Brevia

Open Access and Global Participation in Science

Science  20 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5917, pp. 1025
DOI: 10.1126/science.1154562

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Abstract

Previous investigations into the impact of open-access journals on subsequent citations confounded open and electronic access and failed to track availability over time. With new data, we separated these effects. We demonstrate that a journal receives a modest increase in citations when it comes online freely, but the jump is larger when it first comes online through commercial sources. This effect reverses for poor countries where free-access articles are much more likely to be cited. Together, findings suggest that free Internet access widens the circle of those who read and make use of scientists' investigations.

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