Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Paid access to journal articles not a significant barrier for scientists

Date:
March 30, 2011
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
They say the best things in life are free, but when it comes to online scientific publishing, a new research report suggests otherwise. The report shows that free access to scientific journal articles leads to increases in downloads, but not to increases in citations (their use), a key factor used in scientific publishing to assess a research article's relative importance and value.

They say the best things in life are free, but when it comes to online scientific publishing, a new research report in The FASEB Journal suggests otherwise. In the report, Philip M. Davis from Cornell University shows that free access to scientific journal articles leads to increases in downloads, but not to increases in citations (their use), a key factor used in scientific publishing to assess a research article's relative importance and value.

This study should help scientists make informed decisions about where they publish their work and assist governments, granting institutions and universities with evaluating whether or not their open access policies are leading to greater dissemination of useful scientific knowledge.

"The widely-accepted 'open access citation advantage' appears to be spurious," said Davis.

"There are many benefits to the free access of scientific information," Davis maintained, "but a citation advantage doesn't appear to be one of them."

To reach his conclusions, Davis ran several parallel randomized controlled trials. Upon publication, articles, including those from The FASEB Journal, were randomly assigned to either the open access or the subscription-access group. He then observed how these articles performed in terms of downloads and citations over three years. He found that free access did not affect the number of citations a paper received, rejecting a widely-held belief that open access articles are cited more frequently because of their free-access status. The results are consistent over time across 36 journals covering the sciences, social sciences and humanities.

"A study like this is long overdue," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "For years, institutions and organizations have promoted 'open access' policies under the assumption that some scientists cannot gain access to research reports because they or their institutions have to pay for subscriptions. Now we learn that 'open access' articles may be seen by more, but not cited (used) by more fellow scientists. It's probably time to drop the 'open access advantage' assumption and policies that follow from it."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Philip M. Davis. Open access, readership, citations: a randomized controlled trial of scientific journal publishing. FASEB J, 2011 DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-183988

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Paid access to journal articles not a significant barrier for scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330192552.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2011, March 30). Paid access to journal articles not a significant barrier for scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330192552.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Paid access to journal articles not a significant barrier for scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330192552.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins