Davis PM, Walters WH. The impact of free access to the scientific literature: a review of recent research. Journal of the Medical Library Association 2011;99(3):208-217
The paper reviews the recent studies that evaluate the impact of free access (open access) on scholars, clinicians, and the general public in developed and developing countries. The review assesses impact in terms of reading, citation, and related forms of use. Authors consider factors such as journal reputation and the absence of publication fees when submitting their work. In contrast, free access is not a significant factor in their submission decisions. There is clear evidence that free access increases the number of article downloads, although its impact on article citations is not clear. Further research is needed to evaluate the effect of free access on the general public’s use of the primary medical literature.