Revisiting an open access monograph experiment: measuring citations and tweets 5 years later

Author : Ronald Snijder

An experiment run in 2009 could not assess whether making monographs available in open access enhanced scholarly impact. This paper revisits the experiment, drawing on additional citation data and tweets. It attempts to answer the following research question: does open access have a positive influence on the number of citations and tweets a monograph receives, taking into account the influence of scholarly field and language?

The correlation between monograph citations and tweets is also investigated. The number of citations and tweets measured in 2014 reveal a slight open access advantage, but the influence of language or subject should also be taken into account. However, Twitter usage and citation behaviour hardly overlap.

URL : Revisiting an open access monograph experiment

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Changes in the digital scholarly environment and issues of trust: An exploratory, qualitative analysis

Authors : Anthony Watkinson, David Nicholas, Clare Thornley, Eti Herman, Hamid R. Jamali, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, Kenneth Levine, Carol Tenopir

The paper reports on some of the results of a research project into how changes in digital behaviour and services impacts on concepts of trust and authority held by researchers in the sciences and social sciences in the UK and the USA.

Interviews were used in conjunction with a group of focus groups to establish the form and topic of questions put to a larger international sample in an online questionnaire. The results of these 87 interviews were analysed to determine whether or not attitudes have indeed changed in terms of sources of information used, citation behaviour in choosing references, and in dissemination practices.

It was found that there was marked continuity in attitudes though an increased emphasis on personal judgement over established and new metrics. Journals (or books in some disciplines) were more highly respected than other sources and still the vehicle for formal scholarly communication.

The interviews confirmed that though an open access model did not in most cases lead to mistrust of a journal, a substantial number of researchers were worried about the approaches from what are called predatory OA journals. Established researchers did not on the whole use social media in their professional lives but a question about outreach revealed that it was recognised as effective in reaching a wider audience.

There was a remarkable similarity in practice across research attitudes in all the disciplines covered andin both the countries where interviews were held.


Undercounting File Downloads from Institutional Repositories

Authors : Patrick Obrien, Kenning Arlitsch, Leila Sterman, Jeff Mixter, Jonathan Wheeler, Susan Borda

A primary impact metric for institutional repositories (IR) is the number of file downloads, which are commonly measured through third-party Web analytics software. Google Analytics, a free service used by most academic libraries, relies on HTML page tagging to log visitor activity on Google’s servers.

However, Web aggregators such as Google Scholar link directly to high value content (usually PDF files), bypassing the HTML page and failing to register these direct access events.

This article presents evidence of a study of four institutions demonstrating that the majority of IR activity is not counted by page tagging Web analytics software, and proposes a practical solution for significantly improving the reporting relevancy and accuracy of IR performance metrics using Google Analytics.

URL : Undercounting File Downloads from Institutional Repositories


How Do Scientists Define Openness? Exploring the Relationship Between Open Science Policies and Research Practice

Authors : Nadine Levin, Sabina Leonelli, Dagmara Weckowska, David Castle, John Dupré

This article documents how biomedical researchers in the United Kingdom understand and enact the idea of “openness.”

This is of particular interest to researchers and science policy worldwide in view of the recent adoption of pioneering policies on Open Science and Open Access by the U.K. government—policies whose impact on and implications for research practice are in need of urgent evaluation, so as to decide on their eventual implementation elsewhere.

This study is based on 22 in-depth interviews with U.K. researchers in systems biology, synthetic biology, and bioinformatics, which were conducted between September 2013 and February 2014.

Through an analysis of the interview transcripts, we identify seven core themes that characterize researchers’ understanding of openness in science and nine factors that shape the practice of openness in research.

Our findings highlight the implications that Open Science policies can have for research processes and outcomes and provide recommendations for enhancing their content, effectiveness, and implementation.

URL : How Do Scientists Define Openness? Exploring the Relationship Between Open Science Policies and Research Practice

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What does ‘green’ open access mean? Tracking twelve years of changes to journal publisher selfarchiving policies

Authors : Elizabeth Gadd, Denise Troll Covey

Traces the 12-year self-archiving policy journey of the original 107 publishers listed on the SHERPA/RoMEO Publisher Policy Database in 2004, through to 2015. Maps the RoMEO colour codes (‘green’, ‘blue’, ‘yellow’ and ‘white’) and related restrictions and conditions over time.

Finds that while the volume of publishers allowing some form of self-archiving (pre-print, post-print or both) has increased by 12% over the 12 years, the volume of restrictions around how, where and when self-archiving may take place has increased 119%, 190% and 1000% respectively.

A significant positive correlation was found between the increase in self-archiving restrictions and the introduction of Gold paid open access options. Suggests that by conveying only the version of a paper that authors may self-archive, the RoMEO colour codes do not address all the key elements of the Bethesda Definition of Open Access.

Compares the number of RoMEO ‘green’ publishers over time with those meeting the definition for ‘redefined green’ (allowing embargo-free deposit of the post-print in an institutional repository). Finds that RoMEO ‘green’ increased by 8% and ‘redefined green’ decreased by 35% over the 12 years.

Concludes that the RoMEO colour codes no longer convey a commitment to green open access as originally intended. Calls for open access advocates, funders, institutions and authors to redefine what ‘green’ means to better reflect a publisher’s commitment to self-archiving.


Impact de l’Open Access sur les citations : une étude de cas

Auteurs/Authors : Frédérique Bordignon, Mathieu Andro

De multiples études, dans la littérature internationale, ont cherché à évaluer l’impact de l’Open Access sur le taux de citation des articles scientifiques. La présente étude, en langue française, reste limitée aux publications 2010 de l’Ecole des Ponts.

Elle offre néanmoins un état de l’art des précédentes études sur le sujet à un lectorat de professionnels francophones et a pour originalité de mesurer le nombre moyen de citations par mois, avant et après “libération” Open Access des articles et d’éviter ainsi la plupart des biais qui peuvent être rencontrés dans ce type de démarche.

En plus de confirmer, comme beaucoup d’autres l’ont fait auparavant, un avantage net de l’Open Access sur le taux de citation en informatique, sciences de la terre et de l’univers, ingénierie, sciences environnementales, mathématiques, physique et astronomie, elle montre aussi qu’une « libération » précoce peut avoir un impact plus favorable qu’une « libération » tardive dans certains champs disciplinaires, comme les mathématiques et physique/astronomie.

URL : Impact de l’Open Access sur les citations : une étude de cas

Marxism and Open Access in the Humanities: Turning Academic Labor against Itself

Author : David Golumbia

Open Access (OA) is the movement to make academic research available without charge, typically via digital networks. Like many cyberlibertarian causes OA is roundly celebrated by advocates from across the political spectrum.

Yet like many of those causes, OA’s lack of clear grounding in an identifiable political framework means that it may well not only fail to serve the political goals of some of its supporters, and may in fact work against them.

In particular, OA is difficult to reconcile with Marxist accounts of labor, and on its face appears not to advance but to actively mitigate against achievement of Marxist goals for the emancipation of labor. In part this stems from a widespread misunderstanding of Marx’s own attitude toward intellectual work, which to Marx was not categorically different from other forms of labor, though was in danger of becoming so precisely through the denial of the value of the end products of intellectual work.

This dynamic is particularly visible in the humanities, where OA advocacy routinely includes disparagement of academic labor, and of the value produced by that labor.

URL : Marxism and Open Access in the Humanities: Turning Academic Labor against Itself

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