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

Purposes 

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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

Public accessibility of biomedical articles from PubMed Central…

Public accessibility of biomedical articles from PubMed Central reduces journal readership–retrospective cohort analysis :

“Does PubMed Central-a government-run digital archive of biomedical articles-compete with scientific society journals? A longitudinal, retrospective cohort analysis of 13,223 articles (5999 treatment, 7224 control) published in 14 society-run biomedical research journals in nutrition, experimental biology, physiology, and radiology between February 2008 and January 2011 reveals a 21.4% reduction in full-text hypertext markup language (HTML) article downloads and a 13.8% reduction in portable document format (PDF) article downloads from the journals’ websites when U.S. National Institutes of Health-sponsored articles (treatment) become freely available from the PubMed Central repository. In addition, the effect of PubMed Central on reducing PDF article downloads is increasing over time, growing at a rate of 1.6% per year. There was no longitudinal effect for full-text HTML downloads. While PubMed Central may be providing complementary access to readers traditionally underserved by scientific journals, the loss of article readership from the journal website may weaken the ability of the journal to build communities of interest around research papers, impede the communication of news and events to scientific society members and journal readers, and reduce the perceived value of the journal to institutional subscribers.”

URL : http://www.fasebj.org/content/early/2013/04/02/fj.13-229922.full.pdf

Web Services for Bibliometrics

Institutional repositories have spread in universities where they provide services for recording, distributing, and preserving the institution’s intellectual output. When the Lausanne “academic server”, named SERVAL, was launched at the end of 2008, the Faculty of Biology and Medicine addressed from the outset the issue of quality of metadata. Accuracy is fundamental since research funds are allocated on the basis of the statistics and indicators provided by the repository. The Head of faculty also charged the medical library to explore different ways to measure and assess the research output. The first step for the Lausanne university medical library was to implement the PubMed and the Web of Science web services to easily extract clean bibliographic information from the databases directly into the repository.

Now the medical library is testing other web services (from CrossRef, Web of Science, etc.) to generate quantitative data on research impact mainly. The approach is essentially based on citation linking. Although the utility of citation and bibliometric evaluation is still debated, the most prevalent output measures used for research evaluation are still those based on citation analysis. Even when a new scientific evaluation indicator is proposed, such as h-index, we can always see its link with citation. Additionally, the results of a new indicator are often compared with citation analysis. The presentation will review the web services which might be used in institutional repositories to collect and aggregate citation information for the researchers’ publications.

URL : http://archivesic.ccsd.cnrs.fr/sic_00540289/fr/