Investigating the “public” in the Public Library of Science
First Monday

Investigating the 'public' in the Public Library of Science: Gifting economics in the Internet community by Charlotte Tschider

Countless critics of the open access movement have cited the Budapest–Bethesda–Berlin open access principles as responsible for unsustainable business models and a dilution of the efficacy of scientific scholarship or “impact.” Impact factors measure a journal’s primacy in academic scholarship, and it reflects how frequently a journal’s articles are cited. Much to the surprise of open access critics, PLoS Biology recently achieved a high impact factor of 13.9 after only two years of publishing, a feat rarely accomplished even in more traditional print journals.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) employed the most liberal interpretation of the Budapest–Bethesda–Berlin (BBB) open access (OA) principles when creating its inaugural journal, PLoS Biology, after extensive OA advocacy efforts. BBB principles encourage open access for all individuals with an Internet connection and free use of all information for any educational purposes, including the creation of derivative works.

This study explores new OA research methodologies for measuring an OA technology’s effect on the Internet community. I will analyze linking patterns from a variety of Web categories to individual PLoS Biology articles from November 2004, a one–month, investigatory glimpse into who cites these articles and how this compares to Google Scholar citations of the same article.

I will describe two principles involved in the scientific OA transaction: the “gifting” of scientific articles and the further proliferation of this scientific information being given back to the community in the form of citation. Drawing on Marcel Mauss, I will highlight how the concept of “gifting” deviates from “sharing” in an Internet environment. I will conclude by highlighting the public citation finding in order to investigate the “public” in the Public Library of Science.


Citation analysis: Meet the Web
Publishing the gift
Investigative study
What does this mean for PLoS scholarly publishing?




The Public Library of Science (PLoS) took its foothold in October of 2000 through the advocacy efforts of Michael Eisen, Patrick Brown, and Harold Varmus and a circulating letter campaign signed by over 30,000 scientists from biology to computer science (Public Library of Science, 2006a; Eisen and Brown, 2005; Patterson, 2003). Together they aimed to convince scientific publishing conglomerates to allow anyone on the Internet to view these articles (without having a subscription or paying to view), print or distribute copies, and create derivative works if authors carry a similar copyright license (Suber, 2005). The Bethesda–Berlin–Budapest initiatives (the BBB doctrine) originally proposed these three “liberal” copyright conditions to varying degrees, but no journals approached by the PLoS agreed to these conditions. So Eisen, Brown, and Varmus did something unique: instead of giving up advocacy efforts, they decided to publish an inaugural journal under the PLoS name: PLoS Biology.

Over the past two years, critics and supporters alike have been assessing PLoS Biology’s success. When strong participation convinced Eisen, Brown, and Varmus of PLoS Biology’s relative success, they released another journal, PLoS Medicine. Currently, the PLoS supports six journals in total; however, this concept appears to be growing, especially with an initial impact rating of 13.9 and a Thomson Scientific (formerly Institute for Scientific Information) ranking of Number 1 in biology journals — very rare for a journal only two years old (Reiss, 2005). Based on a preliminary impact rating of the first three months of a highly anticipated journal (Public Library of Science, 2006b), it is possible that such a high impact factor resulted from years of advocacy efforts, scientific support, and landmark scholarship, though even at a slightly lower impact rating, PLoS Biology would remain a preeminent journal in biology.



Citation analysis: Meet the Web

Impact factors assess the number of times an article in a particular journal is cited in other journals (especially in its field), establishing an “average” number of citations for a period of time and comparing this with journals in the same discipline. Impact factor assumes that the number of times an article is cited reflects an article’s academic importance and, in turn, reflects the journal’s preeminence in its field. Using impact factors to gauge journal merit is highly controversial (some articles that are widely read and influential in a field might not be cited) though few alternate, widely supported methods exist. The PLoS measures its articles accessed in 2004, however, as topping one million, which may support its high impact rating (Parthasarathy, 2005).

