text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation Home National Science Foundation - Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)
Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF)
design element
CCF Home
About CCF
Funding Opportunities
Career Opportunities
See Additional CCF Resources
View CCF Staff
CISE Organizations
Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI)
Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF)
Computer and Network Systems (CNS)
Information & Intelligent Systems (IIS)
Proposals and Awards
Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
Proposal Preparation and Submission
bullet Grant Proposal Guide
  bullet Grants.gov Application Guide
Award and Administration
bullet Award and Administration Guide
Award Conditions
Merit Review
NSF Outreach
Policy Office
Additional CCF Resources
Career Opportunities
Other Site Features
Special Reports
Research Overviews
Multimedia Gallery
Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments

Email this pagePrint this page
All Images

Press Release 09-026
Open Access to Scientific Papers May Not Guarantee Wide Dissemination

New research challenges assumption that having research published in open access journals and other free sources leads to more exposure and citations

Back to article | Note about images

Image of a video screen with journals and old books displayed behind a lock and key.

Millions of research papers and other scholarly material are available on the internet, however, in many cases a person or library must pay to access them. In recent years, as the internet has helped lower the cost of publishing, more and more scientists have begun publishing their research in open source outlets on the internet. Since these publications are free to anyone with an internet connection, the belief has been that more interested readers will find them and potentially cite them. New research from James A. Evans and Jacob Reimer of the University of Chicago suggests that being in an open source publication does not necessarily increase the number of times a research paper is used by other researchers.

Credit: Jupiter Images


James Evans, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, discusses his research into the impact of open source publishing on disseminating scientific information. Evans and his partner Jacob Reimer, a student of neurobiology at the University of Chicago, examined millions of journal articles and other publications. They concluded that having a publication available online in an open source journal did increase the number of times it was read and cited, but having the publication available online in a commercial format increased its usage even more. These findings seemingly contradict previous research into open source publishing. Evans and Reimer did discover that open source publishing provides a vital source of information for researchers and scholars in the developing world who may not otherwise have access to this type of material. Their research appears in the February 20, 2009 edition of the journal Science.

Credit: National Science Foundation/AAAS


Cover of the February 20, 2009 edition of the journal Science.

The research into open source publications appears in the February 20, 2009, edition of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2009

Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (678 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page