How Many More Cites is a $3,000 Open Access Fee Buying You? Empirical Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming

70 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2018

See all articles by Frank Mueller-Langer

Frank Mueller-Langer

European Commission, Joint Research Center; Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Richard Watt

University of Canterbury - Economics and Finance; The Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 19, 2017

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of open access (OA) status of published journal articles on peer recognition, as measured by the number of citations. Using cross-sectional and panel data from interdisciplinary mathematics and economics journals, we perform negative binomial, Poisson and linear regressions together with generalized method of moments/instrumental variable methods regressions. We benefit from a natural experiment via hybrid OA pilot agreements. Under these agreements, OA status is exogenously assigned to all articles of authors affiliated with hybrid OA pilot institutions. Our cross-sectional analysis of the full sample suggests that there is no citation benefit associated with hybrid OA. In contrast, for the subpopulation of journal articles for which neither OA pre-prints nor OA post-prints are available, we find positive hybrid OA effects for the full sample and each discipline separately. We address the issue of selection bias by exploiting a panel of journal articles for which OA pre-prints are available. Citations to pre-prints allow us to identify the intrinsic quality of articles prior to publication in a journal. The results from the panel analysis provide additional empirical evidence for a negligible hybrid OA citation effect.

Keywords: Open Access, Diffusion Processes, Citation Effects, Pre-Print Archiving

JEL Classification: L17, O33, A11

Suggested Citation

Mueller-Langer, Frank and Watt, Richard, How Many More Cites is a $3,000 Open Access Fee Buying You? Empirical Evidence from a Natural Experiment (October 19, 2017). Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3096572

Frank Mueller-Langer (Contact Author)

European Commission, Joint Research Center

Seville
Spain

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Munich
Germany

Richard Watt

University of Canterbury - Economics and Finance ( email )

Private Bag 4800
Christchurch
New Zealand

The Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI) ( email )

Apartado de correos 1100
Palma de Mallorca, 08080
Spain

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