Impact as a measurement for OA journals has garnered much controversy from researchers in bibliometrics and OA supporters alike. Several large corpus studies measuring OA impact factors maintain that OA journals attain a much larger volume of citations and, following, higher impact. Studies on the Open Citation Project (Hitchcock, et al., 2002) and cross–sections of OA articles in mathematics and sciences (Antelman, 2004; Lawrence, 2001; Kurtz, et al., 2005) also claim that more OA journals frequently garner more citation. Other studies have simply demonstrated little advantage for citation long term, since after two years following publishing, any large differences between OA and non–OA journals would have evened out (McVeigh, 2004). Marie McVeigh’s study, however, does make an interesting point: until two years past publication, OA journals frequently out–rank non–OA journals in academic citation (McVeigh, 2004).

In the last two years, citation analysts have witnessed a movement from standard citation to a conflation in meaning between “hyperlinks” on the Web and formal “citation.” As scholars increase online articles and e–books’ presence on the Internet and cite online articles and e–books as hyperlinks, it will be that much more difficult to differentiate between the two. Perhaps this lack of differentiation can account for higher numbers of Web citation. Vaughan and Shaw reflect on their findings in “Bibliographic and Web Citations: What Is the Difference?” as:

For most journals (57%), Web citations correlated significantly with both bibliographic citations listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index and the ISI’s Journal Impact Factor. Many of the Web citations represented intellectual impact, coming from other papers posted on the Web (30%) or from class readings lists (12%). Web citation counts were typically higher than bibliographic citation counts for the same article (Vaughan and Shaw, 2003).

While we know quite a bit now about citation on the Web, academia may limit how we assess the significance of scholarly contribution. Today, while nearly all research universities require faculty to publish, each article’s importance is judged by the publishing journal’s impact and the article’s citation count. In the humanities even substantially peer–reviewed and contributory articles published in journals like First Monday may be eliminated from tenure consideration, because of OA status.

We should not restrict “open access” as virtual readership, but rather open access to a greater sense of scholarly impact, public contribution, and emergence of ideas. As Barry Markovitz states:

Open access to the world’s ... literature offers tremendous potential for testing new methods to assess publication quality ... . New search engines can determine the number of links on the Web to a particular URL, a potentially dynamic and more comprehensive assessment of how important a document is in the eyes of the world at large (emphasis added by author) (Markovitz, 2000).

Furthermore, high impact ratings may encourage scientists to publish in a particular journal, but OA journals like PLoS Biology may also appeal to a scientist’s altruistic sense of scientific contribution (open science), further perpetuated by a desire to release work on a large public scale.



Publishing the gift

Defining “gifting”

Several scholars including Jacques Derrida, Marcel Mauss, Michel De Certeau, Karl Marx, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others have reflected on the ethics of gift–giving (Johnstone, 2004; Zeitlyn, 2003; Derrida, 1992; Schrift, 1997; Mauss, 1990), describing gift–giving as a three step process: giving a gift, transforming the gift, and receiving/reciprocating the gift. “Gifting” is a process of connected acts where giving presupposes receiving and reciprocal giving, creating a connection between giver and receiver.

The specifics of this process differ in how and why the gift is transformed (Mauss calls this transformation the hau, where the gift transforms to create a connection between giver and receiver), and the ethical gift remains tangible and singular (Mauss in Shrift, 1997). Mauss describes the connection between giver and receiver in “Gift, Gift” as:

These exchanges and gifts of objects that link the people involved, function on the basis of a common fund of ideas: the object received as a gift, the received object in general, engages, links magically, religiously, morally, juridically, the giver and the receiver. Coming from one person, made or appropriated by him, being from him, it gives him power over the other who accepts it. [1]

Here, Mauss describes the gift as an act that links giver and receiver. The receiver, in turn, gives back to the original giver in a direct or indirect manner. “Gifting,” for example, could be encouraged by a sense of “expertise” (McGee and Skågeby, 2004), and in a scholarly setting, a scientist could directly give back by citing the giver’s work. In a public, non–academic setting, anyone reading the article could cite it non–academically on public genres like Web sites, blogs, or forums as “public citation.” Regardless, when a scientist publishes an article in any journal, it is with the intention that someone will read it. This means that giving can be both self–interested and somewhat altruistic.

From an economic perspective, the gift is a commodity, worth something, necessitating that the act of gift–giving is reciprocal, economically making the original act viable. The gift, however, while clearly being worth something, is not easily traded for other commodities or compensated, due to intangible rewards, like the connection between the giver and receiver or the perpetuation of gifting that follows the original contribution.

