Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Aiming for obscurity

Heather Morrison, Aiming for Obscurity (definitional post), Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, February 23, 2008.  Excerpt:

...There is a substantial body of evidence that open access articles are more likely to be cited (see Steve Hitchcock's The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies.

Therefore, authors who continue to publish in toll-access journals and do not self-archive can be said to be aiming for obscurity. In other words, an author in this position is pursuing a course of action which is very likely to decrease the probably of the author's work being read and cited.

It is logical to apply the same concept to journals and publishers that are not adjusting to the open access environment....

Also see Heather's follow-up post on why plagiarists might aim for obscurity:

...If an author has plagiarized another, then deliberately seeking a venue with the most restricted possible access might be the best wag to Aim for Obscurity, to minimize the odds of being caught....

Related:  See my article in SOAN for October 2006:

OA deters plagiarism....[P]lagiarism from OA sources is the easiest kind to detect.  Not all plagiarists are smart, of course, but the smart ones are steering clear of OA sources. 

For the same reason, they'll avoid OA dissemination for any of their own works containing plagiarized passages....

Update. Also see Steve Lawson's comment.