Measuring cumulating research impact loss across fields and time

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 11:52:40 +0000

On Tue, 25 Nov 2003, [identity deleted] wrote:

> Dear Prof. Harnad,
> Do you have any notes that go with your Open Access PowerPoint presentation
> - specifically in the slide 25/52 (Quo usque tandem
> patientia nostra?) where does the data come from for the 2 graphs -
> "What we stand to gain" and "Yearly, Monthly, Daily Impact Losses" come
> from and how has it been calculated?

It is based on the 336% impact-loss estimate from the Lawrence study
(bottom-left corner). It simply cumulates that impact-loss to show how
big it really is, and how it is growing with time.

With collaborators at UQaM, Southampton, Oldenburg and Loughborough
we are now extending the Lawrence study (which was on a sample from
computer science) to the entire 10-year ISI database from 1992-2002
(about ten million articles) across all disciplines, in order (1) to
show the relative growth of open access across time, by discipline, and
(2) to estimate the relative impact advantage (in terms of citation counts)
that open access provides, across time, by discipline.

Our method is first to compute the citation count for each of the
ten million articles indexed in the ISI database (using an algorithm
that takes each indexed article's reference list and fuzzy-matches
each cited article to the article it cites, whenever that too is in
the database). Then we send a software agent to the web to check, for
each of those ten million articles (again by fuzzy-matching), whether
a full-text of it is accessible toll-free on the web.

We then compare, display and extrapolate, year by year, field by field,
journal by journal, (1) the number and (2) citation counts for articles
that are and are not openly accessible.

These will be the actual data, replacing the Lawrence estimate in that
slide. We will then convert those impact losses into research income
losses for universities and research institutions, and use those data
to show university administrators, quantitatively, why it is that they
need to extend existing "publish or perish" policy to "publish *and*
provide open access to your publications" (in order to maximize research
impact -- and income).

The hypothesis is that the only thing holding back immediate universal
open-access provision by researchers and their institutions today is
ignorance about (1) the magnitude of the needless accumulating impact
losses, and about (2) the simple, legal, and virtually cost-free way that
those losses can be immediately reversed through the dual open-access
strategy of (i) publishing in an open-access journal wherever a suitable
one exists (5%), and (ii) self-archiving all toll-access publications
otherwise (95%).

Meanwhile, keep using those powerpoints to encourage open-access provision!

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
    Post discussion to:

Dual Open-Access Strategy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Tue Nov 25 2003 - 11:52:40 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:47:10 GMT