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The effect of 'Open Access' upon citation impact: An analysis of ArXiv's Condensed Matter Section


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      This article statistically analyses how the citation impact of articles deposited in the Condensed Matter section of the preprint server ArXiv (hosted by Cornell University), and subsequently published in a scientific journal, compares to that of articles in the same journal that were not deposited in that archive. Its principal aim is to further illustrate and roughly estimate the effect of two factors, 'early view' and 'quality bias', upon differences in citation impact between these two sets of papers, using citation data from Thomson Scientific's Web of Science. It presents estimates for a number of journals in the field of condensed matter physics. In order to discriminate between an 'open access' effect and an early view effect, longitudinal citation data was analysed covering a time period as long as 7 years. Quality bias was measured by calculating ArXiv citation impact differentials at the level of individual authors publishing in a journal, taking into account co-authorship. The analysis provided evidence of a strong quality bias and early view effect. Correcting for these effects, there is in a sample of 6 condensed matter physics journals studied in detail, no sign of a general 'open access advantage' of papers deposited in ArXiv. The study does provide evidence that ArXiv accelerates citation, due to the fact that that ArXiv makes papers earlier available rather than that it makes papers freely available.

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      14 November 2006
      Custom metadata
      Version 13 November 2006. 16 pages, 6 figures, 2 tables
      cs.DL cs.IR physics.soc-ph


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