Examining the Impact of the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy on the Citation Rates of Journal Articles


To examine whether National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded articles that were archived in PubMed Central (PMC) after the release of the 2008 NIH Public Access Policy show greater scholarly impact than comparable articles not archived in PMC.


A list of journals across several subject areas was developed from which to collect article citation data. Citation information and cited reference counts of the articles published in 2006 and 2009 from 122 journals were obtained from the Scopus database. The articles were separated into categories of NIH funded, non-NIH funded and whether they were deposited in PubMed Central. An analysis of citation data across a five-year timespan was performed on this set of articles.


A total of 45,716 articles were examined, including 7,960 with NIH-funding. An analysis of the number of times these articles were cited found that NIH-funded 2006 articles in PMC were not cited significantly more than NIH-funded non-PMC articles. However, 2009 NIH funded articles in PMC were cited 26% more than 2009 NIH funded articles not in PMC, 5 years after publication. This result is highly significant even after controlling for journal (as a proxy of article quality and topic).


Our analysis suggests that factors occurring between 2006 and 2009 produced a subsequent boost in scholarly impact of PubMed Central. The 2008 Public Access Policy is likely to be one such factor, but others may have contributed as well (e.g., growing size and visibility of PMC, increasing availability of full-text linkouts from PubMed, and indexing of PMC articles by Google Scholar).

URL : Examining the Impact of the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy on the Citation Rates of Journal Articles

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0139951

The role of arXiv, RePEc, SSRN and PMC in formal scholarly communication


The four major Subject Repositories (SRs), arXiv, Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), Social Science Research Network (SSRN) and PubMed Central (PMC), are all important within their disciplines but no previous study has systematically compared how often they are cited in academic publications. In response, this article reports an analysis of citations to SRs from Scopus publications, 2000 to 2013.


Scopus searches were used to count the number of documents citing the four SRs in each year. A random sample of 384 documents citing the four SRs was then visited to investigate the nature of the citations.


Each SR was most cited within its own subject area but attracted substantial citations from other subject areas, suggesting that they are open to interdisciplinary uses. The proportion of documents citing each SR is continuing to increase rapidly, and the SRs all seem to attract substantial numbers of citations from more than one discipline.

Research limitations/implications

Scopus does not cover all publications, and most citations to documents found in the four SRs presumably cite the published version, when one exists, rather than the repository version.

Practical implications

SRs are continuing to grow and do not seem to be threatened by Institutional Repositories (IRs) and so research managers should encourage their continued use within their core disciplines, including for research that aims at an audience in other disciplines.


This is the first simultaneous analysis of Scopus citations to the four most popular SRs.

URL : http://www.yorku.ca/lixuemei/The_role_of_subject_repositories_AslibPreprint.docx

Barriers to Open Access Publishing: Views from the Library Literature

The library and information science (LIS) community has an active role in supporting access to information and, therefore, is an important stakeholder in the open access conversation. One major discussion involves the barriers that have hindered the complete transition to open access in scientific publications.

Building upon a longitudinal study by Bo-Christer Björk that looked at barriers to the open access publishing of scholarly articles, this study evaluates the discussion of those barriers in the LIS literature over the ten year period 2004–2014, and compares this to Björk’s conclusions about gold open access publishing. Content analysis and bibliometrics are used to confirm the growth of the discussion of open access in the past ten years and gain insight into the most prevalent issues hindering the development of open access.

URL : Barriers to Open Access Publishing: Views from the Library Literature

DOI : 10.3390/publications3030190

Replication, Communication, and the Population Dynamics of Scientific Discovery

Many published research results are false (Ioannidis, 2005), and controversy continues over the roles of replication and publication policy in improving the reliability of research. Addressing these problems is frustrated by the lack of a formal framework that jointly represents hypothesis formation, replication, publication bias, and variation in research quality. We develop a mathematical model of scientific discovery that combines all of these elements.

This model provides both a dynamic model of research as well as a formal framework for reasoning about the normative structure of science. We show that replication may serve as a ratchet that gradually separates true hypotheses from false, but the same factors that make initial findings unreliable also make replications unreliable. The most important factors in improving the reliability of research are the rate of false positives and the base rate of true hypotheses, and we offer suggestions for addressing each. Our results also bring clarity to verbal debates about the communication of research.

Surprisingly, publication bias is not always an obstacle, but instead may have positive impacts—suppression of negative novel findings is often beneficial. We also find that communication of negative replications may aid true discovery even when attempts to replicate have diminished power. The model speaks constructively to ongoing debates about the design and conduct of science, focusing analysis and discussion on precise, internally consistent models, as well as highlighting the importance of population dynamics.

URL : Replication, Communication, and the Population Dynamics of Scientific Discovery

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0136088

Open Science in Poland 2014 : A Diagnosis

The process of producing and distributing scientific knowledge has been undergoing significant changes recently, termed collectively as “opening” of science. The changes were begun with the development of new technologies, but their dynamics was also influenced by the features of scholary communication and the social role of scientific research, as well as its institutional and political context. The basic aspect of Open Science is Open Access to scientific literature and data, but openness can also concern other elements of science, such
as conducting, evaluating, disseminating and using research and its findings.

The open models were initially implemented locally, as a “grassroot” movement, but with time a need arose for a more systematic approach, especially in strategies and policies of institutions responsible for research and funding, both state-owned and international bodies. In Poland such strategies and policies are yet to be developed, and the basic condition to be fulfilled is establishing a diagnosis of the current state of openness in the Polish science sector. The present report is an attempt to draw such a diagnosis.

URL : http://microblogging.infodocs.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Szprot2015.pdf

Alternative location : http://pon.edu.pl/index.php/nasze-publikacje?pubid=16

Retraction policies of top scientific journals ranked by impact factor


This study gathered information about the retraction policies of the top 200 scientific journals, ranked by impact factor.


Editors of the top 200 science journals for the year 2012 were contacted by email.


One hundred forty-seven journals (74%) responded to a request for information. Of these, 95 (65%) had a retraction policy. Of journals with a retraction policy, 94% had a policy that allows the editors to retract articles without authors’ consent.


The majority of journals in this sample had a retraction policy, and almost all of them would retract an article without the authors’ permission.

URL : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4511053/

Publishing Ethics and Predatory Practices: A Dilemma for All Stakeholders of Science Communication

Publishing scholarly articles in traditional and newly-launched journals is a responsible task, requiring diligence from authors, reviewers, editors, and publishers. The current generation of scientific authors has ample opportunities for publicizing their research. However, they have to selectively target journals and publish in compliance with the established norms of publishing ethics. Over the past few years, numerous illegitimate or predatory journals have emerged in most fields of science. By exploiting gold Open Access publishing, these journals paved the way for low-quality articles that threatened to change the landscape of evidence-based science.

Authors, reviewers, editors, established publishers, and learned associations should be informed about predatory publishing practices and contribute to the trustworthiness of scholarly publications. In line with this, there have been several attempts to distinguish legitimate and illegitimate journals by blacklisting unethical journals (the Jeffrey Beall’s list), issuing a statement on transparency and best publishing practices (the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association’s and other global organizations’ draft document), and tightening the indexing criteria by the Directory of Open Access Journals. None of these measures alone turned to be sufficient. All stakeholders of science communication should be aware of multiple facets of unethical practices and publish well-checked and evidence-based articles.