Open access legal scholarship is 50% more likely to be cited than material published in proprietary journals


14 Responses to “Open access legal scholarship is 50% more likely to be cited than material published in proprietary journals”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Being recently new to the academic environment at this level I admire this notion but have one question – Open Access journals, what is the peer review process fro publication and does it stand up in direct comparison to more traditional methods of scrutiny?

    • sabik says:

      Open Access journals, what is the peer review process fro publication and does it stand up in direct comparison to more traditional methods of scrutiny?

      Yes, it’s exactly the same — or, rather, Open Access is unrelated to the peer review process, Open Access journals (like their closed brethren) span the range from top-rank to rubbish.

      Since peer reviewers are unpaid in either model (or at least not paid by the journal), this is probably not surprising.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This would be great news if ‘open-access’ journals were free to publish in. The ‘open’ is misleading, since it only describes one side of accessibility: access to see the article, not access to publishing it in the first place. The net effect is that wealthier researchers can ‘buy’ better impact… Poor labs and research groups cannot afford to publish in open-access journals. So, the ‘rich’ get richer.

  3. monopole says:

    This is particularly true when open papers are collected in a system such as CiteSeer. If I’m using CiteSeer for computer science research I can grind through hundreds of papers in a few hours. Since I can see the forward references of the papers I can rapidly find and read the crucial material.

  4. Heliophagus says:

    This makes a lot of sense, but it isn’t as simple as it seems.

    As a recovering academic who still does scientific research and still publishes, I know how liberating it is to track down a reference and be able to download it immediately from an open-access journal – as opposed to finding that the pdf is “secured” (love that word!) to paying subscribers only. In my case, an adjunct appointment makes it easy enough for me to get through the paywall in most cases, but it’s a hassle because I’m using an off-campus IP address. Of course you can always request a reprint pdf from the corresponding author, but that’s an uncertain process and useless for older work. So, yay for open source.

    The other side of the coin is when you publish a paper. Conventional journals (with the exception of a few like PNAS) don’t expect payment, but open-source ones do – typically thousands of dollars. That’s fine if you’ve written pub costs into a grant, or have a complaisant chair who will chip in from the discretionary kitty, but not so much if you depend on your own resources and have already spent a lot of money doing the research. In that case, you might be tempted – strongly tempted – to publish in a conventional, paywalled journal.

    The best balance between free access and free publishing that I know of is the amazing Journal of Experimental Biology, which doesn’t charge for publication, has great editors (disclaimer: A couple of them are personal friends), and access to all is free after six months. Such journals offer the best of both worlds. Science could do with more of them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Check out the Open Access Law program at Creative Commons (well, still under the Science Commons domain, but that’ll be integrated in due time).

    Lots o’ law journals adopting CC licenses and the OA philosophy, as well as tools to make it easy to do so.

  6. Funklord says:

    This just-published study, with a more rigorous statistical methodology, shows that, at least for physiology papers, there is no citation advantage for different access models:

  7. Daemon says:

    As a student currently studying in Japan, I can tell you, I’m personally far more likely to cite a journal study that available online than one limited to a paper journal. Even the major unis don’t have the resources to buy, or store, all of those…

    After that… if it’s in JSTOR or the the like, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference to me at this point in my academic career whether it’s open or not, as I’ll get access to everything because of my university.

    I’m hoping open access catches on more in my field before I leave my uni, and thus have to pay for journals myself.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Most OA journals don’t ask for author payments (according to this very comprehensive OA Overview, 75% of OA journals do not charge fees: In the cases when they charge fees, it’s often in the hard sciences, where grants typically cover publication fees. Several universities also offer OA funds, and many journals waive fees for researchers who cannot afford to pay.

  9. Anonymous says:

    RT@MatAbraz: New useful search engine that returns full PDF scientific articles not subject to access fees

  10. Anonymous says:

    There are at least two American/English language communication studies journals that are OA, and they don’t ask for payment — asking for payment is absurd for real journals! Often, the ones that want money are just pay-scams. Here are the two US OA comm journals: and (a long and lousy orig URL).

  11. Anonymous says:

    Researchers who work at University or College should talk to their librarians. Sometimes the library will help cover some or all of the publishing costs.

    • Anonymous says:

      As an Electronic Resources Librarian, I would not count on programs where libraries contribute to publishing costs. Our budgets are getting slashed significantly every year. Usage statistics rule collection development decisions, and assisting OA initiatives is a pretty low priority at the moment. If your library can afford to support your research in this way, God bless them! Not many can.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Some for-profit scientific journals make the first issue of the year available to non-subscribers as a sort of “teaser.” Somebody should compare the citation rates for those issues versus the rest since that should control for the quality of the journal when determining how much open access improves citation rates.

Leave a Reply