Open Access Publishing and Subsequent Citations Among Articles in Major Cardiovascular Journals



      While open access publishing among cardiovascular journals has increased in scope over the last decade, the relationship between open access and article citation volume remains unclear.


      We evaluated the association between open access publishing and citation number in 2017 among 4 major cardiovascular journals. Articles indexed to PubMed with ≥5 citations were identified among the following journals: Circulation, European Heart Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and JAMA Cardiology. Multivariable Poisson regression models were adjusted for journal and article type.


      Of the 916 articles published in 2017, original investigations accounted for most articles (66.7%), followed by reviews (14.5%), guideline/scientific statements (8.4%), research letters (3.7%), viewpoints (3.7%), and editorials (2.9%). Among all articles, 43% (n = 391) were open access. Citation number was higher among open access articles compared with those with subscription access (14 [25th-75th percentile: 9-23] vs 11 [25th-75th percentile: 7-17]; P < .001). Open access status was significantly associated with higher number of citations after multivariable adjustment (β coefficient: +0.42; 95% confidence interval, 0.38-0.45, P < .001). Open access articles had consistently higher citations compared with subscription access articles across the 3 most frequent article types.


      Among contemporary articles published in major cardiovascular journals, open access publishing accounted for over 40% of articles and was significantly associated with increased short-term citations. Further research is required to assess the variation in long-term citation rates based on open access publishing status.


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