Re: Open Access and ISI-indexed journals and articles

From: David Goodman <>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 00:03:12 +0000

Before following Stevan's excellent advice, the authors would be prudent
if they checked the details of the publishers' current policy (which
will probably be considerably more liberal than it was when they submitted
the article).

The phrase "some form of author access" is, as appropriate, very
inclusive. Only some of these publishers permit posting to an external
server, such as arXiv or D-Lis, and limit the author to a server at his
own institution. Some may even limit it to the author's personal home
page. As unfortunately most institutions do not yet have IRs, the home
page may be the only immediate legal choice.

They should also check exactly what form of the manuscript they are
posting. Many of these publishers limi the posting to the author's
manuscript as it was accepted by the editor after peer-review, but not
including the changes introduced by further editing and production.
(Depending on the author, they may be insignificant, or they may be
extensive.) This limitation may, of course, be worded in varied and
confusing fashion. I note that the best place to confirm the most current
policy is the posted information for authors on the publisher's site.
The information on printed forms, and, especially, printed in the journals
is often out of date, sometimes by many years.

I and others have found that an excellent method to gain more liberal
terms is simply to ask for them. As publishers receive more requests,
they will probably eventually improve their policy to attract and retain
their authors. This is one of the strategies that has helped bring about
some of the progress that has been already attained. The Romeo site
is helpful, but as the ISI found, it does not include all publishers.
It has also sometimes not been altogether up to date, until corrections
have been verified and incorporated.

There do exist articles posted violating the publisher's copyright. There
is already enough doubt among publishers that self-archiving will be
done in a responsible and legal maner, that would make it advisable to
be especially careful. We all look forward to when these restrictions
will no longer need to be a concern.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of Stevan Harnad
Sent: Tue 11/2/2004 3:20 PM
To: AmSci Forum
Subject: [OACI Working Group] Open Access and ISI-indexed journals andarticles

    "Open Access Journals in the ISI Citation Databases:
     Analysis of Impact Factors and Citation Patterns"

ISI have reported (see excerpts below) that 395,052 (53%) of the 747,060
articles indexed in the 2003 Journal Citation Reports were published
in non-OA journals for which it is known that their publishers have
given their authors the green light to make them OA by self-archiving them
(56% if we add the 22,095 articles published in the OA journals). (ISI
rightly ignores the superfluous yellow/blue subdistinctions, counting
them as green.)

This means, at the very least, that 56% of those ISI-indexed articles
could be made immediately OA if their authors simply performed the few
keystrokes needed to self-archive them.

But the data are far stronger than that: ISI report that from the sample
of ISI-indexed publishers for which their author self-archiving policy
is known, 3056/3403 (90%) of the journals are green (which agrees quite
well with the figures from ).

If we assume (reasonably) that this sample can also be taken as an
estimate of the percentage green among the remaining 2504 journals
(whose publishers' self-archiving policy is not known), then a total of
about 5316/5907 (90%) of the ISI-indexed journals are probably green.

(Reckoned in terms of ISI-indexed articles, 417147/489824 (85%) of those
articles come from the known green-journal sample, hence 635001/747060
(85%) of them could already be self-archived by their authors with their
publishers' blessing!)

As neither (1) the publishers' green light nor (2) the growing
evidence of the enhanced impact of OA vs. non-OA research
yet seem sufficient to induce most of the authors of those articles
to self-archive them (only about 20% are as yet doing so, according
to our own estimates, gathered with the help of the ISI database),
even though, for example, 34,000 authors signed an Open Letter
demanding OA
the time does appear to be ripe for a self-archiving mandate from
researchers funders and employers in order to maximise the access
and impact of their research output
particularly as authors themselves, when surveyed, have declared that they
will self-archive willingly if it is mandated (but not otherwise!) (Swan &
Brown 2004).

Stevan Harnad

    "Open Access Journals in the ISI Citation Databases:
     Analysis of Impact Factors and Citation Patterns"

    "The majority of publishers have only one or a few journals in the
    Thomson ISI citation databases, and were not listed on the Project
    Romeo site."

    "We found 133 publishers (and/or their subsidiaries) with information
    on author archiving policy. Of these publishers, 108 have a stated
    policy permitting some type of author archiving."

    "Along with the publishers of the covered OA journals, publishers
    supporting some form of author archiving produce nearly 52% of the
    journals in the 2003 JCR Science Edition.

    "It is possible that some of the publishers with no archiving policy
    yet listed on Project ROMEO would allow self-archiving by their
    authors, which would further increase the number of journals whose
    content is available for author archiving."

    "Because archiving is accomplished at the article level, we calculated
    the number of articles in journals that allow author archiving:
    395,052 (53%) of 747,060 "citable items" in the 2003 Journal Citation
    Reports could be available, theoretically, for authors to post to
    individual or institutional archives. When the 22,095 articles and
    reviews in OA journals in 2003 are considered, the findings suggests
    that fully 56% of the article content indexed by Thomson could be
    deposited in one or more institutional archives."

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Received on Wed Nov 03 2004 - 00:03:12 GMT

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