Open Access In Action: The Last 12 Months Reviewed

October 21, 2019 Natasha White

Woman standing on rocky shore with fog

Thanks to fellow contributors: Kathryn Sharples, Senior Director, Open Access, Wiley and Chris Graf, Director, Research Integrity and Publishing Ethics.

Now in its twelfth year, Open Access Week is a global event that celebrates and promotes open access and knowledge sharing. This year’s theme is "Open for Whom?", deepening last year’s conversations around the importance of committing to equity as we move towards a more open environment. Here we share some of our key initiatives and future plans.

In the last twelve months, the publishing landscape has seen changes in policy and culture, and we’re supporting the aspirations of our communities by opening up the discovery process to the world through openness, accessibility, and transparency of research and data.

Since last year’s event, we’ve refined our open research program in five areas, to ensure that we can have real impact now and in the future. These are open access, open data, open practices, open collaboration and open recognition and reward. 

Open Access

Since last year, we’ve extended our Gold open access journal portfolio to over 110 titles, with more expected to launch or transition from subscription to open access. These new offerings cover a wide range of academic fields and publish original, high-quality, peer-reviewed work, with titles including Advanced Intelligent Systems, Environmental DNA and Engineering Reports. We also announced the launch of two new flagship titles publishing cutting-edge research and championing open research – Neuroscience Next and Genetics and Genomics Next.

New and existing society partnerships afforded us exciting opportunities to publish several new open access journals on behalf of our partners. These include FASEB Bioadvances from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, People and Nature from the British Ecological Society, and AGU Advances from the American Geophysical Union. We’ve also partnered with a number of Chinese institutions to launch a new range of physical science titles including EcoMat, InfoMat and Carbon Energy.

In January a further nine titles will convert from subscription to open access, including one of our highest-ranking Ecology titles in partnership with the Nordic Society, Oikos, Ecography.

Last year, we extended our collaboration with Hindawi, converting 6 more Wiley subscription journals to open access in 2019. This brings our total number of open access journals with Hindawi to 15.

This year Wiley has published a huge increase in open access articles – facilitating increasing numbers of researchers with sharing their work with the world.

Chart depicting growth of Open Access at Wiley over time






Graph: Open Access Publishing with Wiley

Earlier this year, Wiley and Projekt DEAL established a ground-breaking partnership for Germany to pilot new publishing models, better enable researchers to create and disseminate knowledge through Wiley’s journals, and continue to provide participating German institutions access to Wiley’s portfolio of academic journals.

This transformative three-year agreement offers over 880 academic institutions access to read Wiley’s journals back to 1997, and researchers can publish articles open access in Wiley’s journals. Here is a glowing endorsement from a German author: “Totally blown away by Projekt DEAL, which grants free open access to articles in Wiley journals for corresponding authors at German institutions. I'd expected it to be a pain to actually get the benefit, but DEAL and Wiley have made it super easy! “

In addition to the Wiley/Projekt DEAL agreement, in the last twelve months, Wiley has announced open access agreements with the Hungarian Electronic Information Service National Programme (EISZ), the Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research Hungary

We’re delighted to have seen an increase in open access agreements internationally, for example,  OhioLINK, a consortium of 91 Ohio college and university libraries which has taken onboard Wiley Open Access Accounts, and the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) whose comprehensive agreement combining open access publishing funds with their journal subscriptions; is the first of its kind in North America.

We retain our existing transformative agreements with the Dutch Universities/UMCs (VSNU) and the Austrian Academic Library Consortium (KEMÖ), along with hundreds of institutions and funders across the globe.

To specifically support Consortia customers, we are developing a consortia-level Wiley Open Access Accounts Dashboard which will enable them to control, monitor, measure and report across all their accounts

Open Data

We’re committed to facilitating faster and more effective research discovery by enabling the reproducibility and verification of data, methodology and reporting standards. Our revised data sharing and citation policies (updated November 2018) reflect our researcher-centric approach to asking for data statements and data citations in every article, by providing standard templates to make facilitation easier. We shared how our journals are supporting this shift towards openness in a preprint and a peer reviewed (open access) article.

We remain a supporter of the Research Data Alliance, and of similar community efforts that make sharing research data easier for researchers. As research funders become more strict about data sharing (for example, the European Commission’s Horizon Europe framework will require data management plans and open data) we are enhancing our policies and processes to enable and support researchers so they can meet their funder requirements. We are beginning to focus on enabling research data to be shared (and particularly on FAIR data) by defining standard criteria for repository selection, qualification and certification in collaboration with and Datacite and others from our community.

