According to results of a study funded by the European Commission, Open Access to research publications is reaching the tipping point with more than 50 per cent of the research and scientific papers published in 2011 now available for free.

The report claims that the current levels of freely available scientific papers are twice as compared to the estimates. Further the report, which covers EU, Brazil, US, Canada and Japan, also claims that more than 40 per cent of all the scientific peer review articles published across the globe between 2004 and 2011 and available freely on the web.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, is of the opinion “that open access is here to stay” and placing the research results in the “public sphere makes science better and strengthens our knowledge-based economy.”

It has been claimed that Open access is the reason behind increased accessibility of research results which have led to better and efficient science and innovations in both public and private sectors.

The study, untaken by Science-Metrix, covered scholarly publications available in 22 fields of knowledge out of which over 50 per cent of the papers are now available online for free in various disciplines and several countries. Majority of the articles made available in the open access form are from general science and technology, statistics, biology, mathematics and biomedical research fields. Social Sciences and Humanities, Engineering and Technology and Applied sciences are the fields which limits open access availability.

The reports can be found here, here and here.