[Irtalk] Fwd: [GOAL] Journal Impact Factor will show that embargo hurts the Impact Factor and thus the reputation and value of subscription-based journals

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Sat May 2 11:33:11 SAST 2015


*Hilton Gibson*
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Éric Archambault <eric.archambault at science-metrix.com>
Date: 2 May 2015 at 04:24
Subject: [GOAL] Journal Impact Factor will show that embargo hurts the
Impact Factor and thus the reputation and value of subscription-based
To: "Global Open Access List (Successor of AmSci)" <goal at eprints.org>

 Stevan and other proponents of OA are adamant that embargoes are
unacceptable. It is a huge fight, a very unequal one. What is likely to
happen to give the final word to these advocates and lead to embargo
elimination is the fact that embargoed journals are not going to get the
citations that green-friendly journals are going to get. This will mean
that embargoed journals are going to receive lower Journal Impact Factors
(JIF), as computed by Thomson Reuters.

Despite all the complaints about the JIF, the JIF is widely used, and a
lower IF means receiving fewer and sometimes lower quality manuscripts, a
vicious circle that will erode a journal’s prestige. Embargoes are also
going to encourage authors to seek publications in gold journals and to
experiment with new venues that offer a more innovative, more disruptive
model. This means that publishers who insist on an embargo period are going
to hurt their journals by lowering their intrinsic value and
competitiveness. Though research to date has concentrated on how much green
increases the citedness of individual articles, the same effect can only be
reflected in aggregate for  journals – this is a mechanical truth. This
lowering of the impact factor will be helped by the prescribed use of DOI
from the birth of papers as many publishers are insisting that preprints
carry the final version DOI and point to the paying version of articles. So
although publishers may see embargoes as helping to protect the value of
their subscription-based journals, quite the opposite is very likely to

This is a serious consideration as strictly subscription-based papers (with
no archiving) have the least impact on average  in 7 out of 22
academic/scientific fields. See

It is therefore an essential practice to generalize the use of a single
homogeneous DOI in all archives to help Thomson Reuters accurately compute
the aggregate impact of papers and of journals, and to monitor the adverse
effect of embargoes on the reputation of journals.

Eric Archambault


GOAL mailing list
GOAL at eprints.org
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