Gift–giving and market exchanges, then, differ in the directness of exchange. Each act of gift–giving is semi–independent of the other, while each gift is connected to the other; they are not a means of exchange alone. Market exchanges directly engage commodity for another (trade) or commodity for money (Godbout, 1998). “Sharing,” as a term used frequently to describe multi–use Internet genres (like OA journals or illegal music downloading), no longer applies on the Internet, since it presupposes a singular commodity as property of an owner and assumes that ownership shifts between a principal and secondary users. Richard Barbrook in “The Gift of the Net” describes this commodification of information:

Making information has become just like producing any other good or service. But, as the copyright laws demonstrate, cultural artifacts have never been exactly the same as physical objects. The commodification of information has always depended upon legal restrictions on its use after sale (Barbrook, 2003).

When commodity no longer exists to demarcate a principal user, sharing no longer applies (Wikipedia, 2005b); “the potlatch and the commodity remain irreconcilable” (Barbrook, 1998).

In OA publications, a written work changes from commodity to gift, since compensation is removed from the equation. While journals do not directly compensate authors in non–OA journals, the work created has fiscal value, and demands a price to read or copy it. The “maximization [of open movements] that occurs is not of profit.” [2] Instead, OA scientific publications preserve the giver’s original intent: the gifting of information without the commodity middle–man.

Open access scholarly articles complicate any notion of commodity further because an author can disseminate a gift to as many receivers as desire to read it. Unlike commodities in economics or individual gift–giving, an OA article is a non–rival good (people do not have to compete for access to it [Wikipedia, 2005a]). Whoever then writes OA articles become “the creators and carriers of knowledge, forcing organizations to realize that knowledge lies less in its databases than in its people.” [3] People, then, gain primacy over their own work product–scientists own their documents more because they have heightened their work from commodity to gift. And contrary to most supply/demand–based arguments, the more people access the document (or create copies of it), the more the article is worth.

Gifting in academia

Scientific publications, most notably Transactions of the Royal Society began as early as 1675. The “openness” of science as a discipline resulted from societies of leisurely, naturalists, who often studied everything from geology to birds. From these societies, science divided into more and more specific fields, developing pluralistic perspectives, and maintaining a sense of openness valued in research. Before the Internet, scientists often sent papers to competing scientists in pre–published formats, perhaps simultaneously to share their worth and claim ownership over the ideas they presented. Today, scientific articles carry more and more attribution, and pre–publishing, self–archiving, and collaboratories (collaborative laboratories and databases) give scientists access to findings earlier and earlier. Keeping this information as public as possible appears to be most sustainable and natural to promote scientific development (Nelson, 2004).

Academia forged the original idea of gifting in the Internet community, as the Internet began as research/communication tool and existed for nearly five years prior to the Mosaic public release (Medeiros, 2004). Nielsen calls this the “domination by academia,” where “the sharing and citation of papers was an informal circle of gifts” (Nielsen in Veale, 2003), a scientific “information commons” where scientists can globally participate and exchange ideas (David, 2000).

The gifting of scientific knowledge has resulted in non–monetary compensation, most notably in the form of reputation, recognition, and feedback (Kircz, 1996). Reputation, much like publishing your work, cannot be taken away (Kelty, 2001). Therefore, you take on very little risk by gifting good academic work, with the exception of the same political and academic stress associated with high expectations for quality and peer review as an integral part of the “open science” process (Fuller, 1999). It exists to demarcate yourself in your discipline, announce your research interests, claim your interest, and establish ownership over your idea. Scientists use the publishing model to advance the aforementioned, and the writing itself is pragmatic — it communicates ideas. The idea, not a “turn of phrase” achieves advancement. This ideal makes science fundamentally compatible with OA movements. Reciprocity, then, is often indirect or “loose reciprocation” (Veale, 2003) or “anticipated reciprocity” by citation or overall notoriety (Kollack in Veale, 2003; Komter, 2005).



Investigative study

While we know how and why scientists “gift,” we have little clue how the public gives back reciprocally. Since frequently scientists value reciprocal citation and discussion of their ideas, it appears that starting with citation in the public sphere will deliver a unique perspective of who is receiving scientists’ gifts, and it may shed light on remaining questions in the Open access community, including “who reads and cites OA work when more liberal practices are used?”


