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Re: Does the arXiv lead to higher citations and reduced publisher dowloads?
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- Subject: Re: Does the arXiv lead to higher citations and reduced publisher dowloads?
- From: "Peter Banks" <PBanks@diabetes.org>
- Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 19:41:55 EST
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I am unsure what type of "wishful thinking" I am alleged to have engaged in. Our journals Diabetes Care and Diabetes are freely available after 3 months, and papers accepted in the journals may be posted on acceptance in any institutional repository--making them, at least by Stevan's own criteria, open access. Thus I have no interest in disproving -- and, in fact, an interest in proving -- an open access advantage. As I said, I think it exists, but doubt that some of the data supporting it is of sufficient rigor to accurately measure its magnitude. For example, Stevan suggests that Antelman's data and that of his colleagues "show the same thing." Actually, they don't. The Antelman data show an OA advantage that is quite modest, if it exists at all; the Harnad data show one that is quite large in some disciplines. When I was in graduate school, it was expected that one would try to explain a magnitude of order difference between one's own data and those of another investigator, not to paper over the differences and call it a day simply because they trended the same way. It would help to see not only the relative increase in citation through OA, but also the absolute increase. What does a 100% or 200% increase represent? If it's an increase from 0.1 average citations per paper to 0.2 or 0.3, the effect on the dissemination of knowledge is much less significant than if one is speaking of an increase from 2 citations to 4 or 6. Because very few papers have even one citation, I suspect we're talking much more about the former case than the latter. Peter Banks Publisher American Diabetes Association Email: firstname.lastname@example.org >>> email@example.com 03/22/06 8:14 PM >>> On Tue, 21 Mar 2006, Peter Banks wrote: > [Re: Kristin Antelman's findings] I... suspect that there is a > small OA citation advantage, I am not convinced by these > data... I doubt that most of the results reach statistical > significance... Based on past postings from Peter, I think there may be an element of wishful thinking here (ex officio)! Peter, if you are not convinced by KA's data alone, look at all the other data that shows the same thing. For example, see Figure 4 in: Hajjem, C., Harnad, S. and Gingras, Y. (2005) Ten-Year Cross-Disciplinary Comparison of the Growth of Open Access and How it Increases Research Citation Impact. IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin 28(4) pp. 39-47. http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/11688/ You will see that the ratio of the proportion of OA articles to non-OA articles peaks in the 4-7 citation range, and falls off for higher and lower citation (quality) ranges. But it is always greater than one (i.e., an OA Advantage) except for articles with zero citations (where the ratio reverses); that of course is also the largest number of articles. But this effect is again just a correlation, and is just as compatible with a Quality self-selection Bias (QB) as with a Quality Advantage (QA) (except that it is hard to see why self-selection QB should peak at the 4-7 range, whereas it's perhaps less difficult to see how a QA advantage could have inverted U-shape, absent for the duds and trivial for the gems -- but this awaits more confirmatory data and ways of testing causality more directly. > I also don't understand how these data exclude Phil's > hypothesis. Since Kristin seems to define quality in terms of > citations, then the logic seems self-referential: how would one > detect a difference in citation due to intrinsic quality when > one has defined quality as number of citations? You're quite right, except that that argument cuts in both directions: No data to date can decide directly between QA and QB. Stevan Harnad
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