UC Berkeley Library > Library Collections > Scholarly Communication > What You Can Do: Publish to Maximize Impact

What You Can Do:

Publish to Maximize Impact

Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII)
The goal of a new pilot, sponsored by the Vice Chancellor for Research and the University Librarian, is to advance the impact of UC Berkeley research by subsidizing Berkeley faculty members who want to make their journal articles free to all readers immediately upon publication. Find out how to apply for funds at the BRII website.

Where you publish can maximize your impact. Many recent studies indicate that open-access articles are more immediately and more frequently cited than non-open-access articles. Increased citation rates lead to greater research impact.

The way to maximize the impact of your research findings is to maximize the exposure to your work.

  1. Start by retaining your copyright.

    Copyright, when signed over to a publisher, limits your ability to disseminate your work. By retaining your copyright, you can maximize your options for dissemination, thus maximizing your work's potential reach and gaining a wider audience for your scholarship.

  2. Make your article open access.

    • Publish in an open-access journal. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists thousands of journals, and eScholarship also hosts a number of open access journals. To publish in many of these journals, you may be required to pay a publication fee. This fee can be charged to your funding agency. (Consult SHERPA/Juliet for a list of research funders' policies on open access.)

    • Pay an open-access or publication fee. The Selective List of Open Access Fees (also available as a PDF document) provides a selective list of open-access publishers and the fees they charge. It also lists hybrid publishers, traditional subscription-based publishers who allow authors to pay an additional publication fee to make their articles immediately available to the public. Publishers refer to these fees by various terms such as "paid access," "open choice," "sponsored article," etc.

      (Note: Berkeley faculty members may now apply for funding to subsidize open access or paid access fees through the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) program.)

    • Some journals make their content free after a certain "embargo" period. Consult the HighWire Press list of Free Online Full-text Articles which lists more than 1000 journals that make their content available for free after a period of time, usually 12 months.

  3. Post your article in a repository.

    A repository can be a pre-print server such as the arXiv e-Print service at Cornell or a subject repository such as PubMed Central, the National Institutes of Health digital archive. UC's eScholarship hosts a Postprint service; if you publish an article in a traditional commercial or society journal, you can then submit the final "author's version" of your article to the eScholarship postprint server.

    The advantages of posting an article to a repository:

    • The article can be discovered by anyone doing a Google search (wider audience).
    • Articles residing in a repository are ensured archival access.
    • As an author, you can post related and associated files that can't be published in a traditional journal.
  4. Find out more about your publication before you decide to publish there to ensure that the publisher's high costs do not pose a barrier to access:

    • Journal Cost Effectiveness: Ranks internationally-published journals by price per article or citation. (This is a beta site.)
    • Role of Scholarly Societies: Includes a Best Practices Checklist highlighting policies among a small sample of societies.
    • SHERPA/RoMEO: Find out whether your publisher allows you to place your article in a repository.


Antelman, K. (2004) Do Open Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?. College & Research Libraries News 65(5):372-382, 2004. Available via E-LIS: The open archive for Library and Information Science.
Shows that freely available articles have greater research impact.

Brody, T. (2006) Evaluating Research Impact through Open Access to Scholarly Communication. PhD, Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. Available via ECS EPrints Service.
Found that authors receive 50-250% more citations when they make their articles publicly available.

The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies
This bibliography compiled by OpCit: the Open Citation Project lists articles and websites that focus on the relationship between impact and access.

Journal Citation Reports (JCR)
Provides citation data drawn from over 8400 scholarly and technical journals worldwide. Provides data on highest impact and most frequently used journals. (UCB access only)

Lawrence, S. (2001) Online or Invisible? Nature, 411(6837): 521, 2001. Available via CiteSeer (PDF).
Author Steve Lawrence argues that articles freely available online are more highly cited. Greater impact leads to faster scientific progress.

Lynch, C. (2003) Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age, Libraries and the Academy 3(2): 327-336.

MacCallum, C. and Parthasarathy, H, (2006) Open Access Increases Citation Rate. PLoS Biology 4(5): e176.
This article provides "robust evidence that open-access articles (OA articles) are more immediately recognized and cited than non-OA articles … [and] adds objective support to the belief … that open-access publication speeds up scientific dialog between researchers…."

Maximize the Reach and Impact of Your Work
From the Reshaping Scholarly Communication site by the UC Office of Scholarly Communication.

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