Citation Advantage for Open Access Articles in Journal of The Electrochemical Society: Year One

home_coverScholarly publishing news has been buzzing about 1science’s recently published large-scale study on the impact of Open Access. This study analyzed more than 3 million papers and found that Open Access papers have a 50% greater citation advantage than papers in subscription-based journals.

Meanwhile, ECS has also been performing its own (much smaller-scale) research to confirm this hypothesis. In May 2015, ECS launched a study, led by Daniela Solomon, a librarian at Case Western Reserve University, to examine the citation advantage for Open Access articles published in Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES).

The study looks at both downloads and citations of articles published in a single volume of JES. This brief note outlines the results at the end of one year; however, we consider these results preliminary as we will continue to run the study for another year.

We will publish our findings again when the study closes: in the meantime we’d be interested in hearing your comments and thoughts on our findings so far.


For the purposes of the study, we examined the set of 1,112 research articles that were published in volume 161 of JES (2014). Of these 1,112 articles, 16% are Open Access (OA), and 84% are only available to subscribers of JES (non-OA). Usage data and citation counts are collected on a monthly basis from our Digital Library and the Web of Science database, respectively.


Please note that these observations are just that – they are neither statistically significant, nor are these the final results. Preliminarily, we have noticed that:

1. A higher percentage of Open Access articles have citations than those articles that are not Open Access.

  • 88% of OA articles had at least one citation
  • 81% of non-OA articles had citations.

2. The average full-text access (HTML views of full text + PDF downloads) to OA articles was double that of non-OA articles. Of note, though, the abstracts of the OA articles were accessed less frequently than non-OA abstracts.

3. OA articles received more citations per article than non-OA articles – but by a small margin.

  • Average citations for OA articles: 4
  • Average citations for non-OA articles: 3

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