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Does the arXiv lead to higher citations and reduced publisher downloads?

Liblicense, While our study confirms the same citation advantage reported by others, it does not attribute Open Access as the cause of more citations, but to Self-Selection. Open Access therefore may be a result, not a cause, of authors promoting higher-quality work.


Does the arXiv lead to higher citations and reduced publisher downloads for
mathematics articles?
Authors: Philip M. Davis, Michael J. Fromerth
Date: March 14, 2006

An analysis of 2,765 articles published in four math journals from 1997-2005 indicated that articles deposited in the arXiv received 35% more citations on average than non-deposited articles (an advantage of about 1.1 citations per article), and this difference was most pronounced for highly-cited articles. The most plausible explanation was not the Open Access or Early View postulates, but Self-Selection, which has led to higher quality articles being deposited in the arXiv. Yet in spite of their citation advantage, arXiv-deposited articles received 23% fewer downloads from the publisher's website (about 10 fewer downloads per article) in all but the most recent two years after publication. The data suggest that arXiv and the publisher's website may be fulfilling distinct functional needs of the reader.

Philip Davis, Life Sciences Librarian
Mann Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-7192 ; (607) 255-0318 fax