Examining the Impact of the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy on the Citation Rates of Journal Articles


To examine whether National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded articles that were archived in PubMed Central (PMC) after the release of the 2008 NIH Public Access Policy show greater scholarly impact than comparable articles not archived in PMC.


A list of journals across several subject areas was developed from which to collect article citation data. Citation information and cited reference counts of the articles published in 2006 and 2009 from 122 journals were obtained from the Scopus database. The articles were separated into categories of NIH funded, non-NIH funded and whether they were deposited in PubMed Central. An analysis of citation data across a five-year timespan was performed on this set of articles.


A total of 45,716 articles were examined, including 7,960 with NIH-funding. An analysis of the number of times these articles were cited found that NIH-funded 2006 articles in PMC were not cited significantly more than NIH-funded non-PMC articles. However, 2009 NIH funded articles in PMC were cited 26% more than 2009 NIH funded articles not in PMC, 5 years after publication. This result is highly significant even after controlling for journal (as a proxy of article quality and topic).


Our analysis suggests that factors occurring between 2006 and 2009 produced a subsequent boost in scholarly impact of PubMed Central. The 2008 Public Access Policy is likely to be one such factor, but others may have contributed as well (e.g., growing size and visibility of PMC, increasing availability of full-text linkouts from PubMed, and indexing of PMC articles by Google Scholar).

URL : Examining the Impact of the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy on the Citation Rates of Journal Articles

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0139951

The Future of Taxpayer-Funded Research: Who Will Control Access to the Results?

This report examines the costs and benefits of increased public access, and proposals to either extend or overturn the NIH policy. It looks at increased public access to research results through the lens of “openness,” with a particular interest in how greater openness affects the progress of science, the productivity of the research enterprise, the process of innovation, the commercialization of research, and economic growth.

URL : http://www.ced.org/images/content/issues/innovation-technology/DCCReport_Final_2_9-12.pdf

The Influence of the National Institutes of Health…

The Influence of the National Institutes of Health : Public-Access Policy on the Publishing Habits of Principal Investigators :

“The mandatory NIH public-access policy, which became effective on April 7, 2008, requires the NIH-funded principal investigators (PIs) to self-archive to the National Library of Medicine subject repository PubMed Central a manuscript’s electronic version immediately upon publication, which will then be available to the public free of cost the latest after a twelve-month embargo period. The Public Library of Science (PLoS), a non-profit open-access publisher in health sciences, publishes seven journals in the health sciences field (PLoS ONE, PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Pathogenes and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases) and submits to PubMed Central all the published articles, irrespective of the funder of the research results. The PIs who had published in one of the PLoS journals were chosen based on the journals’ established high impact factor immediately after their creation. The PIs’ motivation to publish in one of the seven PLoS journals was unknown. Whether the NIH public-access policy has affected the PIs’ publishing decisions was also unknown.

A random sample of NIH-funded PIs, who had published in one of the PLoS journals between the years 2005- 2009, was selected from the RePORTER database. During the period
March-May 2011, forty-two PIs were interviewed using SkypeTM software, and a semi-structured open-ended interview protocol was followed. The participants were divided into two groups; the pre-mandate PIs, who had published in one of the seven PLoS journals during the period 2005-2007 and the post-mandate, who had published in the PLoS journals the during period 2008-2009. The publishing habits of these two groups were compared, in order to reach an understanding about their publishing decisions.

Based on the findings, the NIH-funded PIs choose the PLoS journals due to their high impact factor, fast publication speed, fair peer-review system and the articles’ open-access availability. Although the PIs agree with the premise that publicly funded research must be distributed for-free to everyone who has funded it, the steps required to comply with the policy were perceived to be time consuming. Since conformity with the policy is essential, the participants’ goal is to ensure that the manuscripts will appear to PubMed Central, which either can be self-archived by the PIs, by an administrative assistant or by the journal.

The NIH public-access policy did not cause either an increase in the PIs’ open-access awareness or a change in their publishing habits. The open-access advocates were supporters of the immediate free access to scientific information before the policy and provided their manuscripts free-of-cost before the policy’s mandate. The non-open-access advocates choose their publications based on quality criteria such as the journal’s prestige, impact factor, speed of publication and the attracted audience, while the article’s open-access availability is considered to be a plus. Furthermore, since a large number of journals comply with the NIH-policy, the participants did not have to change their publishing habits.”

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/10760/17208

Open Access Part II: The Structure, Resources, and Implications for Nurses

Electronic publishing has changed the landscape for broadcasting scholarly information. Now Open Access is globalizing scholarly work. Open Access facilitates lifelong learning habits; enhances dissemination and distribution of information; impacts the informatics curriculum; supports active learning; and provides areas for nursing informatics research.

In the last 10 years the Open Access Movement has formalized into a distinct publishing paradigm. Many free, full-text resources are now available to guide nursing practice. This article describes the Open Access structure, and provides suggestions for using Open Access resources in classroom and practice settings.

The nursing community is only beginning to accept and use Open Access. Yet all nurses should be aware of the unique opportunity to obtain free, current, and scholarly information through a variety of avenues and also to incorporate this information into their daily practice.

The resources presented in this article can be used to increase nursing knowledge and support evidence-based practice.”

URL : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22320873