Re: How to compare research impact of toll- vs. open-access research

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 18:21:26 -0400

on Sat, 6 Sep 2003 Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK> wrote
> The following data posted by Peter Suber in
> indicate that open-access articles (from BioMedCentral) average at least
> 89 times as many downloads as toll-access articles (from Elsevier). (The
> 89 is probably an undercount, because it does not include PubMedCentral
> downloads.)
> "Elsevier has put some PowerPoint slides on the web summarizing
> its interim results for 2003. Slide #16 shows that there were 4.5
> million full-text articles in ScienceDirect on June 30, 2003, and
> slide #15 shows that there were 124 million article downloads in
> the 12 months preceding that date. This means that its articles
> were downloaded an average of 28 times each during the past year.
> "For comparison I asked Jan Velterop of BioMed Central what the
> download figure was for BMC articles during the same time period. He
> reports that the average is about 2500 per year, which doesn't
> count downloads of the same articles from PubMed Central. This is
> 89 times the Elsevier number. "

        I don't believe this 'data' can be taken
        seriously. There is no standard for
        counting 'downloads.' One party will
        count every ornament associated with a
        file while the next may count only files.
        Comparisons must be relevant. BioMedCentral's
        list of journals bears only a faint
        resemblance to Elsevier's. The Sigmetric
        community went through considerable agony
        over 'fairness' when the only source was
        ISI. Now you want to compare data from two
        unrelated sources?

        Let's examine the data more closely
        before jumping to wishful conclusions.
        This is supposed to be about science.

        Best wishes,

Albert Henderson
Pres., Chess Combination Inc.
POB 2423 Bridgeport CT 06608-0423

Received on Mon Sep 08 2003 - 23:21:26 BST

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