, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 1007–1023 | Cite as

Characteristics of papers published in journals: an analysis of open access journals, country of publication, and languages used



This study explores how the citation of open access (OA) journal articles occurs by analyzing the impact of certain journal characteristics, namely, whether the journal is OA and whether its country of publication is the same as the affiliation of a paper’s author. As the language of a paper is an important factor contributing to paper citations, this study uses papers in English. This analysis included publications from 77 countries from 2010 to 2012. This analysis included 19,530 journals and 3,215,742 papers without duplication. The results showed that papers published in OA and international journals were cited in more countries than non-OA and domestic journals, and a higher percentage of these were being cited by foreign countries. From these findings, it was determined that the more widely accessible OA journals were effectively being accessed by researchers from multiple countries. However, of the top 10% most cited papers in international journals, a higher percentage of these came from non-OA compared to OA journals. Among domestic journals, no such difference was found. Papers published in non-OA international journals were most cited in foreign countries with a large number of published papers. Hence, the effect of OA’s expanded accessibility, while having an apparent effect on heightening the interest of foreign readership, has a limited impact in terms of increasing citations.


Journal Open access Country of publication Languages used 



The author would like to convey her sincerest appreciation to Dr. Masatsura Igami of the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, Professor Terutaka Kuwahara of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies and Sotaro Shibayama of the University of Tokyo for their exceptional suggestions and guidance. This study also benefited greatly from researchers and the author’s colleagues at the National Institute of Science and Technology who provided valuable advice.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Science and Technology PolicyMinistry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)TokyoJapan

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