Who needs access to research? Exploring the societal impact of open access

Author : ElHassan ElSabry

Studies about open access (OA) have predominantly focused it impact on communication within the scholarly community. For example, many studies have been published on what is called the “Open Access Citation Advantage (OACA)”.

On the other hand, implications of OA in non-academic contexts (e.g. medical practice, policymaking, patient advocacy and citizen science) have been the subject of and the basis for a lot of the advocacy work and many funding agencies’ OA policies, but not so much the subject of original research studies.

To date, this study is the first attempt to collect and synthesize the available evidence on the societal impact of open access. It further builds on this evidence base by introducing a typology of the various science-society interfaces where demand for access to research potentially exists.

The proposed scheme is anticipated to provide guidance for future research on the issue of OA’s societal impact. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of non-academic usage of research on the open access debate, especially on the question of who should bear the cost of scholarly publishing.

URL : https://rfsic.revues.org/3271

How quickly do publications get read? The evolution of Mendeley reader counts for new articles

Authors : Nabeil Maflahi, Mike Thelwall

Within science, citation counts are widely used to estimate research impact but publication delays mean that they are not useful for recent research. This gap can be filled by Mendeley reader counts, which are valuable early impact indicators for academic articles because they appear before citations and correlate strongly with them.

Nevertheless, it is not known how Mendeley readership counts accumulate within the year of publication, and so it is unclear how soon they can be used. In response, this paper reports a longitudinal weekly study of the Mendeley readers of articles in six library and information science journals from 2016.

The results suggest that Mendeley readers accrue from when articles are first available online and continue to steadily build. For journals with large publication delays, articles can already have substantial numbers of readers by their publication date.

Thus, Mendeley reader counts may even be useful as early impact indicators for articles before they have been officially published in a journal issue. If field normalised indicators are needed, then these can be generated when journal issues are published using the online first date.

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/2436/620522

 

Prevalence and citation advantage of gold open access in the subject areas of the Scopus database

Authors : Pablo Dorta-González, Yolanda Santana-Jiménez

The potential benefit of open access (OA) in relation to citation impact has been discussed in the literature in depth. The methodology used to test the OA citation advantage includes comparing OA vs. non-OA journal impact factors and citations of OA versus non-OA articles published in the same non-OA journals.

However, one problem with many studies is that they are small -restricted to a discipline or set of journals-. Moreover, conclusions are not entirely consistent among research areas and ‘early view’ and ‘selection bias’ have been suggested as possible explications. In the present paper, an analysis of gold OA from across all areas of research -the 27 subject areas of the Scopus database- is realized.

As a novel contribution, this paper takes a journal-level approach to assessing the OA citation advantage, whereas many others take a paper-level approach. Data were obtained from Scimago Lab, sorted using Scopus database, and tagged as OA/non-OA using the DOAJ list.

Jointly with the OA citation advantage, the OA prevalence as well as the differences between access types (OA vs. non-OA) in production and referencing are tested. A total of 3,737 OA journals (16.8%) and 18,485 non-OA journals (83.2%) published in 2015 are considered. As the main conclusion, there is no generalizable gold OA citation advantage at journal level.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1708.06242

Scientist impact factor (SIF): a new metric for improving scientists’ evaluation?

Authors : Giuseppe Lippi, Camilla Mattiuzzi

Background

The publication of scientific research is the mainstay for knowledge dissemination, but is also an essential criterion of scientists’ evaluation for recruiting funds and career progression.

Although the most widespread approach for evaluating scientists is currently based on the H-index, the total impact factor (IF) and the overall number of citations, these metrics are plagued by some well-known drawbacks. Therefore, with the aim to improve the process of scientists’ evaluation, we developed a new and potentially useful indicator of recent scientific output.

Methods

The new metric scientist impact factor (SIF) was calculated as all citations of articles published in the two years following the publication year of the articles, divided by the overall number of articles published in that year. The metrics was then tested by analyzing data of the 40 top scientists of the local University.

Results

No correlation was found between SIF and H-index (r=0.15; P=0.367) or 2 years H-index (r=−0.01; P=0.933), whereas the H-Index and 2 years H-index values were found to be highly correlated (r=0.57; P<0.001). A highly significant correlation was also observed between the articles published in one year and the total number of citations to these articles in the two following years (r=0.62; P<0.001).

Conclusions

According to our data, the SIF may be a useful measure to complement current metrics for evaluating scientific output. Its use may be especially helpful for young scientists, wherein the SIF reflects the scientific output over the past two years thus increasing their chances to apply to and obtain competitive funding.

URL : http://atm.amegroups.com/article/view/15375

 

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)

Alternative location : http://ebooks.iospress.nl/publication/46640

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

Author : Teresa Auch Schultz

Introduction

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.

Method

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.

Results

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

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2131

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.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.03178