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      Is Open Access

      Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research

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          Abstract

          Background

          Articles whose authors have supplemented subscription-based access to the publisher's version by self-archiving their own final draft to make it accessible free for all on the web (“Open Access”, OA) are cited significantly more than articles in the same journal and year that have not been made OA. Some have suggested that this “OA Advantage” may not be causal but just a self-selection bias, because authors preferentially make higher-quality articles OA. To test this we compared self-selective self-archiving with mandatory self-archiving for a sample of 27,197 articles published 2002–2006 in 1,984 journals.

          Methdology/Principal Findings

          The OA Advantage proved just as high for both. Logistic regression analysis showed that the advantage is independent of other correlates of citations (article age; journal impact factor; number of co-authors, references or pages; field; article type; or country) and highest for the most highly cited articles. The OA Advantage is real, independent and causal, but skewed. Its size is indeed correlated with quality, just as citations themselves are (the top 20% of articles receive about 80% of all citations).

          Conclusions/Significance

          The OA advantage is greater for the more citable articles, not because of a quality bias from authors self-selecting what to make OA, but because of a quality advantage, from users self-selecting what to use and cite, freed by OA from the constraints of selective accessibility to subscribers only. It is hoped that these findings will help motivate the adoption of OA self-archiving mandates by universities, research institutions and research funders.

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          Most cited references 39

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          The anatomy of a large-scale hypertextual Web search engine

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            Citation indexes for science; a new dimension in documentation through association of ideas.

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              The skewness of science

               Per Seglen (1992)
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institut des Sciences Cognitives, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
                [2 ]Observatoire des Sciences et des Technologies, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
                [3 ]Canada Research Chair in the History and Sociology of Science, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
                [4 ]Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
                [5 ]School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
                Northeastern University, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: LC SH. Performed the experiments: YG CH. Analyzed the data: YG CH TB. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: VL YG LC TB. Wrote the paper: SH.

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2010
                18 October 2010
                : 5
                : 10
                2956678
                20976155
                10-PONE-RA-15249R1
                10.1371/journal.pone.0013636
                (Editor)
                Gargouri et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Counts
                Pages: 12
                Categories
                Research Article
                Science Policy
                Computer Science/General and Management Topics
                Computer Science/Information Technology
                Science Policy/Education

                Uncategorized

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