Is Open Access a Cause or an Effect?

Éric Archambault eric.archambault at SCIENCE-METRIX.COM
Tue Aug 5 15:00:37 EDT 2014


Randomized controlled trial done under bad, limited, or reductionist testing conditions is bad metrology, and bad metrology is bad science. Personally, I prefer simpler experimental setups when they can do in place of complex controlled apparatus with unspecified or uncontrolled assumptions, letting the complexity of interaction in the complex science system speak for itself, and carefully counting the results. We recently finished work for the European Commission where we looked at the citations received by one million papers. The effect is unambiguous - citations received by green OA (call this the cause if you want) is clearly above anything else, papers published in gold OA are gaining grounds, papers appearing in non-OA forms are being shown to be the least cited ones, on average, in several academic discipline. The cause is clear - the more widely one paper is free to roam on the web and be picked up by interested readers, the more it is cited, everything being equal. Freedom to download, removal of usage rights, self-archival, and the associated widespread diffusion of scientific knowledge is the way to maximum impact. This is easy to understand from a logical point of view, and demonstrated by large scale, no-nonsense measurement. The series of report will be published in a few weeks.


Eric Archambault, Ph.D.
President and CEO | Président-directeur général
Science-Metrix| T. 1.514.495.6505 x.111|eric.archambault at

-----Original Message-----
From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics [mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Philip Davis
Sent: August-05-14 9:26 AM
Subject: [SIGMETRICS] Is Open Access a Cause or an Effect?

Of interest to those designing and interpreting citation studies

Is Open Access a Cause or an Effect?

"Why can't researchers agree on whether Open Access is the cause of more citations or merely associated with better performing papers? The answer is in the methods."

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