Effect of policies promoting open access in the scientific ecosystem: case study of ERC grantee publication practice


The European Research Council (ERC) is one of the leading sources of research funding worldwide. This article analyses the papers published by its grantees. The primary aim was to determine the access policies of the journals chosen by researchers benefiting from public funding to disseminate their findings, based on an analysis of 44,481 papers published from 2007 to 2015. The study showed that 85% were published in hybrid or non-OA journals, with 50% to 60% of citations referring to the articles carried by such blue journals. The mean excellence rate was 6.4%, with > 11% for blue journal, nearly 8% for green journal and 6.5% for gold OA journal papers. Two lessons have been learnt from the ERC’s endeavour and experience in the international scientific ecosystem in the first decade since its institution. The first is that research proposed, reviewed and funded by scientists delivers highly influential and visible results. The second is that, while complying with OA publication recommendations and mandates, grantees prefer to publish their papers in non-gold OA journals.

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Antonio Perianes-Rodríguez would like to thank Drs Alexis-Michel Mugabushaka and Theodore Papazoglou for their valuable comments and suggestions on an earlier version of this article. In memory of Theo.

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Perianes‐Rodríguez, A., Olmeda-Gómez, C. Effect of policies promoting open access in the scientific ecosystem: case study of ERC grantee publication practice. Scientometrics 126, 6825–6836 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-03966-3

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