The Reasons Behind the Higher Citation of Open Access Publications

There are evidences that show Open Access (OA) publishing is getting more popularity especially during the last 5 years. Supporters of OA believe that it is a fairer publishing model that increases accessibility to scientific findings. Here we examine some advantages of open access publishing and whether this model leads to higher citation rate? 

With the increase of open access journals, there are more data available to study the effect of this system on the citation rate. In a study conducted in year 2014 by the Research Information Network, it was found that papers in open access journals are seen twice the articles that are published in non-open access journals.   

The effect of OA on the scholarly books

Ronald Snijer, a PhD student in the University of Leiden studied the impact of open access on the  book citation. His findings showed that books in OA system are cited ten percent more than books in non-open access publishing systems and that the availability of OA books does not affect the selling of paper books. Also it was revealed that the downloads of OA books are higher in developing countries where people cannot afford to buy all the books they are interested in. The finding has correspondence with the results of 2018 Directory of Open Access Journals Survey that showed OA is rising in Indonesia and developing countries.

Another study conducted by Springer Nature journal showed that the download rate of open access books is 7 times higher than those in non-open access system and their citation rate is 50 percent higher as well. Professors showed greater interest in OA for some reasons.  The ease of dissemination and higher accessibility to academic researchers are among the influential reasons. One other important factor here is the question of ethics. Many scholars are of the opinion that the lack of access by the people in developing countries who cannot afford to read the non-open access books is unethical. 

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