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'Do Open Access Articles Have Greater Citation Impact?  A critical review of the literature'

On liblicense, Sally Morris posted the following:

'Do Open Access Articles Have Greater Citation Impact?  A critical review of the literature'

Ian Craig, Andrew Plume, Marie McVeigh, James Pringle and Mayur Amin.

A new, comprehensive review of recent bibliometric literature finds decreasing evidence for an effect of 'Open Access' on article citation rates. The review, now accepted for publication in the Journal of Informetrics, was proposed by the Publishing Research Consortium (PRC) and is available at its web site at www.publishingresearch.net.  It traces the development of this issue from Steve Lawrence's original study in Nature in 2001 to the most recent work of Henk Moed and others. 

Researchers have delved more deeply into such factors as 'selection bias' and 'early view' effects, and began to control more carefully for the effects of disciplinary differences and publication dates. As they have applied these more sophisticated techniques, the relationship between open access and citation, once thought to be almost self-evident, has almost disappeared.

Commenting on the paper, Lord May of Oxford, FRS, past president of the Royal Society, said 'In December 2005, the Royal Society called for an evidence-based approach to the scholarly communications debate. This excellent paper demonstrates that there is actually little evidence of a citation advantage for open access articles.'

The debate will certainly continue, and further studies will continue to refine current work. The PRC welcomes this discussion, and hopes that this latest paper may be a catalyst for a new round of informed scholarly exchange.

Sally Morris
on behalf of the Publishing Research Consortium

Email:  [email protected]
Website:  www.publishingresearch.net