New Springer Nature report shows value of hybrid journals to research community and beyond

    A report from Springer Nature shows that OA articles published in hybrid journals attract more downloads, citations, and attention compared with non-OA articles in hybrid journals.

    The findings of the report, Assessing the open access effect for hybrid journals, demonstrate this wider value which hybrid journals bring to researchers and to funders, institutions and society more broadly.

    The analysis by Digital Science of a global sample of over 70,000 articles published in Springer Nature hybrid journals examined the relationship between OA and usage (measured in terms of downloads), citations, and broader impact (using Altmetric data).

    The global study showed that:

    _OA articles were downloaded on average 1.6 times more by users based at academic institutions and four times more by users overall, compared to non-OA articles.

    _OA articles attracted an average of 1.6 times more citations and 1.9 times more news mentions than non-OA articles.

    Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing Officer at Springer Nature, says: “This report shows that hybrid journals, given their ability to publish both OA and non-OA articles, play an important role in enabling authors to publish in the journal of their choice while aiding the growth of open access content.”

    “And yet, a number of research funders are considering excluding or capping funding for hybrid journals.  Any reduction in funding or support for hybrid journals would significantly limit the progress we are able to make in the transition to open access and limit author choice, given the continued desire from authors for these established journals.”

    “We know that authors don’t make decisions based on the publishing model of a particular journal, but are motivated first and foremost by their desire to be published in a relevant peer-reviewed journal with a strong reputation in their community.  We respect academic independence, so as a global publisher we need to continue to offer a range of publishing options to ensure we serve the whole research community.”

    Daniel Hook, CEO of Digital Science, says: “Open access now forms a significant publishing channel for researchers. Analyses such as this one help us to understand the opportunities and challenges that researchers experience in an open access context.  It was a pleasure to work with Springer Nature on this analysis as the insights from this work will help us both to support researchers.”