Friday, 5 September 2008

Open Access publication does not give a Citation Advantage

Recent research published in the British Medical Journal looking at the citation advantage of publishing in an Open Access format (Davis et al. 2008) concludes ...

Open access publishing may reach more readers than subscription access publishing. No evidence was found of a citation advantage for open access articles in the first year after publication.

The reason this is important, and the focus of research, is that those who support Open Access publication claim the citation advantage as one of the benefits to authors. Articles free at the point of access are more likely to be located, read and therefore cited by others.

Many of the arguments over the citation effect concern methodology, and samples are exclusively taken from the sciences. The BMJ article, however, appears to be conclusive that any effect is not due to Open Access. Possible explanations include:

  • The process of academic writing and peer review ensures that only relevant material is cited whatever the form of publication (Craig 2007).

  • Most researchers working in academic/research institutions are supported by tens of thousands if not millions of pounds of institutional subscriptions to databases and journals as well as generous Inter-Library Loan budgets. From their individual point of view all literature is free at the point of access giving Open Access publication a limited advantage.

  • Open Access journals are integrated into library provided interfaces that mix Open Access and paid for subscriptions journals - supported by institutional subscriptions. The distinctive nature of Open Access content is obscured by this process. Exclusively using Google Scholar or similar tools, however, has the opposite effect, finding Open Access material you can see and paid for content you can't.

Interestingly Open Access publications are downloaded more frequently, achieving a wider reach. Downloads have been suggested as an alternative to citations to measure article impacts. However, the forthcoming replacement of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the Research Excellence Framework (REF) will use citation analysis not downloads to assess impact.

There is another way. Publishers (see Sherpa/ROMEO website) will normally allow last accepted versions to be posted on institutional repositories like BURO. If you contribute to BURO you have the option of publishing in paid for content journals and engaging with Open Access, with the additional benefit of a wider readership and the possibility of participating in any projects that develop impact metrics based on downloads.



Previous post related to this topic

BURO's versions policy


Caldwell, T., 2008. Open access citation effect illusory. Information World Review, 03 September 2008. Available from: [Accessed 06 September 2008].

Craig, I.D., Plume, A.M., McVeigh, M.E., Pringle, J. & Amin, M., 2007. Do open access articles have greater citation impact? A critical review of the literature. Journal Informatics, 1(3), 239-248. Available from: [Accessed 21 May 2008].

Davis, P.M., Lewenstein, B.V., Simon, D.H., Booth, J.G., and Connolly, M.J.L., 2008. Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 337, a568. Available from: [Accessed: 06 September 2008].

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Bournemouth University subscribes to Scopus

Scopus is an abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources in the sciences and social sciences. Updated daily, it indexes 15,000 peer-reviewed journals from more than 4,000 publishers, open access journals, conference proceedings, trade publications, book series, patent records and scientific web pages. It contains over 33 million records, of which 16 million records include references going back to 1996 and 17 million pre-1996 records going back as far as 1841.

Scopus has a number of features that allow you to analyse you own publications including calculating your H Index and citations counts.

Scopus is ATHENS Authenticated


Go to Scopus
Previous entry on the Scopus Journal Analyser

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

BURO Top Ten Viewed Papers - August 2008

  1. Klimis, G.M., Wallace, R. and Kretschmer, M., 2001. Music in electronic markets: an empirical study. New Media & Society, 3 (4), pp. 417-441. Link

  2. Brown, L. and Holloway, I., 2008. The initial stage of the international sojourn: excitement or culture shock? British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 36 (1), pp. 33-49. Link

  3. Buhalis, D. and Law, R., 2008. Twenty years on and 10 years after the Internet: The state of eTourism research. Tourism Management, 29 (4), pp. 609-623. (In Press) Link

  4. Street, S., 2008. Radio archive. Documentation. Poole: Bournemouth University. Link

  5. Shiel, C. and Jones, D., 2003. Reflective learning and assessment: a systematic study of reflexive learning as evidenced in student Learning Journals. HEAC, pp. 1-32. Link

  6. Hean, S. and Matthews, M., 2007. Applying work motivation theories to articulate the challenges of providing effective doctoral supervision. In: Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship, Proceedings of the 30th HERDSA Annual Conference [CD-ROM], Adelaide, 8-11 July. Milperra, New South Wales, Australia: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Link

  7. Morgan, M., 2007. Festival Spaces and the Visitor Experience. In: Casado-Diaz, M., Everett, S. and Wilson, J., eds. Social and Cultural Change: Making Space(s) for Leisure and Tourism. Eastbourne, UK: Lesiure Studies Association, pp. 113-130. Link

  8. Street, S., 2007. A word in your ear: radio archives and education. In: Grant, C. and McKernan, L., eds. Moving Image Knowledge and Access: The BUFVC Handbook. London: BUFVC, pp. 23-28. Link

  9. Todres, L., 2000. Writing phenomenological-psychological description: an illustration attempting to balance texture and structure. Auto-Biography: an international & interdisciplinary journal, 3 (1 & 2), pp. 41-48. Link

  10. Hartwell, H., Edwards, J. and Symonds, C., 2006. Foodservice in hospital: development of a theoretical model for patient experience and satisfaction using one hospital in the UK National Health Service as a case study. Journal of Foodservice, 17 (5-6), pp. 226-238. Link

Data is sourced from Google Analytics. See also entries on previous usage statistics.