I recently saw this reasonably interesting graphic regarding journals and open access.

Year of Transfer: 2006 to Open Access with BioMed Central

As many of you know, there is a large discussion about open access. It appears to be most strong within biological sciences, though that may be more of a side-effect of their style of publishing. An interesting "timeline of open access" unfortunately stops at 2008. Obviously the graphic, while interesting, is a single data point.

What is the evidence regarding the effect of going open-access and a journal's impact factor? I am especially interested in utilizing resources that have undergone some kind of peer review and scrutiny.

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    I am looking forward to see answers! Since the Impact factor is based on the two years prior to when it is set it seems the break is partly fortuitous. The foundations for the 2007 is in 2006 and 2005 publications which are prior to the switch. Very interesting graph. Commented May 15, 2013 at 20:45
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    impact factor — Um... Who cares?
    – JeffE
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 21:03
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    @JeffE You don't, and I don't either as a measure of a journal's impact, whatever that means. But it's a fairly reliable measure of how often articles in a given journal would be cited within the 2 year window because that's the very definition of Impact Factor and the data set they use is quite large. Now I'm interested to know if making my papers open access improves the visibility by widening the potential audience that otherwise I'd miss, regardless of whether Impact Factor represents a journal's impact or not. I don't think your comment is relevant to OP's question or helpful at all. Commented May 15, 2013 at 22:59
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    I would be very interested in seeing some of the answers as well since I am quite involved in these kinds of analyses already. Also, this article is quite relevant here: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2492576
    – Shion
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 0:04
  • @Shion If you've done some work in the area you could try taking a shot at answering the question. ;)
    – Irwin
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 18:44

1 Answer 1


A few years ago there appeared a nice article in Science:

Open Access and Global Participation in Science

The authors convincingly show that going Open Access widens the readership of journals and improves citation counts.

There are some interesting references in that article too.

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