|Title:||Do Open-Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?|
|Citation:||Antelman, K. (2004) Do Open Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact? College & Research Libraries News, vol. 65, n. 5, pp. 372-382.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Arendt, Peacemaker and Miller (2018)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study involves an analysis of 2012 journal articles across four disciplines (mathematics, electrical engineering, policy science and philosophy). The number of networked citations were determined by using data from ISI Web of Science.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“While many authors believe that their work has a greater research impact if it is freely available, studies to demonstrate that impact are few. This study looks at articles in four disciplines at varying stages of adoption of open access—philosophy, political science, electrical and electronic engineering and mathematics—to see if they have a greater impact, as measured by citations in the ISI Web of Science database, if their authors make them freely available on the Internet. The finding is that, across all four disciplines, freely available articles do have a greater research impact. Shedding light on this category of open access reveals that scholars in diverse disciplines are both adopting open access practices and being rewarded for it.”
Main Results of the Study
On average, open access articles are cited more frequently than toll-access articles (with a low of 45% increase in philosophy, and 91% increase in mathematics), suggesting that open access articles have a greater research impact. There are some disciplinary factors, such as the fact that 69% of mathematics articles are open access vs 17% of philosophy articles. Linked articles are more often found on author’s homepages than repositories or open-access journals.
The authors speculate that a citation bias is possible as scholars are “pushed” away from any barrier to use (such as an article being available only in print, or through toll-access). As such, scholars may disproportionately cite open access articles, even pre-prints, which may be used as a substitute for the final published version.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the author does not make any explicit policy recommendations, they note that librarians should consider open access models when creating e.g. repositories, or negotiating rights with publishers (in a response to the “grassroots” levels of author self-posting). Librarians should also consider important disciplinary differences when evaluating effective open access models (e.g. incentivising, citation advantages).