Altmetric Blog

Open access publications get more media coverage

Stacy Konkiel, 5th January 2016

The following post contains content excerpted under a CC-BY license from:

McKiernan, Erin; E. Bourne, Philip; Brown, C. Titus; Buck, Stuart; Kenall, Amye; Lin, Jennifer; McDougall, Damon; Nosek, Brian; Ram, Karthik; Soderberg, Courtney; R. Spies, Jeffrey; Thaney, Kaitlin; Updegrove, Andrew; Woo, Kara; Yarkoni, Tal (2015): The open research value proposition: How sharing can help researchers succeed. figshare. https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1619902 Retrieved: 17 53, Dec 16, 2015 (GMT)

Open access, open data, open source, and other open scholarship practices are growing in necessity and popularity, rapidly becoming part of the integral workflow of researchers. However, widespread adoption of many of these practices has not yet been achieved.

Understandably, researchers have concerns as to how sharing their work will affect their careers. Some of these concerns stem from a lack of awareness about the career benefits associated with open research.

In a recent white paper, a group of scientists including Erin McKeirnan, Phillip E. Bourne, and C. Titus Brown review literature on the open citation advantage, media attention for publicly available research, collaborative possibilities, and special funding opportunities to show how open practices can give researchers a competitive advantage. We’ve excerpted a portion of this paper below that address the “open” advantage for getting increased attention for your work in the media and online.

One way for researchers to gain visibility is for their publications to be shared on social media  and covered by mainstream media outlets. There is evidence that publishing articles openly  and sharing data can help researchers get noticed. A study of over 2,000 articles published  in Nature Communications showed that those published openly received nearly double the  number of unique tweeters and Mendeley readers than subscription articles [24, 25]. A similar study of over 1,700 Nature Communications articles found that OA articles received 2.5-4.4 times the number of pageviews as subscription articles, and show maintained growth of article views over a longer period [17]. The same study found that OA articles also garnered  more social media attention via Twitter and Facebook than non-OA articles.

Encouraging examples, albeit outliers, exist showing the extent of impact open publishing can have on media attention for researchers. In 2014, Lacovara and colleagues published their new dinosaur discovery in the OA journal Scientific Reports [26], shared their  data as supplemental information, and posted 3D images to figshare [27]. The article was  subsequently covered in over 75 media outlets, including the BBC, National Geographic,  the Los Angeles Times, and more. As of October 2015, the 3D images on figshare had  been viewed over 29,000 times, scoring in the top 5% of outputs tracked by Altmetric (www.altmetric.com/details/2653335). Similarly, in September of 2015, Berger and colleagues published their discovery of a purported new species of ancestral human in the OA  journal eLife [28], and made scans of the bones openly available through MorphoSource [29]. The research was covered by news outlets all over the world, and the lead paper already has  6 citations according to Google Scholar.

There is evidence that news coverage confers a citation advantage. For example, a 1991 controlled study found that articles covered by the New York Times received up to 73% more  citations that those not covered [30]. A 2003 study confirmed the results of Phillips et al. [30], reporting higher citation rates for articles covered by the media [31]. We refer readers to a blog post by Matt Shipman, which alerted us to these studies and has a good discussion of their continued relevance, despite their older publication dates [32].

Editor’s note: To track the attention that research receives online, check out the Altmetric Bookmarklet! Altmetric is a data science company that reports on how research is shared, discussed, bookmarked, and otherwise reused online, and we provide those reports, free of charge, to help individuals understand the many impacts of their research. We’re also big fans of open science and open data–check out our Open API or get in touch if you’d like to use our data for research or on your personal website.

Further reading

[17] X. Wang, C. Liu, W. Mao, and Z. Fang. The open access advantage considering citation, article usage and social media attention. Scientometrics, 103(2):555–564, 2015.

[24] E. Adie. Attention! A study of open access vs non-open access articles. figshare, 2014a. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1213690.

[25] E. Adie. Altmetrics data for Nature Communications articles, Oct ’13 – Oct ’14. figshare, 2014b. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1213687.

[26] K.J. Lacovara, M.C. Lamanna, L.M. Ibiricu, J.C. Poole, E.R. Schroeter, P.V. Ullmann, K.K. Voegele, Z.M. Boles, A.M. Carter, E.K. Fowler, V.M. Egerton, A.E. Moyer, C.L. Coughenour, J.P. Schein, J.D. Harris, R.D. Mart ́ınez, and F.E. Novas. A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina. Scientific Reports, 4(6196), 2014.

[27] K. Lacovara. Dreadnoughtus schrani 3D PDF images – Lacovara et al., 2014, A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Ti- tanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina, Scientific Reports. figshare, 2014. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1130885.

[28] L.R. Berger, J. Hawks, D.J. de Ruiter, S.E. Churchill, P. Schmid, L.K. Delezene, Tracy L Kivell, Heather M Garvin, Scott A Williams, Jeremy M DeSilva, et al. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa. eLife, 4:e09560, 2015.

