Sweet, Sweet Irony: 7 Papers That Should be Open Access But Aren't 

The Authorea team

What better way to argue for the benefits of open access than to publish a research paper with restricted access rights? While open access has been shown to be beneficial for researchers and the public by numerous studies (some of which are listed below), these same papers make it pretty self-evident that the move to full open access is going to take some time.

It is true that more and more open access articles appear each year -- some predict that the volume of open access publications will overtake subscription publications by 2018 -- yet despite the increase in publishers and researchers adopting open access as a modus operandi, paywalls still remain on the vast majority of articles, including many which tout the benefits of open research.

The following is a list of articles that while advocating for open research remain, ironically, behind paywalls:

A. T. Peterson, A. Emmett, J. Bolick, M. Greenberg, B. Rosenblum, 2016, Subsidizing truly open accessScience, vol. 352, no. 6292, pp. 1405-1405 - Peterson 2016 - Link
"We advocate a fundamental shift to a Platinum OA system"

J. Sommer, 2010, The delay in sharing research data is costing livesNature Medicine, vol 16, pp. 744 - Sommer 2010 - Link
"The prevailing medium of scholarly communication—the peer-reviewed journal article—although valuable in many ways, was not designed as a tool to help in the inherently urgent task of curing disease."

E. Zerhhouni, 2004, NIH Public Access Policy, Science, vol. 306, no. 5703, pp. 1895 - Zerhouni 2004 - Link
"Now, research information is largely available only to scientists, clinicians, patients, and educators through personal subscriptions or at academic and hospital libraries. It is important for NIH to provide the public access to an electronic archive of the findings resulting from publicly funded research." (former Director of NIH)

M. Al-Quraishi, P. Sorger, 2016, Reproducibility will only come with data liberationScience Translational Medicine, vol. 8, no. 339, pp. 339 - AlQuraishi 2016 - Link
"It is now essential, in our opinion, that we transition to a system in which biomedical research data are liberated from dead-end formats and deposited in public repositories as a precondition for public funding and scientific publication"

X. Wang, C. Liu, W. Mao, Z. Fang, 2015, The open access advantage considering citation, article usage and social media attentionScientometrics, vol. 103, no. 2, pp. 555-564 - Wang 2015 - Link
"OA papers not only have the great advantage of total downloads, but also have the feature of keeping sustained and steady downloads for a long time"

R. Laing, A. Martinelli, A. Tracey, N. Holroyd, J.S. Gilleard, J. A. Cotton, 2016, Chapter Thirteen - Haemonchus contortus: Genome Structure, Organization and Comparative GenomicsAdvances in Parasitology, vol. 93, pp. 569-598 - Laing 2016 - Link
"The open access data from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute provided a valuable early resource for the research community"

R. Farrow, R. Pitt, B. Arcos, L. Perryman, M. Weller, P. McAndrew, 2015, Impact of OER use on teaching and learning: Data from OER Research HubBritish Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 46, no. 5, pp. 972-976 - Farrow 2015 - Link
"The true power of comparative research around the impact and use of open educational resources is only just being realised..."

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  1. A. T. Peterson, A. Emmett, J. Bolick, M. Greenberg, B. Rosenblum. Subsidizing truly open access. Science 352, 1405–1405 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2016. Link

  2. Josh Sommer. The delay in shari