The new Web of Science interface has a feature that allows the user to refine search results by the category of “Open Access”. This presents interesting possibilities for analysis for researchers as well as for librarians. A quick search can reveal general trends in open access publishing by subject area. Searching the topic of public health in the Web of Science (2012-2014) yields approximately 31,000 records, of which about 7,000 (or 22%) were published in an open access source. Looking at the last five years reveals an upward trend in open access for this subject area. Between the years 2008-2009, just 15% of the records in Web of Science on this topic were published in open access sources.
The Web of Science identifies the Open Access status at the journal level from a number of sources including metadata provided directly by publishers and the Directory of Open Access Journals(DOAJ).