Travis Metcalfe says OA advantage not self-selection (fwd)

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Wed Dec 20 11:40:03 EST 2006

Mike Kurtz has just forwarded the URL for a recent paper by Travis Metcalfe
confirming that the OA impact advantage is not merely a self-selection
effect in astrophysics:

    Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 10:35:55 -0500
    From: kurtz --
    To:   harnad --

    You may want to look at:

I too will shortly be posting (in reply to Henk Moed)

a summary of some preliminary evidence across disciplines, just collected
and analyzed by my doctoral student, Chawki Hajjem, using our robot-search
methodology. Based on comparing the OA advantage for mandated and
non-mandated self-archiving, this too confirms that the OA self-archiving
advantage is not merely a self-selection effect.

For the desperately curious, the data are already visible here

and they also include the analyses in response to Eysenbach's challenge

to show, with independent multiple regression analyses, that the OA
self-archiving advantage from our multi-disciplinary, robot-based
comparisons is not merely an artifact "confounding" article age,
journal impact factor or number of authors. (Outcome: There is indeed a
statistically significant, independent OA self-archiving advantage over
and above the citation advantages conferred by articles age, journal
impact factor, and number of authors. Details in another forthcoming

Here, meanwhile, is Metcalfe's abstract:

    Metcalfe, Travis S. (2006) The Citation Impact of Digital Preprint
    Archives for Solar Physics Papers. Solar Physics, Volume 239, Issue
    1-2, pp. 549-553
    ABSTRACT: Papers that are posted to a digital preprint archive are
    typically cited twice as often as papers that are not posted. This has
    been demonstrated for papers published in a wide variety of journals,
    and in many different subfields of astronomy. Most astronomers
    now use the server (astro-ph) to distribute preprints,
    but the solar physics community has an independent archive hosted
    at Montana State University. For several samples of solar physics
    papers published in 2003, I quantify the boost in citation rates for
    preprints posted to each of these servers. I show that papers on the
    MSU archive typically have citation rates 1.7 times higher than the
    average of similar papers that are not posted as preprints, while
    those posted to astro-ph get 2.6 times the average. A comparable
    boost is found for papers published in conference proceedings,
    suggesting that the higher citation rates are not the result of
    self-selection of above-average papers.

Stevan Harnad

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