SPARC Launches Open Access Evaluation Tool

Originally posted by Heather Joseph on SPARC.al.org 

OASE

Washington, DC – SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today announced the launch of the Open Access Spectrum (OAS) Evaluation Tool, which provides a concrete, quantifiable mechanism to independently analyze publications’ policies.

The OAS Evaluation Tool generates an “Openness” score that is straightforward, easy to understand, and free. The program provides critical information to authors, libraries, research funders, government agencies, and other interested parties. It can be used to help determine compliance with funder policies, institutional mandates, and researchers’ individual values. It also offers a unique opportunity for publishers to independently validate their journals’ degree of openness and compliance with funder and campus policies.

“The rapid growth of Open Access has seen a tremendous growth in the availability of scholarly articles, but it has also generated confusion,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director, SPARC. “Many journals claim to be ‘open’ while actually placing moderate or severe restrictions on what an author or reader can do with an article, for example. The OAS Evaluation Tool will eliminate confusion by providing independent, unbiased evaluation of journal OA policies.”

The OAS Evaluation Tool uses the HowOpenIsIt? Guide as the basis for a 100-point scale. In addition to providing independent, expert evaluation of journal OA policies it:

  • Includes distinct evaluations for a journal’s policies regarding reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, automatic posting, and machine readability.
  • Can be used to help determine compliance with funder policies, institutional mandates, and researchers’ individual values.
  • Offers a unique opportunity for publishers to independently validate their journals’ degree of openness and compliance with funder/campus policies.
  • Pulls together— in one single, accurate web resource— information that is otherwise buried across scores of publisher websites.

An initial batch of 500 journals has been included at launch, with another 500 to follow by the end of the year. These journals encompass a range of disciplines, countries of origin, and business models. The set of 1,000 journals was created from the freely available Scimago dataset, which was divided into open access and non-open access journals on the basis of a lookup of their ISSN in Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The top 600 journals from the non-OA set and the top 200 from the OA set based on ranking by Scimago Journal Rank were selected. Additionally, 200 journals were selected from across the Scielo, Redalyc, Bioline, AJOL, and DOAJ databases to ensure geographic and subject diversity.

More information can be found at www.oaspectrum.org.

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