Open Science for Public Good: Elementa by the Numbers

At UC Press, open access—the free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work—is central to our mission. In celebration of 2017 International Open Access Week (October 23-29), we are highlighting open access publishing initiatives at UC Press, including our Collabra and Luminos publishing programs. This year’s OA Week theme “Open in order to . . . ” is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly publications openly available. Follow the full blog series here. #OAWeek #OpenInOrderTo

For this year’s #OAWeek, organizers chose a theme “Open in order to . . .” to prompt us to consider what open access enables, rather than what it is. For Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, an open access, non-profit, interdisciplinary environmental science journal published by UC Press, the open access model enables the journal to fulfill its primary mission: Open Science for Public Good. To illustrate this, we’ve highlighted some key article- and journal-level metrics that demonstrate how open, accessible research can have a wide reach and impact across a global audience.


Atmospheric Science
Editor in Chief: Detlev Helmig
University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Earth & Environmental Science
Editor in Chief: Oliver A. Chadwick
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Editor in Chief: Donald A. Zak
University of Michigan, USA

Ocean Science
Editor in Chief: Jody W. Deming
University of Washington, USA

Sustainable Engineering
Editor in Chief: Michael E. Chang
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Sustainability Transitions
Editor in Chief: Anne R. Kapuscinski
Dartmouth, USA

Plus two types of special collections:


Top 10 Countries Accessing Elementa:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. Brazil
  5. Germany
  6. India
  7. Australia
  8. France
  9. China
  10. Italy




Elementa was recently included in the Scopus Abstracting and Indexing database, and we can now see how well-cited Elementa articles are. Here is a list of the top 10 most highly cited articles in Elementa, as of October 13, 2017. The full October 13 dataset is available here. (Source: Scopus.)

Cooper OR, Parrish DD, Ziemke J, Balashov NV, Cupeiro M, Galbally IE, et al.. Global distribution and trends of tropospheric ozone: An observation-based review. Elem Sci Anth. 2014;2:29. DOI:
88 citations

Leaitch WR, Sharma S, Huang L, Toom-Sauntry D, Chivulescu A, Macdonald AM, et al.. Dimethyl sulfide control of the clean summertime Arctic aerosol and cloud. Elem Sci Anth. 2013;1:17. DOI:
28 citations

Ellis EC, Fuller DQ, Kaplan JO, Lutters WG. Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere. Elem Sci Anth. 2013;1:18. DOI:
23 citations

Miller LA, Fripiat F, Else BGT, Bowman JS, Brown KA, Collins RE, et al.. Methods for biogeochemical studies of sea ice: The state of the art, caveats, and recommendations. Elem Sci Anth. 2015;3:38. DOI:
22 citations

Hsing P-Y, Fu B, Larcom EA, Berlet SP, Shank TM, Govindarajan AF, et al.. Evidence of lasting impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep Gulf of Mexico coral community. Elem Sci Anth. 2013;1:12. DOI:
20 citations

Alderkamp A-C, Dijken GL van, Lowry KE, Connelly TL, Lagerström M, Sherrell RM, et al.. Fe availability drives phytoplankton photosynthesis rates during spring bloom in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica. Elem Sci Anth. 2015;3:43. DOI:
18 citations

Arrigo KR, Brown ZW, Mills MM. Sea ice algal biomass and physiology in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. Elem Sci Anth. 2014;2:28. DOI:
18 citations

Ducklow HW, Wilson SE, Post AF, Stammerjohn SE, Erickson M, Lee S, et al.. Particle flux on the continental shelf in the Amundsen Sea Polynya and Western Antarctic Peninsula. Elem Sci Anth. 2015;3:46. DOI:
17 citations

Cambaliza MOL, Shepson PB, Bogner J, Caulton DR, Stirm B, Sweeney C, et al.. Quantification and source apportionment of the methane emission flux from the city of Indianapolis. Elem Sci Anth. 2015;3:37. DOI:
16 citations

Oltmans S, Schnell R, Johnson B, Pétron G, Mefford T, Neely III R. Anatomy of wintertime ozone associated with oil and natural gas extraction activity in Wyoming and Utah. Elem Sci Anth. 2014;2:24. DOI:
15 citations



Steady audience growth with 67% of traffic being new visitors (2017).

Combined reach of 65k on Facebook and 15k on Twitter across Elementa and UC Press social media.



Average total usage is 12,835 views & downloads per article (2013-2017).

Average production time is 20 days from acceptance to publication.





Carrying capacity of U.S. agricultural land: Ten diet scenarios (Peters et al, 2016)
88,880 views/downloads, Altmetric Score: 670

Global distribution and trends of tropospheric ozone: An observation-based review (Cooper et al, 2014)
33,048 views/downloads, 88 citations

Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere (Ellis et al, 2013)
31,924 views/downloads, Altmetric Score: 68

Elementa articles have been featured in the following media outlets, among others.