"Green" Open Access papers result in more citations

Published on
August 8, 2016

Wageningen UR Library encourages authors to make the author's version of publications available online. A recent study shows that by doing so researchers improve their impact.

Many studies in the past 15 years have compared citations of Open Access (OA) articles with citations of non-OA articles. The results are not conclusive. Most of these studies were restricted to a limited subject area, or a limited set of journals, and covered a relatively small number of articles.

A recent study on citation scores by 1Science used more than 3.3 million papers that were indexed in Web of Science and published between 2007 and 2009. One of the most important findings is that OA papers always attract more citations. In the field of agriculture, for example, the average citations of OA papers is 35% higher than of non-OA papers.

There are two routes to OA. The Golden Road implies that the articles are made publicly accessible by the publisher in an OA journal or a hybrid journal in which some articles are OA. In the Green Road authors make the author's version available in an institutional repository or on a social network like ResearchGate.

Surprisingly the 1Science study found that overall the Green Road results in higher citation scores than the Golden Road. There were a few exceptions including the fields of biomedical research and biology. Sharing the author's version may therefore enhance your impact.

Author's versions in Staff Publications

Do you want to make your paper available through Staff Publications?
Find out how you can do this. For general information on OA, please visit our Open Access pages.