The Open Access movement has encouraged the availability of publicly-funded research papers, data and learning content for barrier-free use of that content without payment by the user. The impact of increasing availability of content to researchers in European universities is understood in terms of easier access to previous research and greater exposure for new research results, bringing benefits to the research community itself. A new culture of informal sharing is evident within the teaching and learning communities and to some extent also within the research community, but as yet the growth in informal sharing has not had a major effect upon the use of formal publication choices.

This briefing paper explores the impact of open access upon potential users of research outputs outside the walls of research-led European universities, where the economic value of open access may be even greater than the academic value within universities. The potential impact of open access is understood in many communities but requires a greater volume of open access content to be available for the full potential to be realised. More open access content will become available as the opportunities in open, internet-based digital scholarship are understood.


Improving the Value of Transport Researc…

Improving the Value of Transport Research using Advanced Web Tools to Improve Research Dissemination :

“This paper aims to measure the impact of a thematic digital research repository on spreading new knowledge research into the professional transport community using user survey findings for the SORT (Social Research in Transport) Clearinghouse ( website and a review of previous research.

Research dissemination, the circulation of research findings, has been identified as the easiest way to distribute new knowledge and thematic research clearinghouses such as SORT have been seen as a means to „reinvigorate professional values‟ by providing quick access to quality research whilst also maintaining copyright protections to authors and publishers. SORT was developed out of the concern that social research findings in transport were not reaching the wider non-academic professional community. Some 1,777 separate users from 69 countries accessed the site on 3,282 visits in the first 11 months of 2009 for an average visit length of 5 minutes.

The user survey of SORT identified that policy/practitioners and consultants were the primary users of the web site (66%) with academics (27%). Most site users apply the research content accessed from SORT for „conceptual‟ applications (i.e. to keep informed). A very high share of users cite research evidence in their own published work (27% of academics) supporting previous research suggesting that research clearinghouses add much value to authors, journal editors and publishers. „Instrumental‟ use of research (to implement a transport plan, policy or service) represented a minority of uses (20% on average) nevertheless this is considered quite a reasonable outcome from a targeted dissemination approach. Some 40% of policy/practitioners used the research from SORT for „instrumental‟ purposes and this group represents half of the user base suggesting a strong real world application of the
research content in SORT. Support for this conclusion is provided from user ratings of the importance
of SORT to user occupational activities. Overall 56% of all users (65% of professional/practitioners)
considered SORT essential/very essential to their work.

Overall the findings provide some strong support for the view that thematic research clearinghouses might have an important role to play in bridging the gap between quality academic research published in research journals and professional practitioners planning and operating transport systems.”


Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access I…

Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research :

Articles whose authors have supplemented subscription-based access to the publisher’s version by self-archiving their own final draft to make it accessible free for all on the web (“Open Access”, OA) average twice as many citations as articles in the same journal and year that have not been made OA. Some have suggested that this “OA Advantage” may not be causal but just a self-selection bias, because authors preferentially make higher-quality articles OA. To test this we compared self-selective
self-archiving with mandatory self-archiving for a sample of 27,197 articles published 2002-2006 in 1,984 journals.
Principal Findings: The OA Advantage proved just as high for both. Logistic regression analysis showed that the advantage is independent of other correlates of citations (article age; journal impact factor; number of co-authors, references or pages; field; article type; or country) and greatest for the most highly cited articles. The OA Advantage is real, independent and causal, but skewed. Its size is indeed correlated with quality, just as citations themselves are (the top 20% of articles receive about 80% of all citations).
The OA advantage is greater for the more citable articles, not because of a quality bias from authors self-selecting what to make OA, but because of a quality advantage, from users self-selecting what to use and cite, freed by OA from the constraints of selective accessibility to subscribers only. It is hoped that these findings will help motivate the adoption of OA self-archiving mandates by universities, research institutions and research funders.”


The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date

Author : Alma Swan

This paper presents a summary of reported studies on the Open Access citation advantage. There is a brief introduction to the main issues involved in carrying out such studies, both methodological and interpretive.

The study listing provides some details of the coverage, methodological approach and main conclusions of each study.