[Journal-notes] Re: Open access to research worth £ 1.5bn a year

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Wed Sep 28 14:24:56 EST 2005


On Wed, 28 Sep 2005, Peter Banks wrote:

> I did find one peer-reviewed study on the impact of open access
> on citation rate: "Publishing Online-Only Peer-Reviewed Biomedical
> Literature: Three Years of Citation, Author Perception, and Usage
> Experience," by Kent Anderson and his colleagues.
> 
> It is a study of online-only vs. print articles in the journal
> Pediatrics. It does not find the same citation advantage for online
> publications claimed by Harnad and his colleagues.
> 
> See http://www.press.umich.edu/jep/06-03/anderson.html

Please weigh findings against the preponderance of evidence. The
comparison you are citing is for one journal only, and in one 3-year
range only. Our data are for all ISI journals, across disciplines,
across a 12-year range. The selection criterion (both by the author
and by the journal (for the online-only publishing versus print) in that
particular journal in that particular study are not at all the same as the
self-selected decision on the part of authors to self-archive. 

I suggest, again, that Peter look at the bibliography below , and not
only at one study congenial to his own preferred outcome. I am afraid he
will not find much hope for his own preferred outcome there. Maximising
online access to one's own articles by self-archiving them does not
reduce their usage, it increases it, dramatically, and with virtually no
exception (apart from occasional chance fluctuation, usually because of
small sample size). That is not only the consistent outcome, both for
the already peer-reviewed findings and the not yet-refereed ones, but
it is also exactly what logic would dictate: that access is a necessary
(if not a sifficient) precondition for usage.

http://opcit.eprints.org/oacitation-biblio.html

Stevan Harnad

PS (Note also the difference between studies comparing OA and non-OA
journals, which are apples and oranges, with comparing articles within
the same journal/year, differing only in whether or not the author has
elected to self-archive.)





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