Re: How to compare research impact of toll- vs. open-access research

From: David Goodman <David.Goodman_at_LIU.EDU>
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2003 23:24:43 -0400

Citation data, which is all that is now availble, can indeed be expected to roughly correlate with direct journal use data. Some commercial publishers decry the validity of citation data, but journal use data will not be available until publishers are willing to disclose them for each of their titles--to the best of my knowledge, no commercial publisher is.

However, the gross comparison between publishers using either citations or use provides information of limited applicability.

The average citation rate of articles in different subject fields is higher in biomedicine than in many other subjects, and so should be the journal use. The average citation rate of recently published articles is considerably higher than older ones, and so should be the use.
Based on citation data, I would expect that the factor would be considerably less, but still impressive, if limited to the fields and years in which BMC publishes. There are very highly cited journals from all types of publishers in every scientific field, which indicates that the quality of the individual journal can overcome whatever handicap may be caused by the publisher.

The most the present data indicates is that open access does not necessarily handicap a journal, and that BMC publishes at least some good journals. Both are important results, but more general conclusions about the current state of publishing, or more exact statements about any particular journal publisher or type of publisher, are not warranted.

I eager anticipate the paired comparisons now in progress--even though they will still necessarily be limited to citations.
Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

(and, formerly: Princeton University Library)
Received on Sun Sep 07 2003 - 04:24:43 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:47:03 GMT