Open access (OA) citation effect studies have looked at a number of disciplines but not yet the field of communication studies. This study researched how communication studies fare with the open access citation effect, as well as whether researchers follow their journal deposit policies.
The study tracked 920 articles published in 2011 and 2012 from 10 journals and then searched for citations and an OA version using the program Publish or Perish. Deposit policies of each of the journals were gathered from SHERPA/RoMEO and used to evaluate OA versions.
From the sample, 42 percent had OA versions available. Of those OA articles, 363 appeared to violate publisher deposit policies by depositing the version of record, but the study failed to identify post-print versions for 87 percent of the total sample for the journals that allowed it.
All articles with an OA version had a median of 17 citations, compared to only nine citations for non-OA articles.
Discussion & Conclusion
The citation averages, which are statistically significant, show a positive correlation between OA and the number of citations.
The study also shows communication studies researchers are taking part in open access but perhaps without the full understanding of their publisher’s policies.