Debunking unwarranted defenses of the status quo in the humanities and social sciences
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A hot topic of research in scientometrics is whether there is a citation advantage for open access articles. A number of pieces addressing this question have been recently published, several of which in this journal (e.g., Sotudeh et al. 2015; Wang et al. 2015). In this article I will comment on one recent contribution by philosopher Wray (2016), which reports no citation advantage for author-pays open access journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences (henceforth, HSS). What makes Wray’s paper particularly interesting is that, besides analyzing the nature and size of the alleged effect, he also goes on to draw some further normative conclusions. Specifically, he puts forth an argument to the effect that, in light of his reported findings, scholars in the HSS should avoid paying fees to publish open access. In his own words, “social scientists and scholars in the humanities should save their money and resist the temptation to buy into the Author-Pay Open Access Publishing model”....