Open science | Spotlight

Survey summary

Access to scientific publications is essential to many, because their private or professional lives require them to continually develop themselves. This development is expected of them, as lifelong learning and increasing levels of self-reliance are now a part of life.

Healthcare professionals, for example, must be able to communicate effectively with bodies such as pharmaceutical companies, the National Health Care Institute (Zorginstituut Nederland) and ministries, be able to decipher and contextualise countless news reports, and apply scientific results to their professional situation in a responsible and well-founded fashion. To do so they require comprehensive access to information. In the current situation, organising access costs time and money, which are two scarce commodities.

Teachers also state that they need access to research findings in order to apply them in their teaching. If they are unable to access the latest insights, then who is supposed to benefit from the research?

Other groups in society also indicate that they read scientific publications, in order to conduct in social debate in the home, to learn about diseases or food fads, or to gain background information on studies, for instance.”

Open access more popular in principle than in practice – The Publication Plan for everyone interested in medical writing, the development of medical publications, and publication planning

“In a recent survey of UK researchers, 93% of respondents said that they considered open access to be important, but only 41% had published an open access article themselves. Researchers aged under 35 were less likely to have done so than their older peers.”

What drives the relevance and reputation of economics journals? An update from a survey among economists | SpringerLink

Abstract:  This paper analyses the interrelationship between perceived journal reputation and its relevance for academics’ work. Based on a survey of 705 members of the German Economic Association (GEA), we find a strong interrelationship between perceived journal reputation and relevance where a journal’s perceived relevance has a stronger effect on its reputation than vice versa. Moreover, past journal ratings conducted by the Handelsblatt and the GEA directly affect journals’ reputation among German economists and indirectly also their perceived relevance, but the effect on reputation is more than twice as large as the effect on perceived relevance. In general, citations have a non-linear impact on perceived journal reputation and relevance. While the number of landmark articles published in a journal (as measured by the so-called H-index) increases the journal’s reputation, an increase in the H-index even tends to decrease a journal’s perceived relevance, as long as this is not simultaneously reflected in a higher Handelsblatt and/or GEA rating. This suggests that a journal’s relevance is driven by average article quality, while reputation depends more on truly exceptional articles. We also identify significant differences in the views on journal relevance and reputation between different age groups.

Impact of Social Sciences – Empirical analysis reveals significant discrepancy between journal reputation and perceived relevance in economics.

“Using survey data on the evaluations of 150 economics journals, a recent study explored the relationship between economics journals’ reputation and perceived relevance amongst economists working in the field. Justus Haucap shares some of the headline findings from the analysis based on the survey data. The findings suggest that a journal’s relevance is driven by average article quality, while reputation depends more on truly exceptional articles….”

Paying for Open Access – Knowledge Exchange

“To share a better understanding of author’s perspectives on APC payments, Knowledge Exchange has carried out a study among authors of six research organisations in the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands. These organisations were very actively engaged which led to a total of 1069 authors participating in online surveys focused on their 2015 articles published in OA journals or in hybrid journals.”

State of Open Policy Survey

“The goal of this survey is to understand the current state of open policies by governments around the world. Open data policies, with which government provide data they hold for public to use, is adapted in many parts of the world. Open educational resources in some countries are supported by government policies or funding. However, we do not have any good global overview on how these policies are adapted. Based on the survey, we will create a quick overview of global open policy. 

By open policies, we mean those policies that require, encourage, or support open provision of various information resources typically by using an open license (such as Creative Commons Attribution License or Open Database Commons License) or waiving copyrights. It means that as a result, the resources will become open – any person can use the resources for almost any purpose, including for commercial use, copying, remixing, and modification.

This survey is conducted by a consortium of seven organisations from six continents (Centrum Cyfrowe, re:share, Karisma Foundation, SPARC, CommonSphere, AusGOAL, and the National Copyright Unit Australia ) for its “State of Open Policy 2015” project, a part of a bigger initiative called Open Policy Network, an international group of more than 50 organizations promoting open policy. Our aim is to write a report that provides a global overview of the development of open policies. The report will include the overview of the movement related to open policy in different regions, significant initiatives to be shared, and future prospects.

