Reagents with Organic Bases2012, 1, 227Z1004

At the beginning of 2013, ChemistryOpen introduced Cover Profiles. These provide authors with a platform to explain the motivation for their research, how the idea emerged, and what they expect to be future developments in their field. We have been receiving positive feedback from both authors and readers regarding this new feature; with an average of 185 views per Cover Profile, the community is clearly starting to appreciate them.

With everyone having access to the full-text articles in ChemistryOpen, who actually accesses them? An analysis of the total views between January and November 2013 shows that readers of ChemistryOpen are based in over 75 countries (see Figure 1). Moreover, large portions come from the US, Germany and China (each ca. 10 % of all readers) followed by India (9 %), Japan and Spain (each with 6 %) and the UK (4 %). ChemistryOpen is an internationally read journal, and on average each full-text article receives 1500 views (number based on articles published in the inaugural issue). Recently, ChemistryOpen started sharing usage information with authors and readers by providing article-level metrics for each article on the homepage, in addition to the citations provided behind the “Cited By” tab on Wiley Online Library.

Figure 1.

Breakdown of views by country between January and November 2013.

A look ahead

We are very pleased to announce that ChemistryOpen has recently been accepted into the Science Citation Index Expanded, part of the Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge. All ChemistryOpen articles will soon be found on the Web of Knowledge, including those published in volumes one and two. We are very curious and excited to see our first (albeit only partial) impact factor later this year when the Journal Citation Report 2014 is released.

Regarding appearance, there will be several new features to look forward to. With the new ChemistryOpen app, you will be able to read, download and share your open-access full-text articles from anywhere with your iPad. Both the app and Wiley Online Library will feature an enhanced article format, which will offer a whole new reading experience when browsing through content. It will allow focused and efficient reading with less distraction from the actual science and will provide a functional presentation with a sidebar for easy access to references, figures, and other information and tools. To provide abstracting and indexing services, and ultimately our readers, with a short and concise summary of all articles, as our sister journals, we have also introduced Abstracts to our Communications.

We can also look forward to two special issues in 2014. One will cover Primary and Secondary Structures of Biomolecules with Guest Editor Dr. Kathrin Breuker (University of Innsbruck, Austria). It will feature current research efforts for the development of chemical approaches, methods, and concepts towards the elucidation of larger biomolecular structures and their interactions on a molecular level. A second special issue will be guest-edited by the Co-Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of ChemistryOpen, Prof. Ramón Martínez-Máñez (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain). It will feature current research in the field of Molecular Sensors with an emphasis on supramolecular chemistry. If you are interested in contributing to either of these special issues in the form of a Full Paper, Communication or even a Thesis Summary, please contact the editorial office.

With the forthcoming milestones in 2014, the support of excellent researchers from the Editorial Advisory Board, and the experience of Wiley-VCH and ChemPubSoc Europe (a group of 16 European chemical societies, including for example the German, French, Spanish, Italian, Belgian and Austrian chemical societies), we are certain ChemistryOpen will continue its positive development within today′s ever-changing open-access environment.