Re: Graphic needed to illustrate the effect of access on impact

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 14:25:26 +0000

    Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 13:21:57 +0000
    From: Tim Brody <>

    (original is in CorelDRAW)

Tim, that is brilliant!

If I could air a wish-list:

(1) The label of the upper panel, instead of "Financial Firewall"
should be: "Limited Access: Limited Research Impact"

(2) The bottom panel should be "Maximized Research Access and Impact
Through Self-Archiving".

(3) The icon for "pre-print" might be better and more self-explanatory
looking something like a hand-written notepad.

(4) The research-icon that precedes the pre-prints is terrific, but should
be independently labelled "Research is done", and the pre-print is then
("Researcher writes pre-print")

(5) The revision icon should not be the research icon (!), but something
that looks like revising the handwritten notepad -- maybe the
hand-written note-pad with editorial markings on it?

(6) The post-print might be accompanied by a little stamp-like icon,
looking like a certification, and labelled "Accepted by journal and
published, now a certified "post-print".

The only insight that the figure does not yet capture is the
research-impact cycle itself: the fact that each time a researcher
accesses the research, this potentially starts another cycle (of
research-preprint-...) etc.

So to illustrate this recursivity (though I am not visual enough to be
able to say exactly how!) the illustration needs to show that each reading
(access)-icon spawns new research-icons (iterating the cycle: and *that*
is research impact!). (Call it "accessing" rather than "reading" in each

So the way to illustrate that self-archiving (1) speeds up the research
cycle is to show new-research icons being spawned at the preprint-access
stage (but not too many! as we don't want to imply that self-archiving
bypasses or supplants peer review: the preprint-spawned cycles should
look more tentative, hazy..., to show possibility).

And then the postprint-access stage should also spawn new research-impact
cycles, but not hazy ones -- and the difference between limited access and
open-access can be shown by a (2) difference in icon-size as well as in the
number of new research cycles spawned (more access, more impact).

It is certainly historically fitting that the designer of the first
impact-based search engine should design the graphic illustrating the
causal link between access and impact!

Terrific first-attempt, and will no doubt inspire others too! Looking
forward to the "revised draft".

Cheers, Stevan
Received on Sat Jan 11 2003 - 14:25:26 GMT

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