Wikipedia as a gateway to biomedical research: The relative distribution and use of citations in the English Wikipedia

Authors: Lauren A. Maggio, John Willinsky, Ryan Steinberg, Daniel Mietchen, Joe Wass, Ting Dong

Abstract: Wikipedia is a gateway to knowledge. However, the extent to which this gateway ends at Wikipedia or continues via supporting citations is unknown. Wikipedia’s gateway functionality has implications for information design and education, notably in medicine. This study aims to establish benchmarks for the relative distribution and referral (click) rate of citations, as indicated by presence of a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), from Wikipedia, with a focus on medical citations. DOIs referred from the English Wikipedia in August 2016 were obtained from Next, based on a DOI presence on a WikiProject Medicine page, all DOIs in Wikipedia were categorized as medical (WP:MED) or non-medical (non-WP:MED). Using this categorization, referred DOIs were classified as WP:MED, non-WP:MED, or BOTH, meaning the DOI may have been referred from either category. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Out of 5.2 million Wikipedia pages, 4.42% (n=229,857) included at least one DOI. 68,870 were identified as WP:MED, with 22.14% (n=15,250) featuring one or more DOIs. WP:MED pages featured on average 8.88 DOI citations per page, whereas non-WP:MED pages had on average 4.28 DOI citations. For DOIs only on WP:MED pages, a DOI was referred every 2,283 pageviews and for non-WP-MED pages every 2,467 pageviews. DOIs from both pages accounted for 12% (n=58,475) of referrals, making determining a referral rate for both impossible. While these results cannot provide evidence of greater citation referral from WP:MED than non-WP:MED, they do provide benchmarks to assess strategies for changing referral patterns. These changes might include editors adopting new methods for designing and presenting citations or the introduction of teaching strategies that address the value of consulting citations as a tool for extending learning.

Citation: Maggio LA, Willinsky J, Steinberg R, Mietchen D, Wass J, and Dong T. 2017. Wikipedia as a gateway to biomedical research: The relative distribution and use of citations in the English Wikipedia. bioRxiv doi: 10.1101/165159


It’s all the same to me!: Copyright, contracts, and publisher self-archiving policies

Author: Nancy Sims

Abstract: “Green” open access—sharing copies of published scholarship online via repositories, rather than in the place of original publication—can be an appealing option for scholarly authors. It’s largely within their own control, and also often the option with least personal financial cost. Many publishers have standing policies enabling green open access of some kind, but the specifics of these policies vary widely and can be quite confusing for authors and others trying to understand and comply.

Citation: Sims, N. (2015). It’s all the same to me!: Copyright, contracts, and publisher self-archiving policies. College & Research Libraries News, 76(11), 578-581.


Learning Analytics and the Academic Library: Professional Ethics Commitments at a Crossroads

Authors: Kyle M.L. Jones and Dorothea Salo

Abtract: In this paper, the authors address learning analytics and the ways academic libraries are beginning to participate in wider institutional learning analytics initiatives. Since there are moral issues associated with learning analytics, the authors consider how data mining practices run counter to ethical principles in the American Library Association’s “Code of Ethics.” Specifically, the authors address how learning analytics implicates professional commitments to promote intellectual freedom; protect patron privacy and confidentiality; and balance intellectual property interests between library users, their institution, and content creators and vendors. The authors recommend that librarians should embed their ethical positions in technological designs, practices, and governance mechanisms.

Citation: Jones K and Salo D. (2017) Learning Analytics and the Academic Library: Professional Ethics Commitments at a Crossroads. College & Research Libraries (Preprints). Available at


Beware the Trojan Horse: Elsevier’s repository pilot and our vision for IRs & Open Access

Authors: Ellen Finnie and Greg Eow

Abstract: In this post, the authors address the recent pilot linking the University of Florida’s institutional repository with Elsevier’s platform and offer an alternative vision for a healthy, global scholarly communication environment.

Citation: Finnie E and Eow G. (2017) Beware the Trojan Horse: Elsevier’s repository pilot and our vision for IRs & Open Access. In the Open. Retrieved from


The State of OA: A large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles

Authors: Heather Piwowar​​, Jason Priem​​, Vincent Larivière, Juan Pablo Alperin, Lisa Matthias, Bree Norlander, Ashley Farley, Jevin West, Stefanie Haustein

Abstract: Despite growing interest in Open Access (OA) to scholarly literature, there is an unmet need for large-scale, up-to-date, and reproducible studies assessing the prevalence and characteristics of OA. We address this need using oaDOI, an open online service that determines OA status for 67 million articles.

We use three samples, each of 100,000 articles, to investigate OA in three populations: 1) all journal articles assigned a Crossref DOI, 2) recent journal articles indexed in Web of Science, and 3) articles viewed by users of Unpaywall, an open-source browser extension that lets users find OA articles using oaDOI.

