What academicians think of open access publication

Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what the academic world thinks of open access (OA) publishing and related topics, such as peer review, licensing, re-use, and metrics?

Taylor & Francis and its parent company, Informa, conducted a broad survey among academicians to know exactly what they think about open access publication. Since it may be time-consuming and difficult to examine the extensive results, we thought we'd highlight some significant aspects of the findings in our post, "What academicians think of open access publication".

Here're a summary of the findings of this survey:

  1. Low preference for CC-BY licenses:  The CC-BY licence allows anyone to: (a) copy, distribute and transmit the work; (b) adapt the work; (c) and make commercial use of the work under the condition that the user must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse the user or their use of the work). 52% of respondents said CC-BY was their least-preferred license.
  2. Doubts about whether OA will encourage innovation: There is some uncertainty among academicians (38%) about the innovation OA publishing may stimulate. Moreover, academicians doubted the quality and production standards (copyediting and typesetting) in OA publishing. However, there is a general agreement that OA offers fundamental benefits.
  3. Research accessibility shouldn’t be dictated by money: The strongest point of agreement among academicians is that the ability to pay should not determine the quality of research publication (65% authors agreed on this). At the same time, there is a general agreement that all research outputs should be available online for free.
  4. Strong preference for subscription-based journals: 38% respondents agreed that OA journals offer wider circulation compared to subscription journals. However, when academicians were asked to choose between publishing (a) in the best journal possible regardless of cost, (b) a journal that doesn’t charge for publication, (c) or a journal that doesn’t charge for reading: 52% chose the best journal regardless of cost; 39% chose a journal that doesn’t charge them to publish; and 9% preferred journals that don’t charge readers.
  5. Funders play a vital role in publication: Out of 11,927 respondents, more respondents “think” funders will dictate where they publish (31%) than “like” this idea (11%).
  6. Low inclination to publishing in OA journals: As few as 9% respondents said that they would actively choose to publish in OA journals. This is surprising since a significantly large number of respondents (38%) agreed that OA journals offer wider circulation (see point 4). Further, 68% respondents “think” and 70% would “like” academic journals to be the principal publication outlets, demarcating quality research.
  7. Future alternative to academic papers: When asked how they envision the future alternative to academic papers, out of 745 respondents, 10.33% thought research output will change in some unspecified way, 9.26% thought multimedia would be an alternative, while 8.99% thought the alternative would be blogs.

And in case you're interested to know more, the results are available here

For more posts and discussions related to open access  in scholarly publishing, visit Editage Insights.

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