  1. Categories grouping where citations occur only serve to identify private (academic) or public spheres (this is not a focus on genre theory).
  2. Statistics used within this citation study (total of 579) will not be used in a full corpus, bibliometric sense, but rather in a descriptive methodology focusing on Open access.
  3. Citation will be considered reciprocation of the information gift, though it is possible that other motivation exists (but is not locally testable).
  4. The Public Library of Science has not cited these articles on the Web.

Methodology and methods

Both standard citation and Internet linking attribute information, support one’s claims, give credit, and establish a writer’s ethos. They do, however, function in different ways. Much has been written on the function and frequency of citation in print journals; the impact of journal articles (and the journal’s status) help to decide the quality of contributions and, often, the ability for a scientist to attain tenure (Langston, 1996).

Scientists have submitted and currently submit articles in PLoS Biology, so scientists are giving, whatever their motivation. When you implement the most liberal of OA policies to make scientific articles as open as possible, you can’t help but question not only who is reading each article, but who completes the “gifting” cycle by receiving and reciprocating the gift.

Scholars determine Internet citation and linking patterns using methodologies derived from bibliometrics, scientometrics, and most recently, webometrics (or cybermetrics), “the study of the quantitative aspects of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the Web, drawing on bibliometric and informetric approaches” (Björneborn, 2004; Björneborn and Ingwersen, 2001).

Webometrics offers the most flexible means of conducting qualitative and quantitative research in the same thread:

  • Web page content analysis — I looked at written content surrounding each citation.
  • Web link structure analysis — I searched for both links and citation as structurally connecting different elements on the Web.
  • Web usage analysis — I identified members of the private and public spheres from the citation’s category.
  • Web technology analysis — I described PLoS Biology’s technical influence from an OA perspective, along with comparing Google Scholar and Google Search findings.

Studying Web pages, Web links, Web usage, and overall technology fit in well with Open access studies, especially for journals like PLoS Biology that argue for a more public discussion and access to scientific information.

Based on Kousha and Thewell’s webometrics work using Google Search, I used a loose webometrics methodology to study linking patterns for PLoS Biology, November 2004, in order to investigate reciprocation and determine a case for future work studying the “public” in the Public Library of Science. Kousha and Thewell have done extensive fieldwork and have discovered an OA half–life for OA articles: 50 percent of links to any given article are collected within the first year of release (Kousha and Thewell, 2005). I have assumed, therefore, that for each PLoS article, in the last year approximately 50 percent of citations will be mineable (found using Google Search). Google Search has been used as opposed to other search tools, simply because it has shown to be the most effective in compiling search results across the Internet.

A total sample set of 29 articles from the November 2004 issue were used, which included some essays and community papers in addition to standard scientific articles. The article title and the URL for the article were entered in Google search independently, and the results were compared several times to avoid duplication. Search results for pages that do not exist at this time were viewed using the “cached” setting, which keeps a most recent copy of the last time an author published the page. The Web citations were divided into 18 categories and one “other” category as a catch–all for any unanticipated categories, shown in Table 1 below:


Table 1: List of Web categories
Blog Online Article Citation (Non–Journal)
Newsletter Citation Online Article Citation (Journal)
Article Duplication in a Data Repository News Service
Syllabus Popular Web Site
Educational/Academic Personal Web Site Wiki
Self–Archived Copy Reprinted Article
Secondary Journal Article C.V. or Biography
Chat/Forum Archived E–mail
Listserv Directory


I divided the citations into respective categories and made note of the citations falling into the “other” category (See Table 4 in Appendix A for more detail). Further, sources were checked for duplication, categorized according to function, and discarded if not containing the full article title. I have described these categories in detail in Table 2 below.


