This is not a citation

“Of a sample of 4,633 articles examined, 2,280 (49%) were OA and had a mean citation count of 9.04 whereas the mean for TA (Toll Access) articles was 5.76. There appears to be a clear citation advantage for those articles that are OA as opposed to those that are TA.”

Norris, Michael; Oppenheim, Charles; Rowland, Fytton (2008).  The citation advantage of open-access articles.  Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(12), p 1963-1972, DOI: 10.1002/asi.20898, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.20898

Naturally I am always looking for evidence that OA increases citation rate.  The paper above offers further evidence, and I’ve only presented it in the form of a citation, it’s not actually a citation of course, in the full academic sense, as this is a blog and not an academic paper.

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7 Responses to This is not a citation

  1. Nick says:

    At least I’m pretty sure it won’t be counted as such by the REF. And surely hyperlinked text to OA (or TA articles) from a blog surely aren’t and yet blogs are a valid form of academic communication. Aren’t they?

  2. Hi Nick

    the traditional academic paper is
    guaranteed longevity by a well designed library system. A blog discussion trail
    just a year or two old is hard to follow through its broken links and shut down
    servers. (Walker, 2006)

    I wonder if this could change, if we started taking as good care of blogs as we do of PDFs in our lovely IRs? 🙂 How to do it, though? This was the kind of thing Brian Kelly and others discussed as part of the JISC-PoWR project. Lots of questions: any answers?!

  3. Nick says:

    Hi Richard

    Thanks for your comment. Yet another interesting tangent for me to gallop after! I confess I hadn’t thought too hard about preservation issues and blogs – though I dare say I increasingly shall as the end of my project approaches! I’ll be interested to look at the JISC-PoWR project.

    Cheers

  4. Philip Davis says:

    Naturally I am always looking for evidence that OA increases citation rate.

    …and reject scientifically rigorous studies that may indicate that this statement may be invalid?

    Correlation (of citations to free access status) does not mean necessarily that open access is the cause of more citations. It may mean that higher quality articles are made freely accessible and it is quality that is driving citations, not open access.

    In the first robust, randomized controlled trial of open access publishing, we could find no evidence that free access leads to more citations. The nature of our study allows us to control for other explanations, which is not the case of observational studies (such as Norris et al.)

    Academics (and I hope librarians consider themselves part of this group) should attempt to be unbiased, fair, and skeptical in the face of empirical studies. Looking for studies that support one’s own political view is not part of being an academic.


    Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: randomised controlled trial

    Philip M Davis, Bruce V Lewenstein, Daniel H Simon, James G Booth, Mathew J L Connolly
    BMJ 2008;337:a568
    doi:10.1136/bmj.a568
    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/jul31_1/a568

  5. Nick says:

    Fair point.

    I do accept that the jury is still out on the perceived citation advantage of open access publishing and I have read some of the literature exploring alternative explanations – though I concede probably not widely enough.

    I suppose I do consider myself a sort-of-academic though not actually (even) a qualified librarian!! I was aware that I was being provocative when I posted (hence the title) and had I been writing a formal academic article would have taken care to explore the issue in more detail and to present both sides of the argument.

    Really the point I was trying to make was simply that the less formal and rigorous academic blogosphere has changed the way that academic communication has traditionally been conducted – which, after all, evolved in the age of print and remained pretty much unchanged since Henry Oldenburg created Phil Trans in 1665 until Stevan Harnad started Psycoloquy in 1990 – and has the potential to change it even more. After all, have you not just conducted swift, impromptu and public peer review of my implicit opinion?

  6. Nick says:

    And if anyone doubted the value of the blogosphere look what the auto-generated-possibly related-post is:

    Open Access Doesn’t Drive Citations

    I’ve learned a whole lot more already!

  7. Pingback: Citation advantage as Holy Grail « Repository News

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