Several studies have argued that open access (OA) journals have higher citation rate than non-OA journals (subscription-based journals). However, there are still controversial discussions regarding the OA citation advantage. Considering the difference between the diffusion factor and the journal impact factor (JIF) in measuring scientific impact and its potential for a new insight in understanding the multidimensionality of impact, this study aims to examine and compare the journal diffusion indicator values of OA and non-OA journals to test whether or not OA journals would have wider impact than non-OA journals. The data used in this study were obtained from the three-year Web of Science data (2015, 2014, and 2013) in the areas of general internal medicine. The results reveal that unlike this study’s propositions, the OA journals do not have diffusion advantage than the non-OA journals. This result contradicts several prior citation advantage studies which focus on the citation benefits of OA journals. This study contributes to the controversial OA citation advantage discussions in the prior studies.
Key words: Open access, citation advantage, journal diffusion factor, journal impact, citation benefit.
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