Stevan and other proponents of OA are adamant that embargoes are unacceptable. It is a huge fight, a very unequal one. What is likely to happen to give the final word to these advocates and lead to embargo elimination is the fact that embargoed journals are not going to get the citations that green-friendly journals are going to get. This will mean that embargoed journals are going to receive lower Journal Impact Factors (JIF), as computed by Thomson Reuters.
Despite all the complaints about the JIF, the JIF is widely used, and a lower IF means receiving fewer and sometimes lower quality manuscripts, a vicious circle that will erode a journal’s prestige. Embargoes are also going to encourage authors to seek publications in gold journals and to experiment with new venues that offer a more innovative, more disruptive model. This means that publishers who insist on an embargo period are going to hurt their journals by lowering their intrinsic value and competitiveness. Though research to date has concentrated on how much green increases the citedness of individual articles, the same effect can only be reflected in aggregate for journals – this is a mechanical truth. This lowering of the impact factor will be helped by the prescribed use of DOI from the birth of papers as many publishers are insisting that preprints carry the final version DOI and point to the paying version of articles. So although publishers may see embargoes as helping to protect the value of their subscription-based journals, quite the opposite is very likely to happen. This is a serious consideration as strictly subscription-based papers (with no archiving) have the least impact on average in 7 out of 22 academic/scientific fields. See http://science-metrix.com/files/science-metrix/publications/d_1.8_sm_ec_dg-rtd_proportion_oa_1996-2013_v11p.pdf p.24. It is therefore an essential practice to generalize the use of a single homogeneous DOI in all archives to help Thomson Reuters accurately compute the aggregate impact of papers and of journals, and to monitor the adverse effect of embargoes on the reputation of journals. Eric Archambault Science-Metrix
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