Does the arXiv lead to higher citations and reduced publisher downloads for mathematics articles?
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An analysis of 2, 765 articles published in four math journals from 1997 to 2005 indicate that articles deposited in the arXiv received 35% more citations on average than non-deposited articles (an advantage of about 1.1 citations per article), and that this difference was most pronounced for highly-cited articles. Open Access, Early View, and Quality Differential were examined as three non-exclusive postulates for explaining the citation advantage. There was little support for a universal Open Access explanation, and no empirical support for Early View. There was some inferential support for a Quality Differential brought about by more highly-citable articles being deposited in the arXiv. In spite of their citation advantage, arXiv-deposited articles received 23% fewer downloads from the publisher’s website (about 10 fewer downloads per article) in all but the most recent two years after publication. The data suggest that arXiv and the publisher’s website may be fulfilling distinct functional needs of the reader.
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