Mapping the use of open access resources by doctoral students in the USA by employing citation analysis

Zahid Ashraf Wani (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India)
Showkat Ahmad Wani (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India)

Collection and Curation

ISSN: 0160-4953

Publication date: 14 October 2018



The purpose of this paper is to measure the fully open access (OA) contents cited by researchers from top three universities in the USA (MIT, CIT and Stanford) in the field of physics. This study aims to identify the core fully OA journals widely used by researchers in the field of physics and evaluate the cited fully OA resources by applying various scientometric parameters to check the credibility of these OA resources.


The PhD theses awarded during 2014 in the field of physics and hosted in the institutional repositories of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), California Institute of Technology (CIT) and Stanford University, respectively, were selected and scanned to extract references of sources cited. Later on, Google Scholar was used to identify source journals of the extracted references. Only source “journals” were selected and analyzed; rest of other sources were ignored; accordingly, toll-access and OA journals were segregated, as such the OA-cited journals could be identified. The scientometric performance indicators were used to check the quality of identified core fully OA journal cited by USA researchers in the field of physics.


The results of this study show that fully OA resources are sufficiently used by the researchers of top three academic institutions of the world/USA. The study was also successful in identifying the core fully OA journals; besides it also reveals that these fully OA journals are highly impressive as showed by performance indicators applied. The major finding of the research includes the identification of top ten fully OA journals along with their impact based on different scientometric parameters like number of times cited, impact factor, h-index, immediacy index, impact per publication and Scimago Journal Rank (SJR).

Research limitations/implications

Because of a limited corpus of literature scrutinized in this study, the findings of the study may or may not represent the global picture in the field of physics.

Practical implications

The paper confirms that fully OA resources usage trend is positively increasing day by day, and there are vast numbers of core OA journals with high-quality impact available for use to researchers around the world. Besides, the paper also affirms the view that there should be more publicity of fully OA literature around the globe to reap the benefits of the same.

Social implications

This paper will assist researchers, libraries, information centers and research and development institutions to take a cost-efficient approach in using and disseminating the scholarly literature.


This paper is one of the first pieces of research conducted on electronic theses and dissertation (ETD’s) in top three universities of the USA, to check usage percentage and quality of fully OA journal resources cited by doctoral students in the field of physics.



Zahid Ashraf Wani and Showkat Ahmad Wani (2018) "Mapping the use of open access resources by doctoral students in the USA by employing citation analysis", Collection and Curation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print

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