A comparison of `open access', `open source', and `open science' shows that interest in the movement, as measured by search volume, has been on a steady decline since 2005.
`Open access' and `open source' are tanking. `Open science' is mostly holding strong, but the search volume is tiny compared to the other two terms. Even Aaron Swartz's death, which Times Higher Education deems (somewhat distastefully) an `unexpected martyr' has done little to turn the tides.
These data show a clear trend, but I do still wonder what is going on? Could it be that open access advocates are a loud minority, while interest in the movement stagnates among the silent majority?
Or worse, could it be that prospective participants have given OA a try, but deemed it unworkable? Given my own less than pleasurable experiences with data.gov, I wouldn't necessarily blame people who struggled to maintain enthusiasm after attempting to use data from a file that uses white space in a .xls file to denote category hierarchies. Especially when there are trailing white spaces, too... (I'm looking at you, American Time Use Survey). Or perhaps it was data from the CDC, not available for download, that soured some to the idea.
Clearly those are not examples of OA done right (and they are both specifically open government initiatives), but something somewhere seems to be causing a decline in interest in OA.
How do we reverse the trend, and bring open access into the mainstream?
"Send me your data - PDF is fine," said no one ever
The public health paradox ("When public health works, it's invisible")
Let's make data a civic right
Scholarly impact of open access journals
Six months later, disease detectives still battling fungal meningitis outbreak