We are looking at open policies in four open fields, namely , Open Education (OE), Open Science (OS), Open Data (OD), and Open Heritage (OH). …”

Academics’ behaviors and attitudes towards open access publishing in scholarly journals – Rowley – 2017 – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

“While there is significant progress with policy and a lively debate regarding the potential impact of open access publishing, few studies have examined academics’ behavior and attitudes to open access publishing (OAP) in scholarly journals. This article seeks to address this gap through an international and interdisciplinary survey of academics. Issues covered include: use of and intentions regarding OAP, and perceptions regarding advantages and disadvantages of OAP, journal article publication services, peer review, and reuse. Despite reporting engagement in OAP, academics were unsure about their future intentions regarding OAP. Broadly, academics identified the potential for wider circulation as the key advantage of OAP, and were more positive about its benefits than they were negative about its disadvantages. As regards services, rigorous peer review, followed by rapid publication were most valued. Academics reported strong views on reuse of their work; they were relatively happy with noncommercial reuse, but not in favor of commercial reuse, adaptations, and inclusion in anthologies. Comparing science, technology, and medicine with arts, humanities, and social sciences showed a significant difference in attitude on a number of questions, but, in general, the effect size was small, suggesting that attitudes are relatively consistent across the academic community.”


Beyond the Paywall: Examining Open Access and Data Sharing Practices Among Faculty at Virginia Tech Through the Lens of Social Exchange

“The movement towards open access has allowed academic researchers to communicate and share their scholarly content more widely by being freely available to Internet users. However, there are still issues of concern among faculty in regards to making their scholarly output open access. This study surveyed Virginia Tech faculty (N = 264) awareness and attitudes toward open access practices. In addition, faculty were asked to identify factors that inhibited or encouraged their participation in open access repositories. Findings indicate that while the majority of Virginia Tech faculty are seeking to publish in open access, many are unaware of the open access services provided by the university and even less are using the services available to them. Time, effort, and costs were identified as factors inhibiting open access and data sharing practices. Differences in awareness and attitudes towards open access were observed among faculty ranks and areas of research. Virginia Tech will need to increase faculty awareness of institutional open access repositories and maximize benefits over perceived costs if there is to be more faculty participation in open access practices.”


A reputation economy: how individual reward considerations trump systemic arguments for open access to data : Palgrave Communications

Abstract:  Open access to research data has been described as a driver of innovation and a potential cure for the reproducibility crisis in many academic fields. Against this backdrop, policy makers are increasingly advocating for making research data and supporting material openly available online. Despite its potential to further scientific progress, widespread data sharing in small science is still an ideal practised in moderation. In this article, we explore the question of what drives open access to research data using a survey among 1564 mainly German researchers across all disciplines. We show that, regardless of their disciplinary background, researchers recognize the benefits of open access to research data for both their own research and scientific progress as a whole. Nonetheless, most researchers share their data only selectively. We show that individual reward considerations conflict with widespread data sharing. Based on our results, we present policy implications that are in line with both individual reward considerations and scientific progress.

Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Agriculture Scholars | Ithaka S+R

“The issue of cost also factors into interviewees’ approach to making their peer-reviewed publications available via open access. When asked about whether their publications are available via open access, many interviewees focused on the cost of gold open-access models.[15] These interviewees highlighted that while they are generally supportive of open access, the cost of making their articles open access through the journals they publish in is prohibitively high, especially since they are expected to publish multiple articles per project and per year. A typical response by an interviewee: “I am all for the open access. That’s good but I have mixed feelings because you have to pay to get your paper published… That’s a lot of money and my lab can publish around twenty papers a year. I tell my students to please find a free journal. If it is open access where is my money?” Some had built those costs into their grants or had qualified for funds made available for that purpose by their institution, but others noted that money is already such a concern that they didn’t perceive it as prudent to allot costs towards open access or that institutional funds were not available. As the same interviewee highlighted, “Yes you can use grants to get it published, but you have to make the cuts somewhere else to make it work. …When I first came the department would pay for publication but now the department cannot afford it.”


Interviewees rarely reported deliberately seeking out green open access peer-reviewed publications, which reflects that other considerations such as reputation and scope are generally more important. Interviewees also reported low participation in their institutional repositories as a mechanism for making their publications open access, with some being unaware of such programs or perceiving the participation as too onerous. Some recognize that they may be required in the future to deposit their publications in an appropriately designated repository as a condition of receiving government funding, but the majority had not yet experienced such a requirement. Those who have reported that they deposited did so because non-agriculture-specific agencies, such as the National Institute of Health, required it. Others conflated open access and institutional repositories with academic social networking sites (discussed in further detail below)….”