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Open access papers ‘gain more traffic and citations’ | Times Higher Education (THE)


Open access papers ‘gain more traffic and citations’

Open access science articles are read and cited more often than articles available only to subscribers, a study has suggested.

July 30, 2014

The Research Information Network analysed the web traffic to more than 700 articles published in hybrid science journal Nature Communications in the first six months of 2013.

found that, after 180 days, articles whose authors had paid for them to
be made open access had been viewed more than twice as often as those
articles accessible only to the journal’s subscribers.

A further analysis of more than 2,000 papers published in Nature Communications
between April 2010 and June 2013 revealed that open access articles
were cited a median of 11 times, compared with a median of seven
citations for subscription-only articles. The paper concludes that open
access papers enjoy a “small” citation advantage in all disciplines
except chemistry.

Research Information Network executive director
Michael Jubb said the study added to “the growing body of literature
showing that open access is good for article citations and, especially,
online visibility”.

“We weren’t able to control for all the
factors that might affect views and citations, such as whether articles
had been posted in one or more repositories or the numbers and locations
of authors, but we’re confident that the analysis shows that open
access has positive effects for both authors and readers.”

Burridge, managing director for open research at Nature Publishing Group
and Palgrave Macmillan, said: “In the ongoing discussion over whether
open research contributes to increased article usage and citations, we
have a good test case in Nature Communications – a born-hybrid
journal providing a large sample size, where all articles are
high-quality, original research and receive similar standards of
service, regardless of whether or not they’re open access. We realise
this doesn’t definitively answer the question…but we think this
contribution adds to the debate.”

Nearly 38 per cent of the articles Nature Communications
published from its launch in 2010 until the middle of 2013 have been
open access. The highest proportion (41 per cent) was in biological
sciences and the lowest (30 per cent) in chemistry. However, the
proportion of open access papers in the biological sciences fell from 59
per cent in 2010 to 34 per cent in the first half of 2013.
Open access papers ‘gain more traffic and citations’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

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