Taking steps to address inequities in open-access publishing through an early career publication honor

Abstract:  Access to resources—whether human, financial, or social—is a key indicator of research output and, in turn, academic career progression. However, resources are not equally distributed among scientists and disparities often stem from external factors. This reality is particularly impactful for early career researchers (ECRs) who have limited control over the resources available to them to advance their careers. The resources needed to fund open-access (OA) publishing are a well-known source of academic inequity (Ross-Hellauer 2022). Despite this, wide support for OA publishing exists across the scientific community, largely because OA articles increase access to the scientific literature by removing costly paywalls (Piwowar et al. 2018). Benefits of OA publishing also exist for individual researchers; OA studies are read and cited more, so much so that an “open access citation advantage” has been described (McCabe and Snyder 2014). Depending on the methods and journals studied, this advantage ranges from an 8 to 40% increase in citation rate (Piwowar et al. 2018). The OA publishing model is set to expand further, with influential groups seeking to mandate OA publishing (e.g., Plan S; Else 2021) including recent guidance from the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy (The White House 2022). However, OA publishing remains expensive, often prohibitively so, and OA fees deter ECRs broadly (Sarabipour et al. 2019), and particularly those from the Global South (Kwon 2022; Santidrián Tomillo et al. 2022).


Open Access Research Outputs Receive More Diverse Citations | Zenodo

Huang, Chun-Kai (Karl), Neylon, Cameron, Montgomery, Lucy, Handcock, Rebecca N., & Wilson, Katie. (2022). Open Access Research Outputs Receive More Diverse Citations (Version 1). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7081037

The goal of open access is to allow more people to read and use research outputs. An observed association between highly cited research outputs and open access has been claimed as evidence of increased usage of the research, but this remains controversial. A higher citation count also does not necessarily imply wider usage such as citations by authors from more places. A knowledge gap exists in our understanding of who gets to use open access research outputs and where users are located. Here we address this gap by examining the association between an output’s open access status and the diversity of research outputs that cite it. By analysing large-scale bibliographic data from 2010 to 2019, we found a robust association between open access and increased diversity of citation sources by institutions, countries, subregions, regions, and fields of research, across outputs with both high and medium-low citation counts. Open access through disciplinary or institutional repositories showed a stronger effect than open access via publisher platforms. This study adds a new perspective to our understanding of how citations can be used to explore the effects of open access. It also provides new evidence at global scale of the benefits of open access as a mechanism for widening the use of research and increasing the diversity of the communities that benefit from it.


An analysis of journalism articles achieving high Altmetric attention scores – ScienceOpen

Abstract:  New methods of judging the impact of academic articles now include alternative metrics, and the goal of this study was to provide an insight into the journals and papers with top Altmetric attention scores (AAS) in the field of journalism. Scopus and Dimensions were used as the primary data sources. Fifteen journalism journals were identified from Scopus, and papers from these journals with an Altmetric Attention Score of over 100 were collected from Dimensions as the study’s sample, which comprised 87 papers. Most of the papers with high AAS were published after 2017, and five were published in 2022. The sample included a larger number of closed access articles ( n = 50) than open access ( n = 37), although analysis revealed that open access articles had higher median Tweets than closed access. Articles on journalism practice were more likely to receive attention from news outlets. None of the papers with high AAS are highly cited, which may be due to the limited time to accumulate citations. The journal with the highest impact factor (Digital Journalism) did not have the greatest number of papers with high AAS, but had far higher scores on Twitter engagement than the other journals. The results do not show any correlation between impact factors and citation metrics and social metrics.


The relationship between open access publishing and referencing

“49.9% of papers published in 2019 and 2020 are currently available as OA and 51.3% of references from all papers published during those two years are to papers that are currently available as OA. These two percentages are more similar than the percentage of the papers published between 2010 and 2020 that are OA (i.e., 43.3%), suggesting that the OA percentage of the references of papers is not simply a reflection of the access status of the available papers. When we investigate by OA access type, we observe a similar pattern. The exception is gold OA, with a difference of 9.2 percentage points as opposed to 11.9 percentage points. The results suggest that references in recent papers are more open than one would expect, given OA publication practices in the last decade and that they are more open that the publications in which they appear. This demonstrates that the use of OA exceeds the production of it.”

Altmetric and bibliometric analysis of influential articles in reproductive biology, 1980–2019 – Reproductive BioMedicine Online

Abstract:  Research question

What are the most influential articles in reproductive biology journals from 1980 to 2019 according to Altmetric Attention Score (AAS), number of citations and Relative Citation Ratio (RCR)?



Cross-sectional study of reproductive biology articles indexed in the National Institutes of Health Open Citation Collection from 1980 to 2019. Data were downloaded on 20 May 2021. The 100 articles with highest AAS, RCR and number of citations were analysed.



