CC-BY dominates under the Creative Commons licensed journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Christian Heise —  February 12, 2014 — 2 Comments

DOAJWhen Ulrich Herb published the numbers about the use of Creative Commons (CC) license, 9,804 Journals were listed in the central Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The good news is that 3,772 of these Journals (almost 38 %) use a Creative Commons license. The bad news: the most of the publications listed in the DOAJ are still not “Open”.

Here are some of his numbers about the use of different types of CC-licenses:

Number of journals, use the CC-BY: 1964
percentage of all journals of the DOAJ: 20.03%
percentage of journals of DOAJ who use any CC license: 52.77 %

Number of journals, use the CC-BY-SA: 52
percentage of all journals of the DOAJ: 0.53%
percentage of journals of DOAJ who use any CC license: 1.40%

Number of journals, use the CC-BY-NC-ND: 737
percentage of all journals of the DOAJ: 7.52%
percentage of journals of DOAJ who use any CC license: 19.80%

Number of journals, use the CC-BY-NC: 665
percentage of all journals of the DOAJ: 6.78%
percentage of journals of DOAJ who use any CC license: 17.87 %

Number of journals , use the CC-BY-NC-SA: 260
percentage of all journals of the DOAJ: 2.65%
percentage of journals of DOAJ who use any CC license: 6.99%

Number of journals , use the CC-BY-ND: 44
percentage of all journals of the DOAJ: 0.45%
percentage of journals of DOAJ who use any CC license: 1.18%

A total of 2,016 (or 20.56 %) of the guided journal in DOAJ therefore use a license (CC-BY or CC-BY-SA), which is compatible with the requirements of the Open Definition and allow a restriction-free use of the contents within the meaning of Open Access defined the Budapest Open Access Initiative, the RCUK Open Access policy and the Berlin Declaration.

If we consider the subset of journals that use any CC license that the claims of the Open Definition sufficient licenses dominate even slightly: About 54% of all journals that use a CC license , use either CC-BY ( 52.77 %) or CC-BY-SA (1.40 %). Surprisingly low is the proportion of journals which use the most restrictive CC license CC-BY-NC-ND : Only 737 journals (7.52 % of all journals and 19.80% under the CC-licensed journals). This license variant neither allows edits or allows to create derivative works (such as translations) nor a commercial use is possible. Surprisingly allow more than half (2,060, 55.35 %) of which is under a CC license Journals a commercial exploitation of the contents, only 44.65% (1662) prohibit this.

The bad news: if you look at these numbers you will still find most of the publications listed in the DOAJ are using non-commercial and non-derivatives licenses which are not open in Terms of the Definition of “Open”. This is a fundamental issue on how all of us present, practice and communicate Open Access. Please be aware of open washing and consider this before you just pretend to publish “open”…

Parts of the post were first published at scinoptica.com (in german language) and the data is available at:
Herb, Ulrich (2014). Total numbers and shares of Open Access Journals using Creative Commons licenses as listed by the Directory of Open Access Journals; ZENODO; 10.5281/zenodo.8327

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Christian Heise

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Research Associate at the Hybrid Publishing Lab and Member of Board of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, currently working on his Ph.D thesis about Open Science. More about me...

2 responses to CC-BY dominates under the Creative Commons licensed journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

  1. Interesting. Any insights into what licences the other 62% of OA journals are applying if they aren’t CC ones?

  2. Dear Rupert,

    nice to hear from you! I remember quite well our discussion about usage metrics at the PKP in Berlin.

    I have been thinking about that point as well, but unfortunately the DOAJ only provides information about the use of CC-Licenses and I think it would be very arduous to gather information about other licenses by hand. The only thing one could do without investing too much time, would be to analyze a randomized sample of all the journals using no CC-License.

    best regards

    Ulrich

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