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

Phil Davis wrote:

> Based on our analysis, we found that a quality differential is 
> a more plausible explanation -- the reason why arXiv-deposited 
> articles receive more citations is simply because they are 
> better articles, not because of some advantage conveyed through 
> increased access.  If Open Access can explain the citation 
> advantage (and we did confirm one), it is only responsible for 
> giving an advantage to already highly-cited articles.

Data I collected for philosophy, political science, engineering 
and mathematics do not support this hypothesis that OA causes 
more citations for better articles only (given that one uses 
overall citations as a rough measure of quality).

These data were collected for my article, "Do Open Access 
Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?" (C&RL Sept 2004, 
http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00002309/), but at that time I 
had not looked at the distribution of OA and non-OA articles by 
citations. Graphs of those results are posted at 

These data show OA citation advantage across all articles with 
more than zero citations.  It could be argued that OA helps to 
get the first citation.  It's also striking, I think, how similar 
the graphs are even though the rates of OA vary greatly between 
these disciplines (between 17% and 69%).

Kristin Antelman
Associate Director for the Digital Library
NCSU Libraries
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC 27696-7111
(919) 515-7188 Fax (919) 515-3628