Over the last few decades, there has been ongoing debate and distress regarding the effects of the journal subscription paywall and the very real barriers to knowledge access that it creates. As major academic publishers invest and redirect their business strategies to open access and alternative paying structures, it may seem as if the access to knowledge battle is starting to be won. However, as big publishers move towards openness they have also been redirecting their business strategies towards the acquisition of scholarly infrastructure, the tools and services that underpin the scholarly research life cycle, many of which are geared towards data analytics. We argue that moves toward increased control over openness and data analytics by big publishers are simultaneous processes of profit maximization. Could it be that our attention on the paywall has ditracted us from paying attention to the strategic takeover of infrastructure by the publishers? These processes should be examined closely as they are actively entrenching the publisher’s’ power and control which could be posing great threats to the exclusion of already marginalized researchers and institutions.
“iCite is a tool to access a dashboard of bibliometrics for papers associated with a portfolio. Users upload the PubMed IDs of articles of interest (from SPIRES or PubMed), optionally grouping them for comparison. iCite then displays the number of articles, articles per year, citations per year, and Relative Citation Ratio (a field-normalized metric that shows the citation impact of one or more articles relative to the average NIH-funded paper). A range of years can be selected, as well as article type (all, or only research articles), and individual articles can be toggled on and off. Users can download a report table with the article-level detail for later use or further visualization. Read about how the Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) is calculated at PLOS Biology….”