Table 2: Categories and category descriptions
Blog Any time–stamped, short–entried (~200 word), division of topics and points, both for educational, academic, and group purposes, organized as if in short “chapters”
Online Article Citation (non–journal) Citation in an online article that is not identified with a particular journal or located on a journal Web site
Online Article Citation (journal) Citation in an online article explicitly identified with a particular journal or located on a journal Web site
Newsletter Citation Citation in any newsletter (principally academic) published or copied into an Internet format
Article Duplication in a Data Repository Copy of an article or link to an article within a site or library that accumulates 100 or more articles for the purpose of reference
News Service Citation of the examined article in any news service, including educationally sponsored and science–specific news Web sites
Syllabus Structured teaching plan or course directions giving students citation to the article to read for educational purposes
Generic Web site Any Web site (personal or organizational) not specifically tied to a “.edu” domain
Educational Web site Any Web site tied to a .edu academic site with the purpose of educating the reader
Wiki Sites that self–identify themselves as “wiki,” including Wikipedia articles and other anonymous, multi–authored and updated entries (sites that ‘borrow’ identifiable Wikipedia entries for their own purposes have been stripped from this study)
Alternate Journal Publication Articles that have been published secondarily in another journal without editing
Self–publication (self–archiving) Articles that have been published by one of the authors on a personal site
Article reprint Articles that have been duplicated in entirety on another site outside of data repositories and personal sites
C.V. (Curriculum Vitae) Academic record of education, research interests, publications, and various other information specific to a scholar and positioning the scholar in the scholar’s academic community
Forum Record of asynchronous messages in a central repository with subject defined and often comments added by other users of the same tool
Archived E–mail E–mail transcriptions stripped and posted to the Internet, often in succession with replies from a limited number of correspondents to another
Listserv E–mail or online participation of members of a special interest in an asynchronous community, often read or responded to by e–mail
Directory Large database storing information about publications (citation and abstract, for example) without housing full–text versions of these articles
Encyclopedia Any sites giving lengthy definitions at a topical level, self–describing as an “encyclopedia”
Web file Any site self–describing itself as a Web file
Excel Documents Any sites opening in Microsoft Excel not belonging to other categories
Bibliography List of citations that pertain to a particular topic created by an individual or group to guide scholarly study
Patent Copy of a patent document
Citation Analysis System System developed by computer science groups to analyze citation patterns which often are in the midst of research and have citations on a particular topic for the purpose of research alone
Source Code HTML, JAVA, DHTML, or CSS code schemes that may include citation but appear in code
Online Research Tool for Recommending Authors Academic Community tool to file and recommend authors and publications to like-minded academics


Recent findings by Jonathan Wren (2005), suggesting that “the higher the impact of the publishing journal and the more recent the article, the more likely it is that the article can be found online at a non–journal Web site” informed the decision to not only bibliomine for citation, but to designate the level of public/private information by categorizing the forum for each citation. Categorizing each forum gives a more accurate picture of the entire situation constructing the citation, what some call an “archeological” approach to discovering use patterns (Nicholson, 2005). The overall approach to the process is as follows:

  1. Gathered article name, authors, and direct URL
  2. Typed URL into Google Search and collected results
  3. Types quoted article title into Google Search and collected results
  4. In cases where search return was very short, due to certain punctuation or Greek lettering, each author’s last name was entered, one time per search
  5. Used Internet Explorer, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft PowerPoint “Find” mechanisms, as appropriate, to view the citation’s place in the category
  6. Used Google Search tools, such as “translate” and “cached” to view non–English and historical documents
  7. Categorized the citation in pre–determined categories
  8. Routinely reevaluated categories and added to them in an “open” fashion
  9. Discarded duplicate citations
  10. Assessed, normalized, and combined data

This process ensured that while the findings are qualitative, we could isolate the citations as much as possible in a dynamic, Web environment, minimizing research error. It was very possible to ascertain when search result duplicates existed (e.g. two links to the same directory entry) — even where Web URLs were different — because categorized results were manually compared to one another.

I used Google Scholar Beta as a matching counterpart to Google Search because search results would be consistent between search tools, with citations to the article noted below the search result (see Figure 1 below). Additionally, Google Scholar Beta amasses huge amounts of printed AND online documents (even those not currently residing in well–known journals), which ensured the most comprehensive of results in comparison to other online search tools/data repositories, like Web of Science.


Scholarly citation identification

Figure 1: Scholarly citation identification.



Overall, the findings coincided with most research conducted on this area: Google Search results, except in four cases, significantly outweighed Google Scholar citations. Google Scholar carried an average of 9.6 citations per article compared to an average of 19.7 Google Search citations per article. Due to a wide variance for Google Scholar citations (one article had 80 academic citations), the top and bottom–X outliers were removed for this calculation.

