Using the citation and read statistics from the NASA Astrophysical Data System (ADS), we investigate the significance and impact of pre-publishing a paper as e-print on the arXiv e-print server. It clearly follows that, since the introduction of these e-prints in 1992, their significance has increased to the level that currently the most important papers in astronomy and physics first appear as e-prints. We will illustrate this fact by looking at the 100 most cited papers over a number of years for a selection of journals in astronomy and physics. For a number of important physics and astronomy journals, over 80% of the 100 most cited papers was submitted as e-print. For some journals this number is currently higher than 95%. Using cites and reads statistics for Astrophysical Journal and Physical Review D papers, we will show that e-printed papers are read and cited significantly more than papers that have not been e-printed. We will illustrate the ``life'' of Astrophysical Journal papers by comparing the evolution of reads and citations for the e-print and associated paper. It follows that after the publication of the paper, the reads of and citations to the e-print taper off quickly. A similar analysis for Physical Review D papers shows that e-prints are cited longer after the paper has been cited.The ADS is funded by NASA Grant NCC5-189.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2005