Case study 3: An evolutionary spurt in an open access environment

Genetics Selection Evolution

The background

Genetics Selection Evolution, now in its 45th volume, is one of two journals published on behalf of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique . The journal became open access in 2009, and its growth since then shows the potential gains in ranking and Impact Factor where other factors, including the number of articles the editors accept for publication, remains relatively unchanged.

The outcome

Genetics Selection Evolution graph

The graph above shows that the number of accepted articles stayed at around the same level after the conversion to open access. A noticeable increase only occurred in 2009, when a number of papers that had been accepted before but had not found a place in the 2008 print and online issues of the journal could be published in January 2009 when page limitations no longer applied. This being the reason for the one-off increase in published articles, it is safe to assume that quality and selection criteria had remained unaffected. In consequence this means that the doubling of the Impact Factor to 2.89 two years later, when the calculation started to be based solely on articles published by BioMed Central, provides strong evidence of the open access citation advantage.

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