Twenty-one reproductive biology journals were identified, including 120,069 articles published from 1980 to 2019. In total 227 reproductive biology classics were identified due to some overlap between the three lists. Compared with the 100 articles with the highest AAS (after excluding articles featured on both lists), the 100 top-cited articles were older (2014 versus 2001, mean difference [95% confidence interval] 13.5 [11.5, 15.5]), less likely to be open access (64% versus 85%), more likely to be reviews (42% versus 12%) and less likely to be observational studies (9% versus 51%) and randomized clinical trials (0% versus 5%). These same trends were observed in analyses comparing the 100 articles with highest AAS to the 100 articles with highest RCR. The most common topic was assisted reproduction, but prominent topics included infertility for top AAS articles, reproductive technology in animals for top-cited articles, and polycystic ovary syndrome for top RCR articles.



Formerly, influential articles in reproductive biology journals were evaluated by absolute citation rates and subject to limitations of conventional bibliometric analysis. This is the first comprehensive study to use altmetrics and citation-based metrics to identify reproductive biology classics.

Does Open Access Really Increase Impact? A Large-Scale Randomized Analysis

The Open Access Citation Advantage (OACA) has been a major topic of discussion in the literature over the past twenty years. In this paper, we propose a method to constitute a control group to isolate the OACA effect. Thus, we compared citation impact (MNCS) of 2,458,378 publications in fully OA journals to that (weighted MNCS) of a control group of non-OA publications (\#10,310,842). Similarly, we did the same exercise for OA publications in hybrid journals (\#1,024,430) and their control group (\#11,533,001), over the period 2010-2020. The results showed that there is no OACA for publications in fully OA journals, and that there is rather a disadvantage. Conversely, the OACA seems to be a reality in hybrid journals, suggesting that a better accessibility in this context tends to improve the visibility of publications. The lack of OACA for publications in fully OA journals is to be expected, as a great proportion of OA journals are newly created and less attractive to high-impact senior researchers.Another striking result of this paper is the fall of the OACA from 2016. The citation advantage fell from 70% to 9% between 2016 and 2020 (for publications in hybrid journals). We wonder if this fall is linked to the increase in the notoriety of pirate sites (eg Sci-Hub) from 2016. In other words, the democratization of pirate sites instantly cancels the positive effect of OA publication insofar as the question of access to scientific content no longer arises.

Open Science Practices in Gambling Research Publications (2016–2019): A Scoping Review | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The replication crisis has stimulated researchers around the world to adopt open science research practices intended to reduce publication bias and improve research quality. Open science practices include study pre-registration, open data, open access, and avoiding methods that can lead to publication bias and low replication rates. Although gambling studies uses similar research methods as behavioral research fields that have struggled with replication, we know little about the uptake of open science research practices in gambling-focused research. We conducted a scoping review of 500 recent (1/1/2016–12/1/2019) studies focused on gambling and problem gambling to examine the use of open science and transparent research practices. Our results showed that a small percentage of studies used most practices: whereas 54.6% (95% CI: [50.2, 58.9]) of studies used at least one of nine open science practices, each practice’s prevalence was: 1.6% for pre-registration (95% CI: [0.8, 3.1]), 3.2% for open data (95% CI: [2.0, 5.1]), 0% for open notebook, 35.2% for open access (95% CI: [31.1, 39.5]), 7.8% for open materials (95% CI: [5.8, 10.5]), 1.4% for open code (95% CI: [0.7, 2.9]), and 15.0% for preprint posting (95% CI: [12.1, 18.4]). In all, 6.4% (95% CI: [4.6, 8.9]) of the studies included a power analysis and 2.4% (95% CI: [1.4, 4.2]) were replication studies. Exploratory analyses showed that studies that used any open science practice, and open access in particular, had higher citation counts. We suggest several practical ways to enhance the uptake of open science principles and practices both within gambling studies and in science more generally.


The OA Advantage

“Join our team as they guide you through the basics of open access (OA), highlight key benefits for your research, and present evidence of the increased impact of choosing OA.

We will also explore funding options for publishing OA, including how to benefit from publishing agreements with your institution….”

Investigating the citation advantage of author-pays charges model in computer science research: a case study of Elsevier and Springer | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

Citation is an important measure of quality, and it plays a vital role in evaluating scientific research. However, citation advantage varies from discipline to discipline, subject to subject and topic to topic. This study aims to compare the citation advantage of open access and toll access articles from four subfields of computer science.


This research studies the articles published by two prestigious publishers: Springer and Elsevier in the author-pays charges model from 2011 to 2015. For experimentation, four sub-domains of computer science are selected including (a) artificial intelligence, (b) human–computer interaction, (c) computer vision and graphics, and (d) software engineering. The open-access and toll-based citation advantage is studied and analyzed at the micro level within the computer science domain by performing independent sample t-tests.


