Open Access Metrics: An Autocatalytic Circle of Benefits

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 09:44:38 -0500

In "Show me the data" Rossner, et al (2007, The Journal of Cell
Biology, Vol. 179, No. 6, 1091-1092) wrote:

"Just as scientists would not accept the findings in a scientific
paper without seeing the primary data, so should they not rely on
Thomson Scientific's impact factor, which is based on hidden data. As
more publication and citation data become available to the public
through services like PubMed, PubMed Central, and Google ScholarŽ, we
hope that people will begin to develop their own metrics for
assessing scientific quality rather than rely on an ill-defined and
manifestly unscientific number."

Rossner et al are quite right, and the optimal, inevitable solution
is at hand:

(1) All research institutions and research funders will mandate that
all research journal articles published by their staff must be
self-archived in their Open Access (OA) Institutional Repository.

(2) This will allow scientometric search engines such as Citebase
(and others) to harvest their metadata, including their reference
lists, and to calculate open, transparent research impact metrics.

The prospect of having Open Research Metrics for analysis and
research assessment -- along with the prospect of maximizing research
usage and impact through OA -- will motivate adopting the mandates,
closing the autocatalytic circle of benefits from OA.

Brody, T., Carr, L., Gingras, Y., Hajjem, C., Harnad, S. and Swan, A.
(2007) Incentivizing the Open Access Research Web:
Publication-Archiving, Data-Archiving and Scientometrics. CTWatch
Quarterly 3(3). 

Harnad, S. (2007) Open Access Scientometrics and the UK Research
Assessment Exercise. Proceedings of 11th Annual Meeting of the
International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics 11(1) :
27-33, Madrid, Spain. Torres-Salinas, D. and Moed, H. F., Eds. 

Shadbolt, N., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2006) The Open
Research Web: A Preview of the Optimal and the Inevitable, in Jacobs,
N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects.

Stevan Harnad

If you have adopted or plan to adopt a policy of providing Open
to your own research article output, please describe your policy at:
    BOAI-1 ("Green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access
    BOAI-2 ("Gold"): Publish your article in an open-access journal
    a suitable one exists.
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your
    in your own institutional repository.
Received on Tue Dec 18 2007 - 15:01:17 GMT

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