Increased resources – open access outputs are freely available on the web and therefore researchers can access a larger research base without reliance on individual or institutional subscriptions or purchasing one-off articles direct from the publishers.2. This can aid all aspects of the scientific process. - richer research base allows a researcher access to all the relevant information with which to identify a research question - a greater understanding of the information will help hypothesis formation - by evaluating a larger base of previous research in a particular field a researcher will be in a better position to ensure that they build on the previous successes and limitations in terms of experimental design and methodology (best research tools, analysis methods) - a greater access to relevant research better position to draw conclusions from your research3. Overall the more information and resources a researcher has access to the better position they are in make a contribution to their particular field, in terms of furthering what is known. – This is a the first key objective for any researcher, what drives research4. Better access to resources would also serve to reduce two other areas of bad practice in research - firstly citation bias – an output that is freely available may be cited far more frequently that an output with restricted access. In some instances this may lead to an artificial impression of consensus or majority thinking in terms of one side of an argument, when actually the another side of the argument is simply less frequently cited. - secondly it reduces he problem of hollow citing which can lead to inaccuracies in writing and flawed conclusions. By ‘hollow citing’ I’m referring to a Chinese-whispers-like effect which starts an idea or concept from a restricted access publication being cited incorrectly. If a reader cannot get access to the original publication they may be tempted to simply cite this idea or concept anyway using the info from its previous citation. Three or four readers down the line the concept or idea is still being cited but due to repeated rewording it may have been changed from the original publication. Obviously hollow citing is very bad practice and is the responsibility of the researcher. Nevertheless, increasing the availability of full txt research outputs may reduce it.
Proportion of subject journals which are OA 17, 29, 37 and 69% respectively
Ten leading journals in each discipline, as defined by ISI’s Journal Citation Reports-ConclusionsThe findings clearly suggest that across a range of disciplines higher citation rates can be achieved through open access.Not a exhaustive range of disciplines so have to be careful not to generalise too far - However the idea that open access increases citation rate is a controversial one as there are a number of confounding factors
Well regarded, prolific authors may be at the top institutions which are more likely to have a publication depository2. The more authors a publication has may increase both the number of citations (through self citation and access through author searches) and the likelihood of it being open access – it only takes one author to make a paper available in an institutional depository then it is available to everyone3. The argument that if a paper is well received/well cited an author may make it available due to the number of requests for it. Or as a trophy!
Controlling for these factors addresses the effect of having more/ more well known authors.There is still an obvious benefit of OA on citation rateThe secondary analyses demonstrate that even if some of this effect is due to papers that were made freely available as a result of it being highly cited, there is still a very clear indication that publishing initially in immediate open access journals may benefit citation rate.
Currently public funds are used three times in the research process: to pay the academics who conduct the research, to pay the academics who conduct the peer review process, and to pay for academics to access this research through institutional journal subscriptions. Open Access is advocated by many institutions and importantly by many research funders, some of whom mandate open access as part of their funding agreements.Last year - Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) have announced plans to work together to ensure greater open access to published research. They have suggested that ‘significant outputs from research activity are made available as widely as possible both within and beyond the research community. Open access to published research can benefit the research base, higher education, and the UK economy and society.’ Nearly all of the major UK funding bodies now have some kind of open access policy in place for grant holders. The terms and conditions of these policies vary but in essence all require grant holders to make the publications resulting from a grant openly available, usually within a particular time period.
