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Getting cited: Does open access help?


  • Gaulé, Patrick
  • Maystre, Nicolas


Cross-sectional studies typically find positive correlations between free availability of scientific articles (‘open access’) and citations. Using a number of instruments as plausible sources of exogeneous variation, we find no evidence for a causal effect of open access on citations. We provide theory and evidence suggesting that authors of higher quality papers are more likely to choose open access in hybrid journals which offer an open access option. Self-selection mechanisms may thus explain the discrepancy between the positive correlation found in Eysenbach (2006) and other cross-sectional studies and the absence of such correlation in the field experiment of Davis et al. (2008).

Suggested Citation

  • Gaulé, Patrick & Maystre, Nicolas, 2011. "Getting cited: Does open access help?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1332-1338.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:10:p:1332-1338 DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2011.05.025

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, March.
    9. Mathias Dewatripont & Victor Ginsburgh & Patrick Legros & Alexis Walckiers & Jean-Pierre Devroey & Marianne Dujardin & Françoise Vandooren & Pierre Dubois & Jérôme Foncel & Marc Ivaldi & Marie-Dominiq, 2006. "Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9545, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
    11. Arthur M. Diamond Jr., 1986. "What is a Citation Worth?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 200-215.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2422-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mark J. McCabe & Christopher M. Snyder, 2016. "Open Access as a Crude Solution to a Hold-up Problem in the Two-Sided Market for Academic Journals," NBER Working Papers 22220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:111:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2316-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Damien Besancenot & Radu Vranceanu, 2017. "A model of scholarly publishing with hybrid academic journals," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 131-150, January.
    5. Staudt, Joseph, 2017. "Mandating Access: Assessing the NIH's Public Access Policy," MPRA Paper 82981, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Wohlrabe, Klaus & Birkmeier, Daniel, 2014. "Do open access articles in economics have a citation advantage?," MPRA Paper 56842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Campbell, James D., 2015. "Ownership and pricing of information: A model and application to open access," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 29-42.
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:98:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1159-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:spr:scient:v:104:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1603-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:spr:scient:v:104:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1607-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Frank Mueller-Langer & Marc Scheufen, 2013. "Academic publishing and open access," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy, chapter 32, pages 365-377 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Frandsen, Tove Faber, 2009. "The effects of open access on un-published documents: A case study of economics working papers," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 124-133.
    13. Frank Mueller-Langer & Michael Gerstenberger & Julian Hackinger & Benjamin Heisig, 2013. "A Brief Guide for the Creation of Author-specific Citation Metrics and Publication Data Using the Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Scopus Databases," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 228, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
    14. Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI), Berlin (ed.), 2013. "Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany - EFI Report 2013," Research, Innovation and Technological Performance in Germany: Report, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin, volume 127, number 2013e, April.
    15. repec:hal:journl:hal-00971541 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Vanclay, Jerome K., 2013. "Factors affecting citation rates in environmental science," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 265-271.
    17. MARK J. McCABE & CHRISTOPHER M. SNYDER, 2014. "Identifying The Effect Of Open Access On Citations Using A Panel Of Science Journals," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(4), pages 1284-1300, October.
    18. Müller-Langer, Frank & Watt, Richard, 2014. "The Hybrid Open Access Citation Advantage: How Many More Cites is a $3,000 Fee Buying You?," MPRA Paper 61801, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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