August 18, 2019

The Relationship Between Usage and Citations in an Open Access Mega Journal (Preprint)

The following article (preprint) was recently shared on arXiv.

Title

The Relationship Between Usage and Citations in an Open Access Mega Journal

Authors

Barbara McGillivray
The Alan Turing Institute, University of Cambridge
Mathias Astell
Hindawi Publishing

Source

via arXiv

Abstract

How does usage of an article relate to the number of citations it accrues? Does the timeframe in which an article is used (and how much that article is used) have an effect on when and how much that article is cited? What role does an article’s subject area play in the relationship between usage and citations? This paper aims to answer these questions through an observational study of usage and citation data collected about a multidisciplinary, open access mega journal, Scientific Reports.

We find that while the direct correlation between usage and citations is only moderate at best, the relationship between how early and how much an article is used and how early it is cited is much clearer. What is more, we find that when an article is cited earlier it is also cited more often, leading to the assertion that if an article is more highly accessed early on, it is more likely to be cited earlier and more often.

As Scientific Reports is a multidisciplinary journal covering all natural and clinical sciences, this study was also able to look at the differences across subject areas and found some interesting variations when comparing the major subject areas covered by the journal (i.e. biological, Earth, physical and health sciences).

Direct to Full Text Article
22 pages; PDF.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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