The majority of citations had an academic or educational bend to them — many falling in the categories of data repositories and online journal article citations (please refer to Appendix A, Tables 3, 4, 5 for more specific data). Surprisingly, a strong sense of community interest did exist, especially in articles that appeared to be more accessible to the public. These articles usually had shorter titles, discussed issues on a more social/general level, had a broad application to public health issues, or whose topics were high–fidelity issues like evolution. Even more interesting, many of the articles that had a strong public presence did not have a strong Google Scholar presence and vice versa.

I also found the strong presence in data repositories and directories surprising. I found 2 or 3 data repository or directory citations (PubMed or NIH sites) for nearly every article. While “popular” arenas like blogs or wikis did not have a huge presence, they did have the occasional citation. Total citation drilled down to 19 percent for academic article citation, 8 percent for directories, and 16 percent for online data repositories, 14 percent for educational and popular Web sites, 15 percent for “other” categories (not defined), and 36 percent remaining categories. Please see Figure 2 for more information.


Category by percentage

Figure 2: Category by percentage.


Across categories, the public v. private divided to ~80 percent academic citations, ~20 percent public citations. While these percentages do signify a strong bend toward academic citation, 20 percent or 117 citings, ~4 citings per article is a sizable amount of popular citation that citation analysis would not normally have counted.



What does this mean for PLoS scholarly publishing?

The scope of this project only represents an investigatory look into research possibilities for future PLoS study, including assessing whether, in the long term, PLoS journals carry significantly more public citations than similar OA journals. Repurposing webometrics also deserves more adoption into qualitative analyticals.

Through this study, we can walk away with dynamic views of the act of “gifting” through open access publication, including the “public” in the Public Library of Science: while academics do still cite the most, the general public is playing a much larger role in PLoS Biology’s success. The liberal policies forging a “cutting edge” in journal publishing also are opening opportunities for classrooms and education throughout the world. After all, without a liberal interpretation of all three of the Bethesda–Berlin–Budapest policies, we would only have a few rights, and along with BBB rights comes better understanding of the Web as a place of intellectual sustainability. It is about time that we, as OA scholars start to truly identify the “public” in not only the Public Library of Science but our audience in other OA initiatives in meaningful and measurable ways. End of article


About the author

Charlotte Tschider received her BA in Scientific and Technical Communication with a specialization in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is currently finishing her MA in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota with a minor in Studies in Science and Technology. Most of her academic research addresses the intersection of open access and intellectual property issues with scientific collaboration initiatives online. A usability and business professional from a diversified background including research in Human–Computer Interaction, Tschider is currently a Senior Business Consultant at Perficient in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
E–mail: Charlotte [dot] Tschider [at] perficient [dot] com



1. Mauss in Shrift, 1997, pp. 29–30.

2. Zeitlyn, 2003, p. 4.

3. Brown and Duguid, 2000, p. 121.



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Appendix A


Table 3: Citation by category v. Scholar Search
Category/Article Blog Online Article Citation (non–journal) Online Article Citation (journal) Newsletter Citation Article Duplic. In data repository News Service Syllabus Popular Web Site Educational Web Site Wiki Alternate Journal Pub. Self–Publishing Reprinted Article C.V. Chat/Forum Archived E–mail Listserv Directory Other Total Citation Google Scholar Citation Percent Difference, scholar/popular
% of Total 6% 19% 16% 6% 2% 14% 2% 6% 3% 2% .3% .7% 8% 15%      
Nov. 2004 36 14 88 10 93 33 10 7 75 10 5 9 22 16 12 2 4 49 84 579 330 57%
1   1     2   1                     1 1 6 2 33%
2 2       2     2         3   1         10 1 10%
3       1 2               1         1   5 4 80%
4   1 2 1 5       2       1         2 4 18 3 17%
5   1   1 3 1     1       1         1 4 13 0 0%
6         4       1                 1   6 0 0%
7   1   1 3 1     1       1         1 2 11 11 100%
8     2 1 4 1     3         1       1 4 17 10 59%
9     1 1 2       1                 1 2 8 19 238%
10 1   3   3 3   1 2   1             1 4 19 22 116%
11 1   1   2 1                       1 1 7 12 171%
12   1 4   3                 1 1     1 3 14 9 64%
13     6   3 1     2       2 1       1 6 22 5 23%
14   3   2   2     2       2 1       1 6 19 4 21%
15 1   1   4 1     3                 1 5 16 7 44%
16   3 4 1 2       2       1 2       2 6 23 15 65%
17     7   3   1   2       1 1         6 21 11 52%
18         3   1   5   2   2   1     6 2 22 80 364%
19     4   7       3       3         4   21 1 5%
20 3   7   4 1   1 4   1     1       1 1 24 14 58%
21 1 2 3   4 3     4       1         2   20 8 40%
22 5 1 12   4       7     7   2 1   3 1 4 47 9 19%
23 3   3   4     1 6 7       1 1     1 6 33 22 67%
24 1   3   3 1     1   1 1           1   12 2 17%
25     3   3 1               1 1     2   11 5 45%
26 2   8   3 3               1       2 1 20 6 30%
27 3   2   6 2     1         1 1     3 1 20 11 55%
28 5   5 1 3 9 4 2 5 2   1 2 2 3     5 3 52 9 17%
29 8   7   2 2 3   8 1     1   2 2 1 4 12 53 28 53%



