Do Open-Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?

Kristin Antelman

Abstract

Although many authors believe that their work has a greater research impact if it is freely available, studies to demonstrate that impact are few. This study looks at articles in four disciplines at varying stages of adoption of open access—philosophy, political science, electrical and electronic engineering and mathematics—to see whether they have a greater impact as measured by citations in the ISI Web of Science database when their authors make them freely available on the Internet. The finding is that, across all four disciplines, freely available articles do have a greater research impact. Shedding light on this category of open access reveals that scholars in diverse disciplines are adopting open-access practices and being rewarded for it.

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