Capturing Open Access Papers for the Smithsonian Institution

Alvin Hutchinson | Smithsonian Libraries Unbound | September 17, 2013

As noted elsewhere in this blog, the publication record of Smithsonian scholars includes a growing portion of open access (OA) articles. During 2012, nearly 14% of scientific papers authored by Smithsonian scientists were published in OA journals. This is up from 7% in 2008 and it is expected to grow.  Most OA publishers journals operate under an “author pays” model whereby the authors, their institution, or the funding organization pay a fee to have their manuscript managed, peer-reviewed and (if accepted) published in an online journal. The article is then available online to readers without subscription or other payment required.

A previous assessment of OA publications by Smithsonian authors revealed that there were over 500 items which were published under this model but for which the Repository lacked a digital reprint. Since that time the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) staff have pondered a way to capture this content systematically and a partial solution has now been tested and implemented.

The National Institutes of Health public access policy requires publications resulting from NIH research funding to be deposited in their digital archive, PubMed Central (PMC). However many publishers choose to contribute their entire journal run to PMC in addition to those papers funded by the NIH. The list of journals depositing all articles in this large archive includes several OA journals to which Smithsonian scientists are frequent contributors. Among them are  PLoS One, Phytokeys and ZooKeys. These three journals published nearly 270 Smithsonian-authored papers as of 2013. (Readers of this blog may remember that ZooKeys was the journal which published the account of the olinguito, a new species of mammal recently discovered by scientists at the National Museum of Natural History)...