Scholars in some fields can more easily discover and access articles whose full text is available online, which increases authors' likelihood of reading and citing these articles, an issue that was first raised and has been mainly studied in connection with medical research. In the context of evidence-based medicine, articles in expensive journals that do not provide open access may be "priced out of evidence", giving a greater weight to FUTON publications. FUTON bias may increase the impact factor of open-access journals relative to journals without open access.
One study concluded that authors in medical fields "concentrate on research published in journals that are available as full text on the internet, and ignore relevant studies that are not available in full text, thus introducing an element of bias into their search result". Authors of another study conclude that "the OA advantage is a quality advantage, rather than a quality bias", that authors make a "self-selection toward using and citing the more citable articles—once OA self-archiving has made them accessible", and that open access "itself will not make an unusable (hence uncitable) paper more used and cited".
A similar phenomenon, termed the "no abstract available bias" or NAA bias, is a scholar's tendency to cite journal articles that have an abstract available online more readily than articles that do not—this affects articles' citation count similarly to FUTON bias.
^ abMurali, N. S.; Murali, H. R.; Auethavekiat, P.; Erwin, P. J.; Mandrekar, J. N.; Manek, N. J.; Ghosh, A. K. (2004). "Impact of FUTON and NAA bias on visibility of research". Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 79 (8): 1001–1006. doi:10.4065/79.8.1001. PMID15301326. S2CID 20536645.
^Gilman, I. (2009). "Opening up the Evidence: Evidence-Based Practice and Open Access". Faculty Scholarship. Pacific University Libraries.
^Gargouri, Y.; Hajjem, C.; Larivière, V.; Gingras, Y.; Carr, L.; Brody, T.; Harnad, S. (2010). "Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research". PLoS ONE. 5 (10): e13636. arXiv:1001.0361. Bibcode:2010PLoSO...513636G. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013636. PMC2956678. PMID20976155.
Goldsmith, K. (September 27, 2005). "If It Doesn't Exist on the Internet, It Doesn't Exist". Elective Affinities Conference. State University of New York, Buffalo. Archived from the original on February 24, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2021.