Influence of OA, Gender, Co-authorship on Citation
Citation outcomes are often used as a proxy to measure research excellence. Accordingly, clarifying the drivers of citation outcomes is valuable information for research policy, both to inform interventions that contribute to excellence and to establish fair normalization practices when measuring the relative excellence of a body of work compared a given benchmark.
Previous research has shown that open access, international collaboration and the gender composition of research teams each have an influence on citation outcomes and that they are interconnected with one another. The present work replicates a small-scale study that disentangles their influence, expands the analysis to a much wider scope, and drills down into subsets of data, applying this analytical approach sequentially to extract valuable contextual information to situate interpretation of more localized findings.
However, this study can only inform a discussion about the policy relevance of and appropriate policy responses to the present findings; it cannot replace that discussion. Some questions that it raises pertain to the difference between a strategy to improve research and a strategy to improve citations, what counts as a fair expectation against which to measure performance for various groups, and what exactly it is that we are aiming to promote when using citation-based measures for research evaluation.