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August 06, 2007

Study Suggest Open Access Articles Are More Immediately Recognized and Cited, then Barrier Access Articles

J Med Internet Res. 2006 May 15;8(2):e8
The open access advantage.
Eysenbach G.
Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
PubMedID, Record & Related Articles: 16867971

A study published today in PLoS Biology provides robust evidence that open-access articles are more immediately recognized and cited than non-OA articles. This editorial provides some additional follow up data from the most recent analysis of the same cohort in April 2006, 17 to 21 months after publication. These data suggest that the citation gap between open access and non-open access papers continues to widen. I conclude with the observation that the "open access advantage" has at least three components: (1) a citation count advantage (as a metric for knowledge uptake within the scientific community), (2) an end user uptake advantage, and (3) a cross-discipline fertilization advantage. More research is needed, and JMIR is inviting research on all aspects of open access. As the advantages for publishing open access from a researchers' point of view become increasingly clear, questions around the sustainability of open access journals remain. This journal is a living example that "lean publishing" models can create successful open access journals. Open source tools which have been developed by the Public Knowledge Project at the University of British Columbia with contributions from the Epublishing & Open Access group at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation in Toronto are an alternative to hosting journals on commercial open access publisher sites.

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