Identifying the Effect of Open Access on Citations Using a Panel of Science Journals

35 Pages Posted: 25 May 2013 Last revised: 1 Nov 2013

Mark J. McCabe

Boston University - Questrom School of Business; SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis Nice

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 30, 2013

Abstract

An open-access journal allows free online access to its articles, obtaining revenue from fees charged to submitting authors or from institutional support. Using panel data on science journals, we are able to circumvent problems plaguing previous studies of the impact of open access on citations. In contrast to the huge effects found in these previous studies, we find a more modest effect: moving from paid to open access increases cites by 8% on average in our sample. The benefit is concentrated among top-ranked journals. In fact, open access causes a statistically significant reduction in cites to the bottom-ranked journals in our sample, leading us to conjecture that open access may intensify competition among articles for readers’ attention, generating losers as well as winners.

Keywords: open access, superstars, long tail, journal, citation, search, platform

JEL Classification: L17, O33

Suggested Citation

McCabe, Mark J. and Snyder, Christopher M., Identifying the Effect of Open Access on Citations Using a Panel of Science Journals (October 30, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2269040 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2269040

Mark J. McCabe (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/markjmccabe1/home

SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis Nice ( email )

60 rue Dostoïevski
SKEMA Business School, Economics Department
Sophia Antipolis, 06902
France

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/markjmccabe1/home

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

301 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
(603) 646-0642 (Phone)
(603) 646-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~csnyder/

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