More citations for fee-based online journals than free ones

My buddy James Evans (with co-author Jacob Reimer) continues to produce important and methodologically rigorous research on publishing and citation patterns.

In a study published in Science magazine (no link available yet, PDF (subscription required)), Evans and Reimer find that:

when a research article is offered online after being in print for one year, the use of an open-source format increases citations to the article by 8 percent. But when a paid-subscription format is used to distribute a year-old print article, the citations increase by 12 percent. (from The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Some of the Chronicle comments note that Evans and Reimer elected to publish in a fee-based journal themselves.

There is a complicated self-fulfilling prophecy mechanism at work in the pattern they find. For a scholar seeking tenure, citation count matters more than simple exposure. If the fee-based journals get cited more, they will remain more attractive publication vehicles for scholars. As the best scholars and rising scholars continue to publish in fee-based journals, then those journals will continue to get cited more.

Update (Feb. 25, 2009): Evans describes his research in this video interview from National Science Foundation.

2 Responses to “More citations for fee-based online journals than free ones”


  1. 1 Stevan Harnad February 25, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    See:
    The Evans & Reimer OA Impact Study: A Welter of Misunderstandings
    http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/535-guid.html

    Like

  2. 2 Stevan Harnad February 25, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    See:
    The Evans & Reimer OA Impact Study: A Welter of Misunderstandings
    http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/535-guid.html

    Perils of Press-Release Journalism: NSF, U. Chicago and Chronicle of Higher Education
    http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/536-guid.html

    Open Access Benefits for the Developed and Developing World: The Harvards and the Have-Nots
    http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/533-guid.html

    Like


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