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RE: Does the arXiv lead to higher citations and reduced publisher downloads?
- To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>
- Subject: RE: Does the arXiv lead to higher citations and reduced publisher downloads?
- From: "David Goodman" <David.Goodman@liu.edu>
- Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 19:24:40 EST
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
There are other possible interpretations as well. If we focus on the equivalent downloads for OA and TA articles, then, since is pure mathematics where all early use can be assumed to be browsing, this might mean that 1. all browsing was done on the publishers site --possibly because of its known completeness or 2. those browsing on arXiv, upon encountering a citation of abstract to a TA article a. did not get it, because of the lack of access or b. did not bother getting it, because the OA articles are or would be assumed to be superior, or 2.1 those browsing on arXiv would not have found many TA articles represented even by an abstract or link. These are not intended to be the only alternate hypotheses any of us could easily find others. We do not need more hypotheses, we need more data and more analysis. Accurate use data has only recently become available, and it is not possible from this and similar studies to decide between hypotheses. We should not over-interpret what is, after all, preliminary data. (Additional information that would be helpful would be continuing publishers' series with data for all recent years, and similar data by journal from arXiv and other repositories.) In other subjects than matematics, where much of the 1st and 2nd year use would be for known references, the situation is much more complex. As SH and all others say here and elsewhere, many factors must be taken into account, and we do are not yet able to do this completely. But the different factors are not in competition--they all contribute to the overall advantages of OA. As scientists, we want to know the mechanism, and assume as we do everywhere, that it will lead to further understanding and even better practical results. As practical librarians or publishers, we look to the resolution of important but previously undecidable problems. Citation data (as contrasted with use data) has been available for many years, and studies have long been in progress. Many of our assumptions, such as the long half-life of journals in mathematics, are based on such studies. For Phil's citation data, the results are similar to those found elsewhere, and their interpretation has similar ambiguities. Fortunately, the many reasons why OA is good do not depend on the interpretation. If these results had been made available only in a TA journal, it would be long before these discussions could even begin, and not all would be able to participate. Dr. David Goodman Associate Professor Palmer School of Library and Information Science Long Island University firstname.lastname@example.org
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