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
Date Written: October 19, 2017
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: Suggested Citation