Arendt, Peacemaker and Miller (2018)
|Arendt, Peacemaker and Miller (2018)|
|Title:||Same Question, Different World: Replicating an Open Access Research Impact Study|
|Author(s):||Julie Arendt, Bettina Peacemaker, Hilary Miller|
|Citation:||Arendt, J., Peacemaker, B. And Miller, H. (2018) Same Question, Different World: Replicating an Open Access Research Impact Study. College and Research Libraries (Preprint)|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Antelman (2004)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study consists of a replication of an earlier 2004 study by Antelman, including a review of citation advantages over forty journals in mathematics, electrical engineering, political science, and philosophy. Extracted metadata was used to establish citation counts across 2052 articles in total. Open availability of said articles was inferred from free availability via a Google search.|
|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:||
“To examine changes in the open access landscape over time, this study partially replicated Kristin Antelman’s 2004 study of open access citation advantage. Results indicated open access articles still have a citation advantage. For three of the four disciplines examined, the most common sites hosting freely available articles were independent sites, such as academic social networks or article sharing sites. For the same three disciplines, more than 70% of the open access copies were publishers’ PDFs. The major difference from Antelman’s is the increase in the number of freely available articles that appear to be in violation of publisher policies.”
Main Results of the Study
The study confirms that freely available research is more often cited than toll-access research (based on an assessment of median citations, and showing statistically significant p values). There are some disciplinary factors. For example, mathematics has the highest amount of freely available articles, totalling 86% of those surveyed, as well as primarily relying on disciplinary repositories for hosting articles (as opposed to the other three disciplines, which rely primarily on independent sites).
Unlike in the original 2004 study, open access is now recognised as less of an authorial choice, and more of a publishers anti-piracy policy. As such, the authors recognise that a journals particular characteristics (such as popularity) may bias citation advantage as delayed open access policies become more common.
As anticipated by the authors, piracy sites such as Sci-Hub have caused a disruptive effect to estimating citation advantage. In three of the disciplines surveyed, more than two thirds of the freely available PDF’s were publishers imprints, which were made available on a site other than the publishers (and ergo likely a violation of a publication agreement). Furthermore, articles are increasingly made available on sites such as docslide.net, which may have no clear relationship to the author (suggesting that articles have been posted here without the authors permission).
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the author does not make any explicit policy recommendations, they note that with the rise of freely available articles being partially caused by piracy, this may make the open access model vulnerable to legal action. Permission from publishers and authors should still be considered fundamental to any model of free distribution.