Citation differences across research funding and access modalities

Authors : Pablo Dorta-González, María Isabel Dorta-González

This research provides insight into the complex relationship between open access, funding, and citation advantage. It presents an analysis of research articles and their citations in the Scopus database across 40 subject categories.

The sample includes 12 categories from Health Sciences, 7 from Life Sciences, 10 from Physical Sciences & Engineering, and 11 from Social Sciences & Humanities. Specifically, the analysis focuses on articles published in 2016 and the citations they received from 2016 to 2020.

Our findings show that open access articles published in hybrid journals receive considerably more citations than those published in gold open access journals. Articles under the hybrid gold modality are cited on average twice as much as those in the gold modality, regardless of funding.

Furthermore, we found that funded articles generally obtain 50 % more citations than unfunded ones within the same publication modality. Open access repositories significantly increase citations, particularly for articles without funding. Thus, articles in open access repositories receive 50 % more citations than paywalled ones.

URL : Citation differences across research funding and access modalities


Influence of research on open science in the public policy sphere

Authors : Daniela De Filippo, Pablo Sastrón‑Toledo

This paper analyses the scientific activity related to open science in Spain and its influence on public policy from a bibliometric perspective. For this purpose, Spanish centres’ projects and publications on open science from 2010 to 2020 are studied. Subsequently, policy documents using papers related to open science are analysed to study their influence on policymaking.

A total of 142 projects and 1491 publications are analysed, 15% of which are mentioned in policy documents.

The publications cited in policy documents display high proportions of international collaboration, open access publication and publication in first-quartile journals. The findings underline governments’ leading role in the implementation of open science policies and the funding of open science research.

The same government agencies that promote and fund open science research are shown to use that research in their institutional reports, a process known as knowledge flow feedback.

Other non-academic actors are also observed to make use of the knowledge produced by open science research, showing how the open science movement has crossed the boundaries of academia.

URL : Influence of research on open science in the public policy sphere


On the culture of open access: the Sci-hub paradox

Authors : Abdelghani Maddi, David Sapinho

Shadow libraries have gradually become key players of scientific knowledge dissemination, despite their illegality in most countries of the world. Many publishers and scientist-editors decry such libraries for their copyright infringement and loss of publication usage information, while some scholars and institutions support them, sometimes in a roundabout way, for their role in reducing inequalities of access to knowledge, particularly in low-income countries. Although there is a wealth of literature on shadow libraries, none of this have focused on its potential role in knowledge dissemination, through the open access movement.

Here we analyze how shadow libraries can affect researchers’ citation practices, highlighting some counter-intuitive findings about their impact on the Open Access Citation Advantage (OACA). Based on a large randomized sample, this study first shows that OA publications, including those in fully OA journals, receive more citations than their subscription-based counterparts do.

However, the OACA has slightly decreased over the seven last years. The introduction of a distinction between those accessible or not via the Sci-hub platform among subscription-based suggest that the generalization of its use cancels the positive effect of OA publishing. The results show that publications in fully OA journals (and to a lesser extent those in hybrid journals) are victims of the success of Sci-hub.

Thus, paradoxically, although Sci-hub may seem to facilitate access to scientific knowledge, it negatively affects the OA movement as a whole, by reducing the comparative advantage of OA publications in terms of visibility for researchers. The democratization of the use of Sci-hub may therefore lead to a vicious cycle against the development of fully OA journals.

URL : On the culture of open access: the Sci-hub paradox



Do open-access dermatology articles have higher citation counts than those with subscription-based access?

Authors : Fangyi Xie, Sherief Ghozy, David F. Kallmes, Julia S. Lehman


Open-access (OA) publishing is increasingly prevalent in dermatology, and many journals now offer hybrid options, including conventional (subscription-based access [SA]) publishing or OA (with an author publishing charge) in a subscription journal. OA publishing has been noted in many disciplines, but this has been rarely studied in dermatology.


Using the Clarivate Journal Citation Report, we compiled a list of English-language dermatology hybrid OA journals containing more than 5% OA articles. We sampled any OA review or original research article in 4 issues from 2018 to 2019 and matched an equal number of SA articles. Citation count, citation count excluding self-citations and view counts found using Scopus and Altmetrics score were recorded for each article. Statistical analyses were performed using logistic and negative binomial models using R software.


Twenty-seven hybrid dermatology journals were found, and 538 articles were sampled (269 OA, 269 SA). For both original research and review articles, OA articles had significantly higher mean citation counts (mean 13.2, standard deviation [SD] 17.0) compared to SA articles (mean 7.9, SD 8.8) (odds ratio [OR] 1.04; 95% CI 1.02–1.05; P < .001) including when adjusted for time from publication.