Open Practices

All of us who care about research and scholarship – including publishers, editors, and scholarly societies – have active roles to play in supporting research integrity and reproducibility. Open practices are part of that.

We remain one of now more than 5,000 journals and organizations that are signatories of the TOP Guidelines. By signing these guidelines, we commit to the principles of openness, transparency and reproducibility of research across eight different dimensions:

  1. Data Citation
  2. Data Transparency
  3. Analytic Methods (Code) Transparency
  4. Research Materials Transparency
  5. Design and Analysis Transparency
  6. Preregistration of Studies
  7. Preregistration of Analysis Plans
  8. Replication

We continue to promote on standards and reporting guidelines like those curated by the EQUATOR Network and

We preprinted and blogged about our research into what authors, peer reviewers, and editors like (and dislike) about the innovative peer review format promoted by the Center for Open Science: Registered Reports. Authors love it, peer reviewers think it’s great, and editors ask “How can we encourage more researchers to adopt the approach?”

Registered Reports deliver peer review where it can be of most impact for researchers: prior to beginning a study. They address multiple concerns, including biases that journals themselves can inadvertently create. More than 200 journals globally offer researchers Registered Reports, and we are proud to publish 40 of those.

We announced the extension of our new transparent peer review program to 40 journals in total. With transparent peer review (TPR) we enable the open publication of an article’s entire peer review process, from the initial review, to revision, and then the final decision. This brings greater transparency to the research process and recognition to the work of peer reviewers. Authors are in charge and are offered the option to choose transparent peer review (this is true in all but a few cases where journals mandate transparent peer review). Our early results are compelling: 1,841 of 2,107 authors chose TPR, meaning 87% of authors agreed to have peer reviewers’ reports, their own authors’ responses, and the editors’ decision letters published alongside their articles.

Beginning in late 2019, Wiley journals will begin to integrate with Authorea to allow authors who choose to deposit their manuscripts as preprints on initial submission. Authorea will automatically create a preprint, stamp it with a CrossRef DOI (adding it to the official scholarly record), and proceed to track and record the article’s progress through peer review. With this feature, Wiley hopes to accelerate the adoption of preprinting and increase transparency by presenting information about peer review in real time in a way that is meaningful to the research community.

Open Collaboration

Driven by new technologies and the pressure on researchers to find new ways to collaborate (to maximize time, budgets and research outputs), we’re investing in new technology to help authors collaborate and create the best possible outcome for their research. We continue our partnership with Authorea, a tool that facilitates real-time researcher collaboration to write, edit and submit manuscripts, this encourages cooperation and interaction across platforms and stakeholders.

Open Recognition and Reward

We continue to implement open recognition and reward partnerships and programs to help researchers get credit for their work. Author recognition starts with author disambiguation, and therefore, with ORCiD.

Growth in ORCID iDs over time

Wiley has received 242,028 ORCID iDs (unique count) from authors who’ve had an article accepted. On average, Wiley receives 7,091 new ORCID iDs (unique count) each month.  In July 2019, Wiley received 9,750 new ORCID iDs (unique count).

Our commitment to recognition is a major reason why our partnership with Publons has continued to expand and thrive.

Here are some highlights Publons-Wiley partnership as of July 2019:

  • Over 180,000 Wiley reviewers have contributed reaching the landmark 1million reviews
  • 92% of Wiley’s reviewer community (on Publons) have used the Publons/Wiley journal integration feature to automatically add reviews to their profile
  • 970 Wiley journals are now integrated with Publons
  • There are over 1,000 transparent or open Wiley reviews on Publons.

We continued our "Better Peer Review" initiative, based on five essential areas – namely integrity, ethics, fairness, usefulness, and timeliness. We created the Better Peer Review Self-Assessment which enable journal teams to examine what they do, compare their practices with their peers, and – if they choose – make improvements.  

Open on the Horizon

During 2020 we will be transitioning nine more hybrid journals to Open Access, including Space Weather in partnership with the American Geophysical Union, Ecography in partnership with the Nordic Society Oikos, and Meteorological Applications, in partnership with the Royal Meteorological Society and there are some exciting new OA journal launches on the horizon too. Watch this space!

What do you feel are the major open access milestones of the past year? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet using hashtag: #OAweek and mention @WileyinResearch

About the Author

Natasha White

Director, Researcher Product Marketing //

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