Table 4: Article title identified by number, popular citation (PC), and scholarly citation (SC)
Article title PC SC Corresponding number
Hemispheric Asymmetries in Biodiversity — A Serious Matter for Ecology
Nicotine as Therapy
Exploiting Thiol modifications
Molecules That Cause or Prevent Parkinson’s Disease
International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications: Facilitating Scientific Publishing in Developing Countries
Protein Thiol Modifications Visualized in Vivo
Oxidative Stress Inactivates Cobalamin–Independent Methionine Synthase (MetE) in Escherichia coli
Sensitivity to Oxidative Stress in DJ–1–Deficient Dopamine Neurons: An ES–Derived Cell Model of Primary Parkinsonism
DJ–1 Is a Redox–Dependent Molecular Chaperone That Inhibits Synuclein Aggregate Formation
Unanticipated Antigens: Translation Initiation at CUG with Leucine
Developmental Context Determines Latency of MYC–Induced Tumorigenesis
EGF Signal Propagation during C. elegans Vulval Development Mediated by ROM–1 Rhomboid
BMP Receptor Signaling Is Required for Postnatal Maintenance of Articular Cartilage
Whole–Genome Analysis of Temporal Gene Expression during Foregut Development
Gene Recruitment of the Activated INO1Locus to the Nuclear Membrane
X Chromosome Sites Autonomously Recruit the Dosage Compensation Complex in Drosophila Males
Human MicroRNA Targets
Dictyostelium Myosin Bipolar Thick Filament Formation: Importance of Charge and Specific Domains of the Myosin Rod
BMAL1 and CLOCK, Two Essential Components of the Circadian Clock, Are Involved in Glucose Homeostasis
Serial Block–Face Scanning Electron Microscopy to Reconstruct Three–Dimensional Tissue Nanostructure
Motifs in Brain Networks
Representation of Attended Versus Remembered Locations in Prefrontal Cortex
Perception, Action, and Roelofs Effect: A Mere Illusion of Dissociation
Tuberculous Granuloma Formation Is Enhanced by a Mycobacterium Virulence Determinant
The Risk of a Mosquito–Borne Infection in a Heterogeneous Environment
Endemic Infection of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in a Frog Community Post–Decline
Genetic Analysis of Lice Supports Direct Contact between Modern and Archaic Humans
Textpresso: an Ontology–Based Information Retrieval and Extraction System for Biological Literature



Table 5: Drill–down of “other” category or unanticipated categories
“Other” category Number of citations
% of “other” category
Encyclopedia 8 10%
Web file 1 1.3%
Bibliography 12 16%
Online Research Recommender Tool 10 13%
Citation Analysis Tool 37 48%
Raw Source Code 4 5.1%
Patent 1 1.3%
MS Excel file 1 1.3%
MS PowerPoint 3 4%


Editorial history

Paper received 8 May 2006; accepted 17 May 2006.

Contents Index

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Investigating the “public” in the Public Library of Science: Gifting economics in the Internet community by Charlotte Tschider
First Monday, volume 11, number 6 (June 2006),

A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

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