Re: The apparent OA citation advantage

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 13:21:15 +0100 (BST)

On Mon, 21 May 2007, John Smith wrote:

>> LC:
>> It is true that there are a limited number of string
>> theorists in the world but that doesn't stop Ed Witten's top papers
>> being cited several thousand times (a standard Citebase demo).
> JS:
> * Are these citations from non-string theorists of any academic
> * value?


Whenever researcher X applies the research findings of researcher Y
in further research, that is research value, which is what research is
about. The academic bean counters can then count the citations, which
may have some secondary academic assessment value...

> * This argument about citation advantage is
> * in danger of degenerating into the pantomime scene where one
> * side says 'Oh yes it is' and the opposition says 'Oh no it isn't'.
> * The point is, it doesn't matter, OA is more important than this.

The problem is that 85% of authors are not yet providing OA to their
articles. The citation advantage is an important component in persuading
them (and their institutions and funders) of the importance of providing

And it is the evidence that says it is, whereas it is the publishing
lobby that says it isn't...

Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon May 21 2007 - 15:30:58 BST

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