Effect of open access on citation rates for a small biomedical journal
Sahu, DK; Gogtay, NJ and Bavdekar, SB (2005) Effect of open access on citation rates for a small biomedical journal. In: Fifth International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication, 16-18 Sep 2005, Chicago, USA.
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OBJECTIVE Articles published in print journals with limited circulation are cited less frequently than those printed in journals with larger circulations. Open access (OA) has shown to improve citation rates in the fields of physics, mathematics and astronomy. The impact of OA on smaller biomedical journals has not been studied. We assessed the influence of OA on citations rates for a small, multi-disciplinary journal which adopted OA without article submission or article access fee. DESIGN The full text of articles published since 1990 were made available online in 2001. Citations for these articles as retrieved using Web of Science, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar were divided into two groups - the pre-OA period (1990-2000) and the post-OA period (2001-2004). Citations for the articles published between 1990 through 1999 during these two periods were compared using unpaired t test or Mann-Whitney test. RESULTS Of the 553 articles published between 1990 through 1999, 327 articles received 893 citations between 1990 and 2004 (Table). The 4-year, post-OA period accounted for 549 (61.5%) of these citations, and 164 articles (50.1%) received their first citations only after OA was provided in 2001. For every volume studied (1990 through 1999), the maximum number of citations per year was received after 2001. None of the articles published during 1990-99 received any citation in the year of publication. In contrast, articles published in 2002, 2003 and 2004 received 3, 7 and 22 citations respectively in the year of publication itself. CONCLUSIONS Open access was associated with increase in the number of citations received by the articles. It also decreased the lag time between publication and the first citation. For smaller biomedical journals, OA could be one of the means for improving visibility and thus citation rates.
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