Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Measuring OA progress through tags

James Till, Tags Indicate That Open Access Is Flourishing, Philica, January 8, 2007.  Excerpt:

On the basis of qualitative evidence, awareness of the open access (OA) movement increased substantially in 2006....Could a simple quantitative indicator be used to measure growth of interest in OA?

Social bookmarking services, such as Connotea (Lund, 2006), can be used to tag noteworthy articles. There were 104 entries in Connotea tagged “open access” in 2005. This number increased dramatically in 2006, to 738 (a 7-fold increase).

However, social bookmarking itself increased markedly during the past two years.

For example, entries tagged “internet” in Connotea increased from 299 in 2005 to 907 in 2006 (a 3-fold increase) and entries tagged “neuroscience” increased from 177 in 2005 to 491 in 2006 (also a 2.8-fold increase)....Because awareness of topics such as these were not expected to have increased significantly between 2005 and 2006, it was assumed that these 3-fold increases were a result of the increasing popularity of tagging via Connotea, and not of increased interest in the topics themselves.

A chi-square test of association..., in which the observed numbers of entries for “open access” in 2006 and 2005 (738 and 104) were compared with those obtained for “internet” (907 and 299) in a 2x2 contingency table, indicated that the difference in the 2006/2005 ratios for these two tags was highly significant at the P < 0.0001 level.

These results provide preliminary quantitative evidence that interest in OA is indeed burgeoning, and that frequencies of Connotea tags may provide a useful indicator for tracking these changes.