Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Reprint/eprint requests correlate with citation impact

Stevan Harnad, More Reasons for the Immediate Deposit Mandate and the Eprint Request Button, Open Access Archivangelism, September 15, 2007.  Excerpt:

In the online era, the days of reprint requests ought to be over, with Open Access taking their place. But some research funders and universities are still hesitating about mandating Open Access Self-Archiving, because they are concerned about publishers' embargoes. Here is the solution:

Even where a publisher embargoes or does not endorse OA self-archiving, universities and research funders can and should still go ahead and mandate immediate deposit anyway, with no exceptions or delays, but allowing the deposit to be made Closed Access instead of Open Access during any publisher-imposed embargo period.

The Institutional Repository's semi-automatized Email Eprint Request Button will provide almost-immediate, almost-OA to tide over all researcher usage needs webwide till the end of the embargo (or till embargoes die their natural and well-deserved deaths, under the growing pressure and increasingly apparent benefits of OA).

See how the paper reprint request era, and its prime innovator, Eugene Garfield, already anticipated most of this:

Drenth, JPH (2003) More reprint requests, more citations? Scientometrics 56: 283-286.
Abstract: Reprint requests are commonly used to obtain a copy of an article. This study aims to correlate the number of reprint requests from a 10-year-sample of articles with the number of citations. The database contained 28 articles published in over a 10-year-period (1992-2001). For each separate article the number of citations and and the number of reprint requests were retrieved. In total 303 reprint requests were analysed. Reviews (median 9, range 1 to 95) and original articles (median 8, range 1-36) attracted most reprint requests. There was an excellent correlation between the number of requests and citations to article (two-tailed non-parametric Spearman rank test r = 0.55; 95% confidence interval 0.18-0.78, P < 0.005). Articles that received most reprint requests are cited more often.

Swales, J. (1988), Language and scientific communication. The case of the reprint request. Scientometrics 13: 93–101.

Abstract: This paper reports on a study of Reprint Requests (RRs). It is estimated that tens of millions of RRs are mailed each year, most being triggered by Current Contents...

Garfield, E. (1999) From Photostats to Home Pages on the World Wide Web: A Tutorial on How to Create Your Electronic Archive. The Scientist 13(4):14.

Excerpt: It is the utopian expectation of those who live in cyberspace that eventually most researchers will create Web sites containing the full text of all their papers... The social, economic, and scholarly impact of this development has major consequences for the future.

Garfield, E. (1965) Is the 'free reprint system' free and/or obsolete? Essays of an Information Scientist 1:10-11.

Garfield, E. (1972) Reprint Exchange. 1. The multimillion dollar problem ordinaire, Essays of an Information Scientist 1:359-60.