Original research OA articles had significantly higher citation counts than original research SA articles (excluding self-citations; OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01–1.05; P = .003), and review articles also had OA citation advantage than review SA articles (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02–1.11; P = .008). There was, however, no significant difference in citation counts between review articles and original research articles (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.19–5.31; P = 1.000).

There was no significant difference seen in view counts (OA: mean±SD 17.7±10.8; SA: mean±SD 17.1±12.4) and Altmetric score (OA: mean±SD 13.2±47.8; SA: mean±SD 6.3±25.0) between OA and SA articles. Potential confounders included the fact that more OA articles were published in Europe than in Asia, and pharmaceutical-funded articles were more likely to be published OA.


We noted a higher citation count for OA articles than SA articles in dermatology hybrid journals. However, dermatology researchers should take into account confounding factors when deciding whether to increase the impact of their work by selecting OA over SA publishing.

URL : Do open-access dermatology articles have higher citation counts than those with subscription-based access?


Whose research benefits more from Twitter? On Twitter-worthiness of communication research and its role in reinforcing disparities of the field

Authors : Chung-hong Chan, Jing Zeng, Mike S. Schäfer

Twitter has become an important promotional tool for scholarly work, but individual academic publications have varied degrees of visibility on the platform. We explain this variation through the concept of Twitter-worthiness: factors making certain academic publications more likely to be visible on Twitter.

Using publications from communication studies as our analytical case, we conduct statistical analyses of 32187 articles spanning 82 journals. Findings show that publications from G12 countries, covering social media topics and published open access tend to be mentioned more on Twitter.

Similar to prior studies, this study demonstrates that Twitter mentions are associated with peer citations. Nevertheless, Twitter also has the potential to reinforce pre-existing disparities between communication research communities, especially between researchers from developed and less-developed regions. Open access, however, does not reinforce such disparities.

URL : Whose research benefits more from Twitter? On Twitter-worthiness of communication research and its role in reinforcing disparities of the field


Open access and its potential impact on public health – A South African perspective

Authors : Adéle Strydom, Juanita Mellet, Jeanne Van Rensburg, Ignatius Viljoen, Anastasios Athanasiadis, Michael S. Pepper

Traditionally, access to research information has been restricted through journal subscriptions. This means that research entities and individuals who were unable to afford subscription costs did not have access to journal articles. There has however been a progressive shift toward electronic access to journal publications and subsequently growth in the number of journals available globally.

In the context of electronic journals, both open access and restricted access options exist. While the latter option is comparable to traditional, subscription-based paper journals, open access journal publications follow an “open science” publishing model allowing scholarly communications and outputs to be publicly available online at no cost to the reader.

However, for readers to enjoy open access, publication costs are shifted elsewhere, typically onto academic institutions and authors. SARS-CoV-2, and the resulting COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the benefits of open science through accelerated research and unprecedented levels of collaboration and data sharing. South Africa is one of the leading open access countries on the African continent.

This paper focuses on open access in the South African higher education research context with an emphasis on our Institution and our own experiences. It also addresses the financial implications of open access and provides possible solutions for reducing the cost of publication for researchers and their institutions.

Privacy in open access and the role of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) in medical research and secondary use of data in South Africa will also be discussed.

URL : Open access and its potential impact on public health – A South African perspective


Deep Impact: A Study on the Impact of Data Papers and Datasets in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Authors : Barbara McGillivray, Paola Marongiu, Nilo Pedrazzini, Marton Ribary, Mandy Wigdorowitz, Eleonora Zordan

The humanities and social sciences (HSS) have recently witnessed an exponential growth in data-driven research. In response, attention has been afforded to datasets and accompanying data papers as outputs of the research and dissemination ecosystem.

In 2015, two data journals dedicated to HSS disciplines appeared in this landscape: Journal of Open Humanities Data (JOHD) and Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences (RDJ).

In this paper, we analyse the state of the art in the landscape of data journals in HSS using JOHD and RDJ as exemplars by measuring performance and the deep impact of data-driven projects, including metrics (citation count; Altmetrics, views, downloads, tweets) of data papers in relation to associated research papers and the reuse of associated datasets.

Our findings indicate: that data papers are published following the deposit of datasets in a repository and usually following research articles; that data papers have a positive impact on both the metrics of research papers associated with them and on data reuse; and that Twitter hashtags targeted at specific research campaigns can lead to increases in data papers’ views and downloads.

HSS data papers improve the visibility of datasets they describe, support accompanying research articles, and add to transparency and the open research agenda.

URL : Deep Impact: A Study on the Impact of Data Papers and Datasets in the Humanities and Social Sciences