James Pringle ~ Do Open Access Journals Have Impact?

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logo_natureAt Thomson ISI, we have followed debates over Open Access to scholarly literature with great interest. This is partly because our mission, best incarnated today in the Web of Science®, is to help researchers find and access quality, relevant information wherever it is published. It is also because the journal-level metrics, such as the Impact Factor and Immediacy Index, for which Thomson ISI has become known, have assumed importance in these discussions.

Some assert (as readers of Nature are no doubt aware) that too much importance is sometimes given to these measures. Few would contest that they have an important place in the current debate. The Impact Factor is often referenced both in recent contributions to this Nature ‘Focus’ and in other forums. Researchers often ask, ‘If I publish in an Open Access journal, will my work be cited?’

I have personally been asked many times what the ‘ISI position’ is on Open Access. This is in some ways a curious question, given our mission – I am rarely asked what our ‘position’ is in regard to publishing by society publishers, or commercial houses, or advertising-supported trade magazines. The answer is simply that if it results in high-quality information of use to scholars, we will cover it in our databases; if not, we will not.

Read more: http://www.nature.com/accessdebate/

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