A Megajournal is an open access journal which publishes any manuscript which presents scientifically trustworthy empirical results, without asking about the potential scientific contribution prior to publication. Megajournals have rapidly increased their output and are currently publishing around 50,000 articles per year. We report on a small pilot study in which we looked at the citation distributions for articles in megajournals compared to journals with traditional peer review, which also evaluate the proposed ”contribution”. We found that elite journals with very low acceptance rates have far fewer articles with no or few citations, but that the long tail of articles with two citations or less was actually bigger in a sample of more selective traditional journals in comparison to megajournals. This indicates the need for more systematic studies, since the results raise a lot of questions as to how efficiently the current peer review system in reality fulfills its filtering function.
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