The results of the study highlight that open access articles have a higher citation advantage as compared to toll access articles across years and sub-domains. Further, an increase in open access articles has been observed from 2011 to 2015. The findings of the study show that the citation advantage of open access articles varies among different sub-domains of a subject. The study contributed to the body of knowledge by validating the positive movement toward open access articles in the field of computer science and its sub-domains. Further, this work added the success of the author-pays charges model in terms of citation advantage to the literature of open access.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to examine the citation advantage of the author-pays charges model at a subject level (computer science) along with four sub-domains of computer science.

A comparison of scientometric data and publication policies of ophthalmology journals

Abstract: Purpose: 

This retrospective database analysis study aims to present the scientometric data of journals publishing in the field of ophthalmology and to compare the scientometric data of ophthalmology journals according to the open access (OA) publishing policies.


The scientometric data of 48 journals were obtained from Clarivate Analytics InCites and Scimago Journal & Country Rank websites. Journal impact factor (JIF), Eigenfactor score (ES), scientific journal ranking (SJR), and Hirsch index (HI) were included. The OA publishing policies were separated into full OA with publishing fees, full OA without fees, and hybrid OA. The fees were stated as US dollars (USD).


Four scientometric indexes had strong positive correlations; the highest correlation coefficients were observed between the SJR and JIF (R = 0.906) and the SJR and HI (R = 0.798). However, journals in the first quartile according to JIF were in the second and third quartiles according to the SJR and HI and in the fourth quartile in the ES. The OA articles published in hybrid journals received a median of 1.17-fold (0.15–2.71) more citations. Only HI was higher in hybrid OA; other scientometric indexes were similar with full OA journals. Full OA journals charged a median of 1525 USD lower than hybrid journals.


Full OA model in ophthalmology journals does not have a positive effect on the scientometric indexes. In hybrid OA journals, choosing to publish OA may increase citations, but it would be more accurate to evaluate this on a journal basis.

What are the benefits of open access? TIB study confirms advantages and dispels reservations – Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

“Open access – free access to scholarly publications – offers many advantages. As surveys show, however, some researchers still have reservations. In the past decade, numerous empirical studies have been published providing substantiated results on the hopes and concerns regarding open access….

To conduct this review, TIB identified a total of 318 scientific studies that empirically examine various effects of open access. From this corpus, the authors selected 61 particularly relevant studies for a systematic comparison; these were then analysed thoroughly and the various results were compared in detail.

The effects studied relate to seven major aspects of open access:

Attention in the scientific community
Quality of scientific publications
Knowledge transfer
Productivity of the publishing system
Use of publications
Inequality in the science system
Economic impact on the publishing system…

Dr. David Hopf, lead author of the study, reported the key findings: “The literature reviewed confirms several advantages of open access: open access leads to increased usage and to a professionally and geographically more diverse readership. At the same time, open access publications make a greater contribution to knowledge transfer than traditionally published research results, and the publishing process – the time between the submission and acceptance or publication of articles – is shorter. What is more, a number of negative concerns assumed in relation to the effects of open access – for example, that open access publications are of an inferior quality and lead to disadvantages in print edition sales – have been dispelled.”

However, one partial result came as a surprise: the fact that open access publications are cited more frequently than publications that are not freely available is often mentioned as an advantage of open access – and is also confirmed by most empirical studies. However, a substantial proportion of the empirical literature deviates from this result, which means that an OA citation advantage cannot be conclusively confirmed empirically. In light of a high level of plausibility and methodological difficulties in this area, however, it can still be assumed that such an advantage exists.

Just one finding indicates a negative effect of open access: where so-called article processing charges (APCs) – publication costs incurred by many open access publications – exist, authors with fewer resources may be discouraged from publishing open access, e.g. due to low income levels in some regions of the world or a lack of institutional funding. However, this is not an effect of open access per se, but rather an effect of a particular business model for financing open access publications….”

Correlation Between Altmetric Attention Scores and Citations for Articles Published in High–Impact Factor Ophthalmology Journals From 2018 to 2019 | Medical Journals and Publishing | JAMA Ophthalmology | JAMA Network