We estimate that at least 28% of the scholarly literature is OA (19M in total) and that this proportion is growing, driven particularly by growth in Gold and Hybrid. The most recent year analyzed (2015) also has the highest percentage of OA (45%). Because of this growth, and the fact that readers disproportionately access newer articles, we find that Unpaywall users encounter OA quite frequently: 47% of articles they view are OA. Notably, the most common mechanism for OA is not Gold, Green, or Hybrid OA, but rather an under-discussed category we dub Bronze: articles made free-to-read on the publisher website, without an explicit Open license.

We also examine the citation impact of OA articles, corroborating the so-called open-access citation advantage: accounting for age and discipline, OA articles receive 18% more citations than average, an effect driven primarily by Green and Hybrid OA. We encourage further research using the free oaDOI service, as a way to inform OA policy and practice.

Citation: Piwowar H, Priem J, Larivière V, Alperin JP, Matthias L, Norlander B, Farley A, West J, Haustein S. (2017) The State of OA: A large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ Preprints 5:e3119v1


Geographic variation in social media metrics: an analysis of Latin American journal articles

Author: Juan Pablo Alperin

Purpose: This study aims to contribute to the understanding of how the potential of altmetrics varies around the world by measuring the percentage of articles with non-zero metrics (coverage) for articles published from a developing region (Latin America).

Design/methodology/approach: This study uses article metadata from a prominent Latin American journal portal, SciELO, and combines it with altmetrics data from and with data collected by author-written scripts. The study is primarily descriptive, focusing on coverage levels disaggregated by year, country, subject area, and language.

Findings: Coverage levels for most of the social media sources studied was zero or negligible. Only three metrics had coverage levels above 2%—Mendeley, Twitter, and Facebook. Of these, Twitter showed the most significant differences with previous studies. Mendeley coverage levels reach those found by previous studies, but it takes up to two years longer for articles to be saved in the reference manager. For the most recent year, coverage was less than half than what was found in previous studies. The coverage levels of Facebook appear similar (around 3%) to that of previous studies.

Research limitations/implications: The data used for some of the analyses was collected for a six month period. For other analyses, data was only available for a single country (Brazil).

Originality/value: The results of this study have implications for the altmetrics research community and for any stakeholders interested in using altmetrics for evaluation. It suggests the need of careful sample selection when wishing to make generalizable claims about altmetrics.

Citation: Juan Pablo Alperin, (2015) “Geographic variation in social media metrics: an analysis of Latin American journal articles”, Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 67 Issue: 3, pp.289-304, doi: 10.1108/AJIM-12-2014-0176


arXiv e-prints and the journal of record: An analysis of roles and relationships

Authors: Vincent Larivière, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Benoit Macaluso, Staša Milojević, Blaise Cronin, and Mike Thelwall

Abstract: Since its creation in 1991, arXiv has become central to the diffusion of research in a number of fields. Combining data from the entirety of arXiv and the Web of Science (WoS), this paper investigates (a) the proportion of papers across all disciplines that are on arXiv and the proportion of arXiv papers that are in the WoS, (b) elapsed time between arXiv submission and journal publication, and (c) the aging characteristics and scientific impact of arXiv e-prints and their published version. It shows that the proportion of WoS papers found on arXiv varies across the specialties of physics and mathematics, and that only a few specialties make extensive use of the repository. Elapsed time between arXiv submission and journal publication has shortened but remains longer in mathematics than in physics. In physics, mathematics, as well as in astronomy and astrophysics, arXiv versions are cited more promptly and decay faster than WoS papers. The arXiv versions of papers — both published and unpublished — have lower citation rates than published papers, although there is almost no difference in the impact of the arXiv versions of both published and unpublished papers.

Citation: Larivière, V., Sugimoto, C. R., Macaluso, B., Milojević, S., Cronin, B. and Thelwall, M. (2014), arXiv E-prints and the journal of record: An analysis of roles and relationships. J Assn Inf Sci Tec, 65: 1157–1169. doi:10.1002/asi.23044, arXiv:1306.3261


How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative

Author: Dorothea Salo

Abstract: Since Clifford Lynch’s infamous call to arms (2003), academic libraries have been wasting their time trying to change the scholarly communication system on the feeblest of rationalizations. Proper librarians know that the current system is obviously the most sustainable, since it’s lasted this long and provided so much benefit to libraries (Rogers, 2012a) and profit to organizations as diverse as Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, and the American Chemical Society, as well as their CEOs (Berrett, 2012). Moreover, faculty have proclaimed loudly and clearly that they believe libraries’ central role is to be the campus’s collective knowledge wallet (Schonfeld & Housewright, 2010; Lucky, 2012), so who are librarians to argue?

Citation: Salo, D., (2013). How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 1(4), p.eP1075. DOI: