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The Citation Impact of Digital Preprint Archives for Solar Physics Papers


Papers that are posted to a digital preprint archive are typically cited twice as often as papers that are not posted. This has been demonstrated for papers published in a wide variety of journals, and in many different subfields of astronomy. Most astronomers now use the server (astro-ph) to distribute preprints, but the solar physics community has an independent archive hosted at Montana State University. For several samples of solar physics papers published in 2003, I quantify the boost in citation rates for preprints posted to each of these servers. I show that papers on the MSU archive typically have citation rates 1.7 times higher than the average of similar papers that are not posted as preprints, while those posted to astro-ph get 2.6 times the average. A comparable boost is found for papers published in conference proceedings, suggesting that the higher citation rates are not the result of self-selection of above-average papers.


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Correspondence to Travis S. Metcalfe.

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Editors’ Note: This paper lies outside the normal purview of Solar Physics papers, however the editors feel that the content is of sufficient importance for all Solar Physics authors and readers to merit its publication.

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Metcalfe, T.S. The Citation Impact of Digital Preprint Archives for Solar Physics Papers. Sol Phys 239, 549–553 (2006).

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  • Citation Count
  • Citation Rate
  • Citation Impact
  • Solar Physic
  • Adoption Rate