Following my last post, I have looked more closely at two of the biomedical areas used in the last analysis. I have used the search terms “epilepsy” and “genomics” to pull off all of the records in PubMed published in these separate areas since 2000.


Then I consolidated these data so that I could compare the numbers of articles published in different journals and use PubMed’s  “full text” and “free full text” limits to compare how much of this published material is available on some form of open access basis, either via PubMed Central or via the publisher’s site.

The results are displayed in the Table above which shows the top 10 journals in each field ranked by the number of field-specific articles they published in 2012 and comparing what proportion of this is available without the need for a subscription.

As predicted, in a well-established area such as epilepsy, commercial publishers like Elsevier and Wiley dominate, whereas in genomics several open access publishers are already prominent. A second very important factor is the proportion of articles published by authors funded by NIH and other mandating agencies.

By looking in this way at the open access statistics from the viewpoint of specific types of end-user it becomes much easier to see how quickly (or slowly) open access business models may disrupt existing journal ecosystems.