How many Wikipedia references are available to read?

„To estimate the proportion of these scholarly sources that are free to read, we are releasing a new dataset that sheds light on these citations by their accessibility level and topic.

To create this dataset, we cross-referenced our existing data with data provided by Unpaywall, a database gathering accessibility information of more than 19 million articles, and we associated each scholarly publication’s digital object identifier (DOI) cited in Wikipedia with an accessibility label: “Open” if the publisher (source) provides a free copy, “Closed” if it is a paywalled publication, or “Available” if the official version is paywalled but there exists an open copy available elsewhere on the web (e.g., legally deposited by the author in a university repository). In total, we gathered accessibility values for around 450,000 scholarly publications cited across 300 Wikipedia languages.

We find that less than half of the official versions of scholarly publications cited with an identifier in Wikipedia are freely available on the web: 29% are free-to-read at the source, while an additional 10% have a free-to-read version available elsewhere.“

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