[Duraspace] The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer: The Effect of Open Access on Cites to Science Journals Across the Quality Spectrum by Mark J. McCabe, Christopher M. Snyder :: SSRN

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Sat Jun 1 14:11:50 SAST 2013

An open-access journal allows free online access to its articles, obtaining
revenue from fees charged to submitting authors. Using panel data on
science journals, we are able to circumvent some problems plaguing previous
studies of the impact of open access on citations. We find that moving from
paid to open access increases cites by 8% on average in our sample, but the
effect varies across the quality of content. Open access increases cites to
the best content (top-ranked journals or articles in upper quintiles of
citations within a volume) but reduces cites to lower-quality content. We
construct a model to explain these findings in which being placed on a
broad open-access platform can increase the competition among articles for
readers’ attention. We can find structural parameters allowing the model to
fit the quintile results quite closely.
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