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Open Access, Funded, Internationally Collaborative Papers Outperform Others

“In general, we observe that it is better to publish in Open Access venues to optimise citation and Altmetric attention. Both measures are improved by being funded and collaborating internationally.”1

A recent study analyzed open access trends between 2000 and 2016 using publication data in the database Dimensions. The report, The Ascent of Open Access, shows an interesting picture of the top research countries over the years, and illustrates the advantage that Open Access creates.

Top OA Publishing Countries

The top 12 research-publication producing countries are also the top OA-publication producing countries. Over the period covered in the study, the composition remained similar, with only Switzerland and the Netherlands replaced by China and India in the more recent years. By 2016, China was the second highest producer overall and the third highest in OA publications. While the UK has been committed to OA through a number of national initiatives over the years, they retain a highly-ranked position in the OA output chart.

Open Access, Altmetric Attention

Different from citation counts, which is mostly a measure of attention within academic publishing, Altmetric attention can indicate the level of impact beyond the scholarly circles. The study analyzed the articles published by the top 12 OA-producing countries in 2016. The result shows that OA makes a clear difference to Almetric attention: 53.2% of OA papers had Altmetric mention versus 46.8% of non-OA papers. Further breakdowns of the OA papers showed that those OA work which was funded and internationally collaborative stood out in performance. This group accounts for just 6.3% of all output but garner 15.2% of all citations.

Putting Accepted Versions in an OA Repository Boosts Attention

If OA publications attract higher attention in general, is there a difference between different forms of OA? The study found that papers with their accepted versions in an OA repository (the so-called “Green-OA”) is the most advantageous: this group of OA papers has the highest cites/paper and the highest percentage of papers receiving Almetric Attention.

Find the full report with the reference link below.


1 Daniel W Hook, Ian Calvert and Mark Hahnel (2019) The Ascent of Open Access: An analysis of the Open Access landscape since the turn of the millennium. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7618751

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last modified March 13, 2019

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