Overton Blog

Do open access articles get quoted more often in policy?

Open access articles (probably) get cited (a bit) more in scholarly research (see here for a good intro). For the excellent Munin Conference last week we wanted to see if anything similar happens in policy using the Overton policy document database.

We looked at articles in Nature Communications in 2014-2016, while it was still a hybrid journal. Did the OA papers end up being cited more in policy documents than the closed ones?

The answer is yes – though the results weren't super clear cut. Most of that's down to the study design: it needs more power and perhaps to look at a range of subject areas, as Nat Comms is more science & basic research. If you've got time and ideas, we can give you the data to explore yourself!

It looks like there's something there though. Which prompts the questions: is this a side effect of OACA? Or are policy makers & intermediaries genuinely more likely to pick up open research?

Overton is the world's largest database of full text policy documents – and there's loads you can do with our data. Get in touch to find out more or set up a demo of the platform.

What is Overton

We help universities, think tanks and publishers understand the reach and influence of their research.

The Overton platform contains is the world’s largest searchable policy database, with almost 5 million documents from 29k organisations.

We track everything from white papers to think tank policy briefs to national clinical guidelines, and automatically find the references to scholarly research, academics and other outputs.