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M.J. Kurtz, E. Henneken, A. Accomazzi, G. Eichhorn, C.S. Grant, D. Thompson, S.S. Murray (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
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.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.