Adopting open access in the social sciences and humanities: evidence from a developing nation

Heliyon. 2020 Jul 23;6(7):e04522. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04522. eCollection 2020 Jul.


Open Access (OA) publishing, with ambitious movements such as Plan S, is engendering radical changes among academic publishers. Emerging countries need to keep publishing as well as adopt open access to catch up with the changes. Using exclusive data from the Social Sciences & Humanities Peer Awards (SSHPA) database, the study employed both descriptive statistics and a Bayesian linear regression model to examine the journals and publishers in which Vietnamese social scientists published during the period 2008-2019, and the potential of pursuing the OA movement in Vietnam. We found an increasing diversification in the publishing sources of Vietnamese social science researchers with growth rates of 9.8% and 14.1% per annum in the number of publishers and journals, respectively. Given that the proportion of Gold OA articles had a fourfold increase over the examined period, it seems that the Vietnamese academic community is adopting OA. Furthermore, Bayesian analysis results hint at positive associations of internal and external collaborative power (number of domestic and foreign authors, respectively) with the decision to publish in OA (β b_TotalVN_OpenAccess = 0.22; β b_TotalForeign_OpenAccess = 0.15). The results and its implications suggest that Vietnamese policymakers and university director boards should facilitate as well as control the quality of the scientific publishing and the OA movement.

Keywords: Information science; Open access; Scientific publishing; Social science; Social sciences and humanities; Vietnam.