11 September 2012

Why isn't everyone using genuine open access?

I have just been writing the editorial for the new issue of Information Research, to be published on Thursday. In the course of doing this I decided to take a look at the Google Analytics data for the site and I find that the top page of the site (http://informationr.net) had almost half-a-million hits in the past twelve months, while the top page of the journal (http://informationr.net/ir/) had close to 800,000. The most hit issue was volume 8 number 1, with more than 50,000 hits, and the most hit paper was one by Chun Wei Choo, on environmental scanning - more than 31,000 hits. According to the counter on the page, the paper has had a total of 190,345 hits and Google Scholar tells me that it has 158 citations, giving a cites/hits ratio of a little more than 1,200. Some day I must do a thorough study of this relationship :-)

However, what is the point of this? Well, in total, Information Research and its individual papers, plus the book reviews (which aren't counted in the process) must be totalling more than two million hits a year. Individual papers are getting thousands of hits and in some cases tens of thousands of hits and, if we can generalise (which we can't!) from the Choo case, for every 1200 hits you are getting a citation. And you can check on this with the counter information and the link to Google Scholar provided on the site.

Can any other journal in the field boast this kind of exposure? If not, why aren't you and other academics demanding the genuinely free and open mode of access that I call platinum! No author charges and no subscription charges give you maximum exposure of your work to a world-wide audience - and yet you continue to publish in commercially managed journals that close off your work from the world at large unless you pay for it to be open. Is this crazy economics or what?

1 comment:

  1. It's crazy economics, however, also damages scholarship and academic communication. In essence (in the UK) those of us in Business Schools are given a list of commercial journals in which we can publish and forced to use this model.