Antelmann, Kirstin (2004). Do open access articles have a greater research impact? College & Research Libraries News, 65(5), 372-382.Eysenbach, Gunther (2006). Citation advantage of open access articles. PLoS Biology, 4(5).3. RCUK & HEFCE Press release - http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/2011news/Pages/110525_1.aspx4. Funding mandates - http://open-access.org.uk/information-and-guidance/publication-policies/#5
The benefits of open access
International Open Access WeekSt. Lukes Campus, University of Exeter, 25th October 2012 1
To examine the benefits of Open Access to the researchprocess prior to publication To examine the benefits of Open Access after publication Visibility and impact Evidence To examine the benefits of research repositories such as ERIC To examine the wider issue of publically funded researchbeing publically available 2
Effect on quality of research increased resources aids all aspects of the scientific method planning, experimental design and methodology Better practice reduces citation bias reduces problem of ‘hollow citing’ 3
Visibility of research The publication of research outputs in immediate open access journals or their availability in institutional repositories exposes then to a wider readership Increase in interest in research Increased citation rate 4
Higher citation rate Increased availability = increased downloads = increased citations Antelman 2004 ‘Do open-access articles have a greater research impact?’ Examined articles in four disciplines Philosophy, political science, electrical and electronic engineering and mathematics chosen as they represent various stages of adoption of open access ‘number of citations’ used to determine whether articles have agreater impact when their authors make them freely available 5
Antelman 2004 Difference in citation rate Mathematics 91%Electrical and electronic engineering 51% Political Science 86% Philosphy 45% Open Access - No 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 Open Access - Yes 6
But.... Is this increase in citation rate due to other confounding factors? I. Top authors who are highly cited may be at better institutions which may be more likely to have publication repositories II. A greater number of authors on a publication may increase both the number of citations and the likelihood of it being open access – it only takes one! III. The benefits of OA are simply due to authors allowing free access to ‘trophy’ publications in personal or institutional repositories after their publication in non-OA journals 7
Eysenbach 2006 Bibliometric analysis of a cohort of OA and non-OA articles published between June and December 2004 in the same journal (PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) Controlled for potential confounding factors including, number of authors, authors’ publication history and impact, country, funding and discipline Open access articles were twice as likely to be cited in the first 4- 10 months (OR = 2.1 [1.5-2.9]) & almost 3 times as likely to be cited in the 10-16 months after publication: OR = 2.9 [1.5-5.5] Secondary analyses showed that papers in immediate OA journals were cited more than those in non-OA journals which were made available through repositories 8
Across a variety of disciplines, OA articles have a greaterresearch impact than articles which are not freely available1 Readers find OA outputs more easily, read them more often1 andciting them earlier and more often in their own work2 This effect is evident even after controlling for confoundingfactors relating to authorship and institution2 9
ERIC – allows searches by collection, subject, author, theme Mutual benefit due to U of E reputation for research Success within a discipline may raise profile for all rather than just those involved Stimulation of new research ideas Increase in access to research outputs and ideas could stimulate new avenues of research Collaborations Across institutions Across disciplines Benefit to researchers, institutions and research as a whole 10
‘Publically funded research should be publically available’ In non-OA publication public funds are used three times inthe research process3 To pay for; 1) research, 2) peer review & 3) access RCUK and the HEFCE announced plans to ensure greater openaccess4‘significant outputs from research activity are made available aswidely as possible both within and beyond the researchcommunity. Open access to published research can benefit theresearch base, higher education, and the UK economy andsociety.’ OA is now advocated by many institutions & funders 11
Open access, via immediate OA journals or depositories can benefitresearchers at all stages of the research process The main effects are an increase in resources and increased visibilityand impact of research outputs Can also stimulate interest across disciplines and institutionsallowing greater collaboration The wider issue of publicly funded research being publicallyavailable is beginning to be addressed due to support from RCUK &HCFCE and as OA increasingly becomes a mandate of the provision offunding. 12
1.Antelmann, Kirstin (2004). Do open access articles have a greater research impact? College & Research Libraries News, 65(5), 372- 382.2.Eysenbach, Gunther (2006). Citation advantage of open access articles. PLoS Biology, 4(5).3. RCUK & HEFCE Press release -http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/2011news/Pages/110525_1.aspx4. Information on Funding mandates - http://open-access.org.uk/information-and-guidance/publication-policies/#5 13
International Open Access WeekSt. Lukes Campus, University of Exeter, 25th October 2012 14