This statement provides one of the major reasons to embrace Open Access publishing. But as the authors make clear, many academics are confused about the nature of OA publishing. They tend to equate “open access” with so-called “Gold” OA: internet journals whose content is freely available without the costs of subscription. But in actuality, it is the other kind of OA, “Green” OA, that has the greatest potential to increase the availability and impact of published journal articles. As I have discussed in this blog previously, green OA involves self-archiving. Authors post their papers on the internet, in one of 3 ways: in an institutional repository, in a disciplinary repository, or on one’s own web page.
The accompanying graph, from Harnad et al. 2008:34, shows the increase in citations for journal articles whose authors made them OA by self-archiving. If you want others to read and cite your papers, you should self-archive them. Its a no-brainer. Now archaeology does not have a disciplinary repository (the chances of the AAA or SAA doing this are perhaps slightly above zero), and my institution does not have an institutional repository, so I just throw pdfs up on my web site. And you should do the same.
Harnad, Stevan, Tim Brody, François Vallières, Les Carr, Steve Hitchcock, Yves Gingras, Charles Oppenheim, Chawki Hajjem, and Eberhard R. Hilf
2008 The Access/Imipact Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access: An Update. Serials Review 34(1):36-40.
Available online: published pdf