Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

How much Virginia Tech research is open access?

by Philip Young, posted on October 5, 2022

What percentage of Virginia Tech’s published research articles are open access in some form, and how do we compare with other universities?  The answers, using four sources, are “around 50%” and “not well,” respectively.

The sources used are CWTS Leiden Ranking, COKI (both openly available), SciVal/Scopus, and Dimensions (both proprietary).  All cover the years 2017-2020, except for COKI, which is 2020 only.  Virginia Tech’s percentage of open access articles was highest in CWTS (54.7%) and lowest in SciVal (44.1%).  Results from the four data sources were entered into a spreadsheet to show how Virginia Tech compares to its 25 SCHEV peers, as well as to other Virginia universities.  For SCHEV peers, the presence of an open access policy and an open access fund are also noted where information was available.

Out of the 26 universities (SCHEV peers plus VT), the highest ranking for Virginia Tech was 23rd (COKI and CWTS), and the lowest was Dimensions (25th).  Within Virginia, Virginia Tech ranks fourth behind UVA, VCU, and William & Mary in three sources, and third in the other (moving ahead of W&M).

Table showing how Virginia universities rank on open access

In the CWTS global ranking by percentage of OA , Virginia Tech is ranked #576 (to get this, change the indicator to open access and order by PP(OA)).  See the CWTS open access page for Virginia Tech and the COKI open access page for Virginia Tech for more information.

The good news is that the amount of open access research at Virginia Tech is largely within our control.  One of the largest deficits for Virginia Tech is in green OA (accepted versions and preprints), where Virginia Tech is at 15.8%, UVa is 19.5%, and VCU is 22.7% (CWTS data).  However, this data is only through 2020, and in 2021 Virginia Tech approved an open access policy that allows all researchers to deposit accepted versions of scholarly articles in the university’s repository, VTechWorks.  It is the only open access policy among Virginia universities, and one of 12 among our SCHEV peers.  But the policy only matters if researchers use it.

Thanks to Rachel Miles for providing (and in some cases, calculating) some of this data.