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No deal: German researchers’ publishing and citing behaviors after Big Deal negotiations with Elsevier
Quantitative Science Studies 1–28.
Published: 25 April 2023
AbstractView article PDF
In 2014, a union of German research organizations established Projekt DEAL, a national-level project to negotiate licensing agreements with large scientific publishers. Negotiations between DEAL and Elsevier began in 2016, and broke down without a successful agreement in 2018; during this time, around 200 German research institutions canceled their licence agreements with Elsevier, leading Elsevier to restrict journal access at those institutions. We investigated the effect on researchers’ publishing and citing behaviors from a bibliometric perspective, using a data set of ∼400,000 articles published by researchers at DEAL institutions during 2012–2020. We further investigated these effects with respect to the timing of contract cancellations, research disciplines, collaboration patterns, and article open-access status. We find evidence for a decrease in Elsevier’s market share of articles from DEAL institutions, with the largest year-on-year market share decreases occurring from 2018 to 2020 following the implementation of access restrictions. We also observe year-on-year decreases in the proportion of citations, although the decrease is smaller. We conclude that negotiations with Elsevier and access restrictions have led to some reduced willingness to publish in Elsevier journals, but that researchers are not strongly affected in their ability to cite Elsevier articles, implying that researchers use other methods to access scientific literature.
Quantitative Science Studies 1–19.
Published: 10 April 2023
AbstractView article PDF
Open Access (OA) facilitates access to research articles. However, authors or funders often must pay the publishing costs, preventing authors who do not receive financial support from participating in OA publishing and gaining citation advantage for OA articles. OA may exacerbate existing inequalities in the publication system rather than overcome them. To investigate this, we studied 522,411 articles published by Springer Nature. Employing correlation and regression analyses, we describe the relationship between authors affiliated with countries from different income levels, their choice of publishing model, and the citation impact of their papers. A machine learning classification method helped us to explore the importance of different features in predicting the publishing model. The results show that authors eligible for article processing charge (APC) waivers publish more in gold OA journals than others. In contrast, authors eligible for an APC discount have the lowest ratio of OA publications, leading to the assumption that this discount insufficiently motivates authors to publish in gold OA journals. We found a strong correlation between the journal rank and the publishing model in gold OA journals, whereas the OA option is mostly avoided in hybrid journals. Also, results show that the countries’ income level, seniority, and experience with OA publications are the most predictive factors for OA publishing in hybrid journals.
Quantitative Science Studies (2020) 1 (2): 618–638.
Published: 01 June 2020
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A potential motivation for scientists to deposit their scientific work as preprints is to enhance its citation or social impact. In this study we assessed the citation and altmetric advantage of bioRxiv, a preprint server for the biological sciences. We retrieved metadata of all bioRxiv preprints deposited between November 2013 and December 2017, and matched them to articles that were subsequently published in peer-reviewed journals. Citation data from Scopus and altmetric data from Altmetric.com were used to compare citation and online sharing behavior of bioRxiv preprints, their related journal articles, and nondeposited articles published in the same journals. We found that bioRxiv-deposited journal articles had sizably higher citation and altmetric counts compared to nondeposited articles. Regression analysis reveals that this advantage is not explained by multiple explanatory variables related to the articles’ publication venues and authorship. Further research will be required to establish whether such an effect is causal in nature. bioRxiv preprints themselves are being directly cited in journal articles, regardless of whether the preprint has subsequently been published in a journal. bioRxiv preprints are also shared widely on Twitter and in blogs, but remain relatively scarce in mainstream media and Wikipedia articles, in comparison to peer-reviewed journal articles.
Includes: Supplementary data