Self-archiving of research outputs has many benefits and is associated with more diverse citations

Green open access, also known as self-archiving, is a way for researchers to share their work with the public freely by depositing a copy of their paper in an institutional or subject repository providing benefits for researchers and the wider community. One of the key benefits of self-archiving – and open access in general – has been increased visibility and impact of research as evidenced by larger number of citations of open access publications. However, in addition to just citation counts, it is also important to consider the origin and variety of these citations.

A recent study by Huang et al. (2024) used information on the affiliation and field of science of citing authors from a large bibliographic dataset to find out whether open access status of publications is related to diversity of the audience. Their results show that open access research outputs receive more diverse citations than publications behind a paywall by having a wider representation of institutions, countries, subregions, regions, and fields of research. This same trend was seen for outputs with high and medium-low citation counts. They also found that open access through repositories results in greater citation diversity than open access via publisher websites. Thus, providing open access to research publications makes research results available for more people with diverse backgrounds, increasing their impact and potentially creating more opportunities for collaboration across disciplines, as well.

Self-archiving is an option for making research more accessible to those who may not have the resources to pay for access to subscription-based journals and does not involve expensive open access charges. One of the additional benefits of self-archiving is ensuring preservation: a publication deposited in an institutional repository will have a permanent address and its long-term preservation is guaranteed.

Oulu University Library offers services for open access publishing and self-archiving. Based on the university’s commitment to open science, self-archiving into the open access repository OuluREPO is mandatory for all publications by University of Oulu researchers. Researchers affiliated with the university can send their articles for self-archiving via the research information system OuluCRIS. The library takes care of ensuring compliance with the publisher's terms and conditions (version, embargo etc.).

For further details on open access publishing and self-archiving, see the Oulu University Library guide on open access publishing.

Marisa Ylisuutari, Senior Information Specialist, Oulu University Library
Päivi Leinonen, Information Specialist, Oulu University Library
Miki Kallio, Senior Specialist, Science Policy, University of Oulu

Reference: Huang, CK., Neylon, C., Montgomery, L. et al. Open access research outputs receive more diverse citations. Scientometrics 129, 825–845 (2024).