[29] L. Berger, D. Bolter, S. Churchill, D. de Ruiter, L. Delezene, M. Dembo, J. DeSilva, E. Feuer- riegel, H. Garvin, W. Harcourt-Smith, J. Hawks, T. Holliday, T. Kivell, M. Laird, D. Marchi, C. Orr, L. Schroeder, C. VanSickle, and S. Williams. Project: Rising star. MorphoSource, 2015. Retrieved from http://morphosource.org/index.php/Detail/ProjectDetail/Show/project id/124.

[30] D.P. Phillips, E.J. Kanter, B. Bednarczyk, and P.L. Tastad. Importance of the lay press in the transmission of medical knowledge to the scientific community. The New England Journal of Medicine, 325(16):1180–1183, 1991.

[31] V. Kiernan. Diffusion of news about research. Science Communication, 25(1):3–13, 2003.

[32] M. Shipman. Can News Media Boost Citations? Examining One (Old) Study. SciLogs, Communication Breakdown, 2012.   Retrieved from www.scilogs.com/communication breakdown/does-media-boost-citations/.

28 Responses to “Open access publications get more media coverage”

@OpenTherapeutic
January 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

#OpenAccess publications get more media coverage

#publishers
#authors
#OpenScience

https://t.co/pegTuJqTY2

Jon Tennⓐnt (@Protohedgehog)
January 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

Publish #openaccess and you'll get more media coverage, and consequently citations! https://t.co/JQiBJ4ZfzC via @skonkiel @altmetric

@BioMedCentral
January 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

#OpenAccess publications get more media coverage - blog by @skonkiel for @altmetric: https://t.co/R9BHzjPFtd

@OA_Button
January 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media coverage - blog by @skonkiel for @altmetric: https://t.co/bFTPMltNvm

Jean Peccoud (@peccoud)
January 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media coverage #OpenAccess via @altmetric https://t.co/z27Z4oMkbu

@CityTechLibrary
January 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

Yes, open access publications get more media coverage! https://t.co/PezjT7xnb6 #oaadvantage #openaccess @CUNYWorks

[…] From the Almetric Blog – [Read more] […]

[…] recent blog by Altmetric entitled “Open access publications get more media coverage” describes a paper written by McKiernan et al on the potential positive impact of open […]

figshare (@figshare)
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

#OpenAccess publications get more media coverage:

https://t.co/zQ7a4sQxmJ

@Bontrop
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media coverage https://t.co/sqQsfStShW

@DOAJplus
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

#Openaccess articles get more media coverage, according to @altmetric
https://t.co/Qjew4oxTX7

Fabrice Leclerc (@leclercfl)
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

Top #openedu story: Open access publications get more media coverage | Altmetri… https://t.co/FmYY0mA0V6, see more https://t.co/vtUf0W3rg2

@gfbertini
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media coverage https://t.co/KcLuPuGf97

@brembs
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

#Openaccess publications get more media coverage https://t.co/GNUxWLbM0G #oa

@thePeerJ
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open Access Articles get more media coverage: https://t.co/aw0fmz6TVt @skonkiel excerpts the highlights from https://t.co/N8fQ2Och51

@alangsmello
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media coverage https://t.co/ZaIZlSYfPW

@peterballantyne
January 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

@altmetric suggests that open access publications get more media coverage https://t.co/WpyfQUYDpP #openaccess

Steve Hitchcock (@stevehit)
January 7, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media coverage https://t.co/WVi3IXtRDv #openaccess #oaimpact

@MedThinkSciCom
January 7, 2016 at 12:00 am

Media Coverage of #OpenAccess Publications https://t.co/xSge8aEbVa

scholastica (@scholasticahq)
January 7, 2016 at 12:00 am

"How open practices can give researchers a competitive advantage" https://t.co/8eabcfIEhB @altmetric #OA

@laurapasquini
January 8, 2016 at 12:00 am

#OpenAccess publications get more media coverage https://t.co/HGkTMHYlWd [Not surprising.] #OA #acwri #research

@HardinLib
January 9, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open Access Publications Get More Media Coverage https://t.co/uE522RiA5X - @Altmetric @skonkiel RT @BLugger https://t.co/9aUdh52zlk

@ashley
January 10, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media-coverage #edsg https://t.co/tClyXnXaRf https://t.co/66vHr9ZCcc

@MDAndersonLib
January 11, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media coverage - https://t.co/HBIBzqMfOf #openaccess

@UTSePRESS
January 12, 2016 at 12:00 am

'Open access publications get more media coverage' @altmetric https://t.co/NDe21Yhc4X #openaccess #OA

@004dot678
January 13, 2016 at 12:00 am

Currently reading: #OpenAccess publications get more media coverage https://t.co/s1NWnjrYhk

Research to Action (@Research2Action)
January 13, 2016 at 12:00 am

..."open scholarship practices are growing in necessity and popularity" https://t.co/T0zEpOweUq via @altmetric #openaccess

Jean Peccoud (@peccoud)
January 17, 2016 at 12:00 am

Open access publications get more media coverage #OpenAccess via @altmetric https://t.co/P87lunsEAL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *