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History2022; 2 years ago (2022)
DisciplinesScience, social science, arts, humanities (supports 256 disciplines)
Record depthCitation indexing, author, topic title, subject keywords, abstract, periodical title, author's address, publication year
Format coverageArticles, reviews, editorials, chronologies, abstracts, proceedings (journals and book-based), technical papers

OpenAlex is a bibliographic catalogue of scientific papers, authors and institutions accessible in open access mode, named after the Library of Alexandria. It started operating in January 2022 by OurResearch as a successor of the terminated Microsoft Academic Graph. OpenAlex competes with commercial products such as Clarivate's Web of Science or Elsevier's Scopus, and is complemented by Bibliometrics tools and an API.[1][2]


On December 31, 2021, the Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) database stopped being updated.[3][4] The non-profit organization OurResearch proposed the creation of an open access bibliographic database, named OpenAlex, with the ambition of providing a fully open catalogue for the global research system.[5] OpenAlex was released in January 2022, including information from MAG as well as a free API.[6] Its name is inspired by the Library of Alexandria, which created the first bibliographic catalogue in human history.

In September 2023, Leyden University in the Netherlands announced that it would now use OpenAlex to establish its research institution ranking for 2024.[7] In December 2023, the Sorbonne University announced that it was deregistering from Scopus in favor of OpenAlex.[8]

In 2024, the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education pledged to contribute financially to the project, considering it "as a crucial open science infrastructure".

By March 2024, OpenAlex included metadata for 209 million works such as journal articles and books; 13 million authors with ambiguous identities; metadata for 124,000 sites hosting works, including journals and online repositories; metadata for 109,000 institutions; and 65,000 Wikidata concepts, which are algorithmically linked to works using an automated multi-tag hierarchical classifier. In March of the same year, it announced that they had received a $7.5 million grant from the philanthropic initiative Arcadia, with the goal of making OpenAlex a real, open alternative to commercial solutions.[9]


OpenAlex is used by universities to measure the progress of their research teams in terms of publishing publications or meeting sustainable development goals. OpenAlex relies on DOAJ data as well as Unpaywall data to indicate the status (closed or open) and route used for open access (open access in gold, green, bronze or hybrid versions), and in Aurora's requests to qualify the works indexed according to the sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations.[10] It also uses information from Crossref and ORCID. In 2024 the API had a usage volume of 115 million monthly queries.

A 2024 study shows that OpenAlex is particularly good at indexing Diamond-criterion journals, with more than 12,500 indexed titles, including more than 60% of all Diamond OA journals not found in WoS or Scopus.[11]


  1. ^ Singh Chawla, Dalmeet (2022-01-24). "Massive open index of scholarly papers launches". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-022-00138-y. PMID 35075274. S2CID 246278314.
  2. ^ Simard, Marc-André & Basson, Isabel & Hare, Madelaine & Larivière, Vincent & Mongeon, Philippe. (2023). The value of a diamond: Understanding global coverage of diamond Open Access journals in Web of Science, Scopus, and OpenAlex to support an open future.
  3. ^ "Next Steps for Microsoft Academic - Expanding into New Horizons". Microsoft Research. 4 May 2021. Retrieved 2021-05-28.
  4. ^ "Fossil-record bias and huge research database". Nature. 601 (7893): 303. 2022-01-20. Bibcode:2022Natur.601..303.. doi:10.1038/d41586-022-00103-9. ISSN 0028-0836. S2CID 256820124.
  5. ^ Jason (2021-05-08). "We're building a replacement for Microsoft Academic Graph". OurResearch blog. Retrieved 2024-06-01.
  6. ^ Piwowar, Heather (2022-01-06). "OpenAlex launch!". OurResearch blog.
  7. ^ Brooks, James (2023-09-15). "Leiden rankings to add open-source version in 2024". Research Professional News. Retrieved 2024-06-01.
  8. ^ Clavey, Martin (2024-03-04). "La recherche française parie sur OpenAlex pour briser l'emprise d'Elsevier et Clarivate". Next (in French). Retrieved 2024-06-01.
  9. ^ Price, Gary (2024-03-14). "Funding: OurResearch Receives $7.5 Million Grant From Arcadia To Establish OpenAlex, a Milestone Development For Open Science". Library Journal infoDOCKET. Retrieved 2024-06-01.
  10. ^ Priem, Jason; Piwowar, Heather; Orr, Richard (2022). "OpenAlex: A fully-open index of scholarly works, authors, venues, institutions, and concepts". arXiv:2205.01833 [cs.DL].
  11. ^ Price, Gary (2024-04-02). "Preprint: "Open Access Coverage of OpenAlex, Scopus and Web of Science"". Library Journal infoDOCKET. Retrieved 2024-06-01.

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