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Open-access science publishing: reaching beyond academia?

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Who benefits when scientists publish articles in open-access journals? I talked recently with someone who thinks a lot about open-access publishing, and he had some surprising things to say. Phil Davis, a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University, studies the use and dissemination of open-access content, applying scientific methods to scientific publishing. He tells me that publishing an article in an open-access journal earns it the same number of citations as publishing in a “traditional” subscription journal, but open-access articles are also downloaded more often, which may result in greater readership and a broader reach.
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