“Sharing data and ideas is vital to the advance of science, and open access allows us to disseminate our work to the widest audience possible.” (Kam Tang, Swansea University researcher)
The altruistic advantages of open access are pretty clear and surveys have shown most academics support them: widening access to research, not just for the public in general, but particularly to practitioners or scholars in developing nations where the hefty journal subscription fees have been a barrier to access.
Yet other claims are made for OA in terms of its benefits for the individual researcher in terms of visiblity, impact and citations. Take a look at a couple of recent studies:
- “Self-archived articles receive higher citation counts than non-OA articles from the same political science journals“
- “Across all fields, Open Access articles in Swedish repository have a higher citation rate than non-OA articles“
Many consider the case to be made now for open access as a citations-booster. The growth of altmetric indicators and the use of social media for research dissemination is also closely allied to open access (see this study from last year’s Open Access Week). Other links can also be made, such as the role of open access with regard to Wikipedia in terms of boosting the impact of individual papers (and therefore the researchers).
Some of Swansea’s researchers are realising the benefits of open access:
“Direct benefits to me include a) enhancing my researcher profile, b) building new collaborations with similar researchers who access my research and c) increasing my chances of being cited by others.” (Kym Thorne, Swansea University researcher)
“I have noticed a significant increase in citations and the number of people who are aware at my work. My reputation as a leader in the area has definitely increased” (Amy Brown, Swansea University researcher)
Professor Amy Brown is active on Twitter where the combination of social media and an open access article is particularly potent.
Are you convinced by the evidence for making your work open access? Let us know in the comments below…
If not, read on tomorrow as Day 3 looks at “OA as a disruptive force”…