Measurable effects of Open Science

Various studies address the question of whether Open Science practices have measurable effects on the research process, for example in the form of citation benefits. Sometimes positive effects can be observed in one discipline and negative effects in another. The following list gives an overview of measurable effects from studies for economics and other disciplines.


Open access




  • Open Access publications are used more extensively and by a more diverse audience than restricted literature. There are significantly higher download numbers and page views for publications in Open Access (Meta study on various disciplines). [1]




  • An Open Access citation advantage is confirmed by the majority of the studies, but cannot be regarded as fully empirically proven (Meta study on various disciplines). [1]
  • No clear respectively highly subject- and platform-specific effects of Open Access on online attention in many disciplines. Online attention was measured as interactions in connection with Open Access publications on various social media platforms (Altmetrics). [2]
  • Positive effect of Green Open Access on citations in economics and biology. However, in contrast to biology, gold Open Access has a negative effect on citations in economics. The authors explain this with the low reputation of Open Access journals in economics, which they believe is due to the late start of Open Access journals in economics compared to biology. [3]
  • Open Access articles in medicine and biotechnology are increasingly cited in patents. [4]




  • No differences in quality between Open Access publications and works with restricted access. Methodological quality, quality in relation to the evidence provided and quality control in connection with retracted articles were considered (Meta study on various disciplines). [1]


Economic and social effects


  • There are indications of positive economic effects of Open Access to research results and data. On the one hand, there are efficiency gains, for example through savings in access costs and transaction costs, and on the other hand there are positive effects, because Open Science enables new products, services and research, for example (Meta study on various disciplines). [5]
  • Open Access improves the transfer of knowledge to society: Significantly higher number of references from the non-scientific area (patents, news, court documents) to Open Access publications detected (Meta study on various disciplines). [1]


Effects on the publication system


  • Neither an increase nor a decrease in the volume of publications can be generalized as a result of Open Access. However, Open Access shortens the time between submission and acceptance or publication of articles (Meta study on various disciplines). [1]
  • There is no connection between the publication of books in Open Access and the sales figures of a parallel existing print edition (Meta study on various disciplines). [1]
  • DEAL could give DEAL journals a competitive advantage in Germany and thus strengthen the concentration process in the market for scientific journals[6]
  • Open Access business models with Article Processing Charges (APCs) are a limitation for certain groups of authors. Authors at financially weak institutions, in the Global South and outside the higher education sector are particularly disadvantaged. [1]


Open data



  • No significant effect of data availability on the number of article citations detectable (in relation to many disciplines). Articles with a data set as the basic data source were cited 6% more on average than those in which the data used was in the form of image/video or as a model (also in the form of scripts, programmes and analysis methods). Open Access articles got 9% more citations than regular articles.” [7]
  • Only weak, non-statistically significant evidence for a positive Open Data citation effect in economics. [8]
  • Open Data significantly increases the citations of journal articles in economics and there is a spillover effect on previously published articles when journals introduce a mandatory Open Data policy. The authors suspect the increased academic reputation of the journal as the reason. [9]
  • Having an Open Data policy quickly increased the number of citations of Chinese economics articles. Each article on average received more citations in the first four years after publication respectively. But the citation benefit rapidly decreased over time, and even became negative in the fifth year after publication. [10]


Economic effects


There are indications of positive economic effects of Open Access to research results and data. See economic effects under “Open Access”.




[1] Hopf, David; Dellmann, Sarah; Hauschke, Christian; Tullney, Marco; Wirkungen von Open Access. Literaturstudie über empirische Arbeiten 2010–2021; 2022


[2] Holmberg, Kim; Hedman, Juha; Bowman, Timothy D.;  Didegah, Fereshteh; Laakso, Mikael; An investigation of the research output of Finnish universities; 2020


[3] Eger, Thomas; Mertens, Armin; Scheufen, Marc; Publication cultures and the citation impact of open access; 2021


[4] Bryan, Kevin A.; Ozcan, Yasin; The Impact of Open Access Mandates on Invention; 2021


[5] Fell, Michael J.; The Economic Impacts of Open Science: A Rapid Evidence Assessment; 2019 


[6] Haucap, Justus; Moshgbar, Nima; Schmal, Wolfgang Benedikt; The Impact of the German ‘DEAL’ on Competition in the Academic Publishing Market; 2021


[7] Tedersoo, Leho; Küngas, Rainer; Oras, Ester; et al.; Data sharing practices and data availability upon request differ across scientific disciplines; 2021


[8] McCabe, Mark J.; Mueller-Langer, Frank; Does Data Disclosure Increase Citations? Empirical Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Leading Economics Journals; 2019


[9] Zhang, Liwei; Ma, Liang; Does open data boost journal impact: evidence from Chinese economics; 2021

[10] Zhang, Liwei; Ma, Liang; Is open science a double-edged sword?: data sharing and the changing citation pattern of Chinese economics articles; 2023