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Part of the Open Citation Project
Project leader: Steven Harnad
Paul Ginsparg (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Joe Halpern (Cornell), Carl Lagoze (Cornell), Wendy Hall (Southampton), Les Carr (Southampton).

Ian Hickman (Southampton), Tim Brody (Southampton)

Los Alamos National Laboratory eprint Archive

Written by Tim Brody, last updated on March 06 2001 11:20:25.

eprint archives have now been around for some time, the largest of which, the Los Alamos Physics Archive, has been accepting submissions since 1991. So why have eprints not taken over from the traditional publication process, or at least become as popular? What is the relationship between the publication process and the submissions to eprint archives? Do author's receive better exposure for submitting to an archive? How does peer-review effect the eprint archive?

What was analysed

The Los Alamos Physics Archive is a publically accessible store of published and unpublished papers submitted by scientists from around the world. First established in the early 1990s the archive has grown to contain 130000 papers and to receive over 30000 "hits" per day. To alleviate pressure on the main archive there are a number of mirror sites around the world, including one at the University of Southampton. It is the data held at this mirror that we have analysed.

All analyses are based on two sets of data; the entire archive and a series of incremental updates to the archive (mirror updates). The entire archive has been running for 10 years, a period of time such that the way that author's use the archive may have changed. With little history embedded in the system to go with "what we see today", it would be difficult to attribute changes in behaviour over time - and equally to illimenate the effects of changing behaviour on analysis performed on the entire archive.

The data set of incremental changes has been gathered over a period of 7 months, covering around 20,000 submissions. This period of time is relatively short compared to the lifetime of published papers (when the time between initially submitting the article and having it published can be upwards of 8 months). It is especially short when measuring what happens to these articles over time - only around 2000 of those articles will have been monitored for 7 months.

What are we investigating?

  1. Is there a relation between number of times a paper is downloaded and number of citations? (31/08/2000)
  2. How often are papers changed and updated after initial submission? How extensive are the changes? (31/08/2000)
  3. What proportion of preprints are replaced by peer reviewed reprints? (31/08/2000)
  4. What proportion of papers are submitted to the archive only after peer review? (31/08/2000)
  5. Are there differences in patterns of usage between peer reviewed and non-papers? (31/08/2000)
  6. How does peer review impact citation patterns? (31/08/2000)
  7. Do links have an impact on citation? (31/08/2000)
Further Questions (31/08/2000)

Data Analysis

  • Relationship between submissions and publications (31/08/2000)
  • Paper Distribution between archive areas (07/09/2000)
  • Behaviour of updates to papers (31/08/2000)
  • Analysis of Papers Submitted December 1999 (31/08/2000)
  • The Typical Life of a Scientific Paper (31/08/2000)
  • Code Reference (31/08/2000)
  • Author Analysis (07/09/2000)
  • Impact Assessment (31/08/2000)
  • Citation Analysis (31/08/2000)
  • Author Survey (17/10/2000)
  • Citation Validity (07/09/2000)


  • Latency of Citations (31/08/2000)
  • Embryology of Research Articles (31/08/2000)
  • India Presentation [Powerpoint] (13/09/2000)

    Relevent Information

  • Relevent Information (12/09/2000)

    Web Site Features

  • Comments (31/08/2000)
  • Citation Search

    "And I can't tell you the rest until the journal comes out."
    (as "borrowed" off http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/281/5382/1459)

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