Thursday, April 26, 2007

Open access journals and citation counts

I just read a post on BoingBoing by Cory Doctorow about a blogger posting a portion of a figure from a scientific journal on her blog. This blogger is now being sued threatened by lawyers representing Wiley for copyright infringement. That, of course, is a whole topic in and of itself, but what I found interesting was a claim that Doctorow made that I'm not sure is true.

According to his post, scientists who publish in open access journals "get more citations and attention from their peers." Based on the impact factors I have seen for traditional medical journals as compared to open access journals in the same fields, this just isn't true. The impact factors for open access journals are rising as they become more popular (and trusted), but in my experience, researchers are still hesitant to stray from the tried and true. In many cases, tenure depends on how many articles you've published in "good" journals, and that "good" is determined by how high the impact factor is for that journal. Is this a good thing? I don't think so. Is it changing? I hope so, and I try to push open access journals as publishing options whenever asked my opinion.


Pedro Beltrão said...

Just a little correction, she is not being sued. She got an email from an editor asking to take down the copyrighted material. Although I disagree with the editor's actions it would be important to keep the discussion fair and not exaggerated.

Somer said...
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The Imaging Librarian said...

Thank you very much for the clarification. I don't want to spread any misrepresentations of the truth!