Impact factions: assessing the citation impact of different types of open access repositories

Authors : Jonathan Wheeler, Ngoc‑Minh Pham, Kenning Arlitsch, Justin D. Shanks

Institutional repositories (IR) maintained by research libraries play a central role in providing open access to taxpayer-funded research products. It is difficult to measure the extent to which IR contribute to new scholarship because publisher self-archiving policies typically require researchers to cite the “version of record” of a manuscript even when an IR copy is accessed to conduct the research.

While some studies report an open access (OA) citation advantage resulting from the availability of self-archived or “green” OA manuscripts, few have sought to measure an OA citation effect of IR separately from disciplinary repositories, including arXiv and PubMed Central.

In this study, the authors present a bibliometric analysis examining correlations between search engine performance of items in IR, OA availability from different types of repositories, and citations. The analysis uses a novel, open dataset of IR access and usage derived from five months of Google search engine results pages (SERP) data, which were aggregated by the Repository Analytics and Metrics Portal (RAMP) web service.

Findings indicate that making OA copies of manuscripts available in self-archiving or “green” repositories results in a positive citation effect, although the disciplinary repositories within the sample significantly outperform the other types of OA services analyzed. Also evident is an increase in citations when a single manuscript is available in multiple OA sources.

URL : Impact factions: assessing the citation impact of different types of open access repositories


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