Claims About Benefits of Open Access to Society (Beyond Academia)

Author : ElHassan ElSabry

This study tries to systematically identify claims about societal benefits of Open Access by analyzing different documents written by Open Access supporters. Three types of documents are used: key declarations and statements in support of Open Access, Open Access policies issued by public funding agencies and journal editorials announcing the adoption of Open Access.

Analysis shows these three types emphasize different benefits for Open Access as they address different audience. There is strong support of the idea that Open Access has benefits to different groups of people outside side the university/credentialed research institutes.

It is not clear how much evidence is available to support these claims, but identifying them would suggest new stakeholders to involve in the conversation and perhaps also inform the ongoing debate about who should bear the cost of Open Access.

URL : Claims About Benefits of Open Access to Society (Beyond Academia)

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Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline

Author : Teresa Auch Schultz


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.

URL : Opening Up Communication: Assessing Open Access Practices in the Communication Studies Discipline


Understanding the Impact of Early Citers on Long-Term Scientific Impact

Authors : Mayank Singh, Ajay Jaiswal, Priya Shree, Arindam Pal, Animesh Mukherjee, Pawan Goyal

This paper explores an interesting new dimension to the challenging problem of predicting long-term scientific impact (LTSI) usually measured by the number of citations accumulated by a paper in the long-term.

It is well known that early citations (within 1-2 years after publication) acquired by a paper positively affects its LTSI. However, there is no work that investigates if the set of authors who bring in these early citations to a paper also affect its LTSI.

In this paper, we demonstrate for the first time, the impact of these authors whom we call early citers (EC) on the LTSI of a paper. Note that this study of the complex dynamics of EC introduces a brand new paradigm in citation behavior analysis.

Using a massive computer science bibliographic dataset we identify two distinct categories of EC – we call those authors who have high overall publication/citation count in the dataset as influential and the rest of the authors as non-influential.

We investigate three characteristic properties of EC and present an extensive analysis of how each category correlates with LTSI in terms of these properties. In contrast to popular perception, we find that influential EC negatively affects LTSI possibly owing to attention stealing.

To motivate this, we present several representative examples from the dataset. A closer inspection of the collaboration network reveals that this stealing effect is more profound if an EC is nearer to the authors of the paper being investigated.

As an intuitive use case, we show that incorporating EC properties in the state-of-the-art supervised citation prediction models leads to high performance margins.

At the closing, we present an online portal to visualize EC statistics along with the prediction results for a given query paper.


Reconsidering the gold open access citation advantage postulate in a multidisciplinary context: an analysis of the subject categories in the Web of Science database 2009-2014

Authors : Pablo Dorta-González,  Sara M. González-Betancor, María Isabel Dorta-González

Since Lawrence in 2001 proposed the open access (OA) citation advantage, the potential benefit of OA in relation to the citation impact has been discussed in depth.

The methodology to test this postulate ranges from comparing the impact factors of OA journals versus traditional ones, to comparing citations of OA versus non-OA articles published in the same non-OA journals.

However, conclusions are not entirely consistent among fields, and two possible explications have been suggested in those fields where a citation advantage has been observed for OA: the early view and the selection bias postulates.

In this study, a longitudinal and multidisciplinary analysis of the gold OA citation advantage is developed. All research articles in all journals for all subject categories in the multidisciplinary database Web of Science are considered.

A total of 1,137,634 articles – 86,712 OA articles (7.6%) and 1,050,922 non-OA articles (92.4%)- published in 2009 are analysed. The citation window considered goes from 2009 to 2014, and data are aggregated for the 249 disciplines (subject categories).

At journal level, we also study the evolution of journal impact factors for OA and non-OA journals in those disciplines whose OA prevalence is higher (top 36 subject categories). As the main conclusion, there is no generalizable gold OA citation advantage, neither at article nor at journal level.


Science and Facebook: the same popularity law!

Authors : Zoltán Néda, Levente Varga, Tamás S. Biró

The distribution of scientific citations for publications selected with different rules (author, topic, institution, country, journal, etc.) collapse on a single curve if one plots the citations relative to their mean value.

We find that the distribution of shares for the Facebook posts re-scale in the same manner to the very same curve with scientific citations. This finding suggests that citations are subjected to the same growth mechanism with Facebook popularity measures, being influenced by a statistically similar social environment and selection mechanism.

In a simple master-equation approach the exponential growth of the number of publications and a preferential selection mechanism leads to a Tsallis-Pareto distribution offering an excellent description for the observed statistics.

Based on our model and on the data derived from PubMed we predict that according to the present trend the average citations per scientific publications exponentially relaxes to about 4.


Does Online Access Promote Research in Developing Countries? Empirical Evidence from Article-Level Data

Authors : Frank Mueller-Langer, Marc Scheufen, Patrick Waelbroeck

Universities in developing countries have rarely been able to subscribe to academic journals in the past. The “Online Access to Research in the Environment” initiative (OARE) provides institutions in developing countries with free online access to more than 5,700 environmental science journals.

Here we analyze the effect of OARE registration on scientific output by research institutions in five developing countries. We apply a difference-in-difference estimation method using panel data for 18,955 journal articles from 798 research institutions.

We find that online access via OARE increases publication output by at least 43% while lower-ranked institutions located in remote areas benefit less. These results are robust when we apply instrumental variables to account for the information diffusion process and a Bayesian estimation method to control for self-selection into the initiative.