ElSabry, ElHassan, and Koichi Sumikura. "Does open access to academic research help small, science-based companies?." Journal of Industry-University Collaboration (2020).

This study has investigated the degree to which a company's usage of Open Access literature for research and development activities depends on its size, in reflection of the assumption that smaller pharmaceutical companies have less access to usually costly journal subscriptions.

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Pablo Markin

Community Manager, Open Research Community

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Go to the profile of Pablo Markin
about 2 months ago

This study indicates that paywalls constitute a barrier to knowledge dissemination not only for higher education and scholarly research, but also in the private sector. It has found that the smaller the companies are, the more they cite Open Access articles and monographs in the patents they file. That this correlation directly follows from access limitations is suggested by the negative association between the presence of university collaborators and Open Access paper citation counts. In other words, the access by university collaborators to paywalled knowledge has been found to reduce the need to rely on Open Access sources. Furthermore, since Open Access article account for only a subsection of total research output, resource limitations apparently force small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to limit the amount of journal-derived sources that their patents cite. Thus, this paper provides  indirect evidence that barriers to knowledge access are also likely to have a negative effect on innovation, research and development activities and technological applications in the private sector, such as among SMEs, in which technological breakthroughs usually appear.