Open Access (OA) literature is available online free of charge. Peer-reviewed research articles can be made openly accessible either by publishing them in an OA Journal, or by authors self-archiving online copies of articles published in Traditional Access (TA) journals. OA archiving makes research available to those without access to journal subscriptions – a group that includes the public as well as many decision makers.
Studies in several other disciplines have indicated a strong positive relationship between OA availability and number of citations to an article. In this study, we investigate the relationship between OA and citation impact within journals of high interest to Canadian Health Services and Policy Research (HSPR) authors.
Article-level data was collected for HSPR journals that publish under a TA model but allow OA author archiving. Regressions were run in order to examine the relationships between OA availability, number of citations to the article, immediacy of citations, number of authors and article subject(s).
Free, online availability of an article is associated with increased citations to the article. The arguments that this positive relationship is an effect of more immediate citing of OA articles, or of selective archiving of the highest-impact articles appear unlikely to be the case.
Even when not mandated by policy, HSPR authors should make their articles OA, in order to maximize impact of their research findings. Publishers of HSPR journals that are not OA are encouraged to permit authors to self-archive their articles, as increased citations to articles can increase journal impact factor.
- Greyson, D
- Morgan, S
- Hanley, G
- Wahyuni, D
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