Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

OA pharma journals cited more than non-OA pharma journals

Kevin A. Clauson and three co-authors, Open-access publishing for pharmacy-focused journals, American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, August 15, 2008.  Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:

Purpose. Pharmacy-focused journals that are available in open-access (OA), freely accessible, hybrid, or traditional formats were identified.

Methods. Relevant journals were accessed from PubMed, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, EMBASE, and the Pharmacology and Pharmacy category of Thomson Scientific Journal Citation Reports. Criteria were established to select journals that satisfied the definition of pharmacy focused. Journals were assessed based on accessibility, copyright transfer requirements, and restrictions. If tracked, the journalís impact factor (IF) was identified according to classification, and medians were calculated for each journal category.

Results. A total of 317 pharmacy-focused journals were identified. The majority of pharmacy-focused journals identified were traditional/non-OA (n = 240). A smaller number of journals were freely accessible/ non-OA (n = 37), freely accessible/non-OA with content restrictions (n = 20), or freely available/non-OA with date restrictions (n = 18). The fewest number of journals were completely OA (n = 2). The median IF for the 185 journals whose IF was tracked was 2.029. The median IF for freely accessible and hybrid journals (n = 42) was 2.550, whereas the median IF for traditional journals (n = 143) was 1.900.

Conclusion. A very small number of pharmacy-focused journals adhere to the OA paradigm of access. However, journals that adopt some elements of the OA model, chiefly free accessibility, may be more likely to be cited than traditional journals. Pharmacy practitioners, educators, and researchers could benefit from the advantages that OA offers but should understand its financial disadvantages.

The same issue has an editorial by C. Richard Talley, Open-access publishing: why not?  It's accessible only to subscribers, at least so far.

Update (8/13/08).  I've now seen the full-text of Talley's editorial.  He acknowledges that OA to pharma journals "might indirectly improve public health", but tries to explain why AJHP is not OA.  He starts with a potshot at the article by Clauson et al., which he just agreed to publish, by asserting flatly that "Davis et al. found that open-access publishing does not increase article citations."  He doesn't attempt to reconcile the Clauson and Davis studies, and doesn't mention that the Davis study found no short-term citation increase while dozens of previous studies have found long-term citation increases.  He seems to believe that all OA journals charge publication fees (unaware that most OA journals charge no fees), and claims that AJHP would have to charge a publication fee of $7,000 to cover its expenses.  He says that free online abstracts and interlibrary loan will meet much of the demand.  In the meantime, he will consider delayed OA.  "The projected effect of this on membership recruitment and retention, as well as other economic concerns, will influence this decision."