Open Access vs. Subscription Journals: An 83% Boost in Citations on

Open Access vs. Subscription Journals: An 83% Boost in Citations on
If you visit the web site at present (, you will encounter the claim that ‘a recent study found that papers uploaded to receive an 83% boost in citations over 5 years.’ You will be able to read the study as well and view the data upon which the claim is based so that you can form your own opinion, but you may also want to read a recent post assessing the paper and its claim on the Scholarly Kitchen blog at
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Although the author of the post considers most papers arguing that open access articles have a citation advantage ‘not worth reading,’ this paper is deemed ‘an exception,’ despite the fact that six of its eight authors are employees of Those authors are said to adopt a rational perspective and sound methods, recognising the study’s limitations and not ignoring ‘research that contradicts their conclusions.’ Yet a ‘data problem’ centring on the control group of papers used in the study (which differs significantly from the research group) is identified and may explain why the boost in citations is so much higher in the study for articles posted on than for articles freely available from other open-access sites. The post concludes with the idea that ‘the huge citation boost to the group’ may not be attributable to open access or discoverability, but ‘explainable entirely by bad data.’
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However the details of the paper and post are judged, they certainly form part of the ongoing and growing debate on the pros and cons of open access for scholarly publications, as the comments generated by the post make clear. If you are interested in reading more on the topic, there are a number of links among the comments that will lead you to some interesting articles, and an online search will reveal many more discussions with perspectives ranging as widely as the title openings ‘Not the Answer’ and ‘Why Open Access is Better’ suggest (see and A useful collection of articles gathered under the topic Academic Journal Debate can be found at

Open versus subscription access to research articles has clearly become a central issue in academic and scientific publication, and it is wise to be informed about at least some of the dynamics involved as you decide how and where you would like to publish your own scholarly work in order to achieve the impact you envision.

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Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical proofreading services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.

If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.

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