Importance  The Altmetric attention score (AAS) provides new information to gauge the impact of a research article not found through typical metrics, such as impact factor or citation counts. Objective  To explore the association between AAS and common impact markers among high-impact ophthalmology journals from 2018 to 2019. Design, Setting, and Participants  All articles published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology (AJO), JAMA Ophthalmology (JAMAO), and Ophthalmology (OPH) from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019, were collected for this cross-sectional study. Excluded articles were those missing Altmetric data at the time of data collection. The AAS and associated social media impact for each article were collected with the AAS calculator bookmarklet. Spearman rank correlation analyses and analysis of variance tests were conducted to assess differences in various metrics between AJO, JAMAO, and OPH. The study included articles published of all document types (article, conference paper, editorial, erratum, letter, note, retracted, review, and short survey) and access status (open access and not open access). Main Outcomes and Measures  The correlation between citation counts and Altmetric variables including AAS. Results  A total of 2467 articles were published in the study period. There were 351 articles excluded owing to missing Altmetric data. Of the 2116 articles included in the analysis, 1039 (49.1%) were published in 2018, and 1077 (50.9%) were published in 2019; the mean number of citations was 8.8 (95% CI, 7.9-9.6) for AJO, 6.2 (95% CI, 5.3-7.1) for JAMAO, and 15.1 (95% CI, 13.3-17.0) for OPH. The mean AAS was 4.5 (95% CI, 3.3-5.6) for AJO (723 publications), 27.4 (95% CI, 22.1-32.8) for JAMAO (758 publications), and 15.1 (95% CI, 10.9-19.3) for OPH (635 publications). Citation rate was moderately correlated with AAS across the 3 journals (AJO, ??=?0.39; P?<?.001; JAMAO, ??=?0.41; P?<?.001; OPH, ??=?0.40; P?<?.001), as well as minimally or moderately correlated with engagement or mention by Facebook posts (AJO, ??=?0.38; P?<?.001; JAMAO, ??=?0.24; P?<?.001; OPH, ??=?0.20; P?<?.001), news outlet reporting (AJO, ??=?0.12; P?<?.001; JAMAO, ??=?0.38; P?<?.001; OPH, ??=?0.19; P?<?.001), and Twitter posts (AJO, ??=?0.40; P?<?.001; JAMAO, ??=?0.38; P?<?.001; OPH, ??=?0.42; P?<?.001). Conclusions and Relevance  Results of this cross-sectional study suggest that citation rate has a moderate positive correlation with online and social media sharing of research in ophthalmology literature. Peer-reviewed journals may increase their reach and impact by sharing their literature through social media and online platforms.

The Price of Publishing: An Investigation of the Open Access… : Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Abstract:  Background: 

Open access publishing in plastic surgery has rapidly gained traction in the past decade. This study investigated the digital landscape of plastic surgery open access publishing.


This was a cross-sectional bibliometric investigation of plastic surgery–focused journals. Three publication models were investigated: subscription-only journals, hybrid journals offering both paywalled and open access publishing, and open access–only journals.


Eighty-two journals were investigated. In 2010, open access journals comprised 18 percent of all plastic surgery journals online, subscription journals comprised 79 percent, and hybrid journals comprised 3 percent. Conversely, in 2020, open access journals comprised 55 percent of all journals, hybrid journals comprised 45 percent, and there were no subscription-only journals. Multivariable linear regression adjusting for article type/content demonstrated that open access articles from hybrid journals [beta coefficient, 1.3; F(4, 18) = 790; p = 0.05] and high-quality open access journals [beta coefficient, 0.9; F(4, 19) = 738; p = 0.04] were significantly positively associated with number of full-text views. Although impact factor and article processing charges were positively correlated [Pearson correlation coefficient: r(25) = 0.39, p = 0.04] for open access publishing, some high-quality open access journals were found to offer fee waivers/free publishing. Lastly, level of evidence offered by articles from open access versus hybrid journals differed.


Overall, this study highlighted important distinctions between trustworthy and predatory journals offering open access publishing in plastic surgery. Open access publishing in trustworthy sources offers greater visibility and is not necessarily cost-prohibitive, but some open access journals can be limited in scope (i.e., less coverage of subspecialty topics) and quality of content. Study findings were used to generate recommendations for navigating open access publishing in plastic surgery.

Article Processing Charges, Altmetrics and Citation Impact: Is there an economic rationale?

Abstract:  The present study aims to analyze 1) the relationship between Citation Normalized Score of scientific publications and Article Processing Charges (APCs) of Gold Open Access (OA) publications 2) the determinants of APCs. To do so, we used APCs information provided by the OpenAPC database, citation scores of publications from the WoS database and, for Altmetrics, data from this http URL database, over the period from 2006 to 2019 for 83,752 articles published in 4751 journals belonging to 267 distinct publishers. Results show that contrary to common belief, paying high APCs does not necessarily increase the impact of publications. First, large publishers with high impact are not the most expensive. Second, publishers with the highest APCs are not necessarily the best in terms of impact. Correlation between APCs and impact is moderate. Regarding the determinants, results indicate that APCs are on average 50% higher in hybrid journals than in full OA journals. The results also suggest that Altmetrics do not have a great impact: OA articles that have garnered the most attention on internet are articles with relatively low APCs. Another interesting result is that the “number of readers” indicator is more effective as it is more correlated with classic bibliometrics indicators than the Altmetrics score.