Open Access of COVID-19-Related Publications in the First Quarter of 2020: a Preliminary Study Based in PubMed | Olatz Arrizabalaga et al. | F1000Research, 2020, 9, 1-16.

Using data from Unpaywall, OpenRefine and PubMed, this paper analyses the level of openness of articles about COVID-19, published during the first quarter of 2020, in comparison to Open Access (OA) articles published about the previous coronaviruses, such as SARS CoV-1 and MERS CoV.

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Pablo Markin

Community Manager, Open Research Community


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Pablo Markin about 1 month ago

Although the Covid-19 crisis may be instigating a growing adoption of Open Access, recent findings indicate that in more than 75% of cases large publishers have decided to retain rights to scholarly articles, rather than licensing them as Creative Commons. In a related fashion, it has been found that 67.4% of the coronavirus-related articles have been published in bronze Open Access, which withholds rights to content reuse. In other words, in the majority of cases, it was free access, which permit a later imposition of paywalls, rather than Open Access, that has driven the publisher response to the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than Open Access repositories, accounting for about 3.2% of the article output, according to the Unpaywall data.