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.”

Citations, mandates, and money: Author motivations to publish in chemistry hybrid open access journals – Nelson – 2017 – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

“Hybrid open access refers to articles freely accessible via the Internet but which originate from an academic journal that provides most of its content via subscription. The effect of hybrid open access on citation counts and author behavior in the field of chemistry is something that has not been widely studied. We compared 814 open access articles and 27,621 subscription access articles published from 2006 through 2011 in American Chemical Society journals. As expected, the 2 comparison groups are not equal in all respects. Cumulative citation data were analyzed from years 2–5 following an article’s publication date. A citation advantage for open access articles was correlated with the journal impact factor (IF) in low and medium IF journals, but not in high IF journals. Open access articles have a 24% higher mean citation rate than their subscription counterparts in low IF journals (confidence limits 8–42%, p = .0022) and similarly, a 26% higher mean citation rate in medium IF journals (confidence limits 14–40%, p < .001). Open access articles in high IF journals had no significant difference compared to subscription access articles (13% lower mean citation rate, confidence limits ?27–3%, p = .10). These results are correlative, not causative, and may not be completely due to an open access effect. Authors of the open access articles were also surveyed to determine why they chose a hybrid open access option, paid the required article processing charge, and whether they believed it was money well spent. Authors primarily chose open access because of funding mandates; however, most considered the money well spent because open access increases information access to the scientific community and the general public, and potentially increases citations to their scholarship.”

 

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.”

Elsevier and CWTS release report on data sharing perceptions and practices among researchers

“To draw conclusions around data sharing practices among researchers, there was a need for an evidence base around research data management (RDM) attitudes and behavior. To address this need, Elsevier and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), part of Leiden University in the Netherlands, developed and published the report Open Data: The Researcher Perspective.

For the launch of the report at the Research Data Alliance 9th Plenary Meeting in Barcelona in April, Elsevier and CWTS brought together stakeholders from EU institutions, industry, academia and nonprofit organizations to discuss how the findings could be used to inform policy and translate into action.”

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.”

 

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)….”

International Survey of Research University Leadership: Views on Supporting Open Access Scholarly & Educational Materials

“This report looks closely at the attitudes on open access of a sample of 314 deans, chancellors, department chairmen, research institute directors, provosts, trustees, vice presidents and other upper level administrators from more than 50 research universities in the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia.  The report gives detailed information on what they think of the cost of academic journal subscriptions, and how they understand the meaning of the term “open access.”  The study also gives highly detailed data on what kind of policies the research university elite support or might support in the area of open access, including policies such as restricting purchases of very high-priced journals, paying publication fees for open access publications, mandating deposit of university scholarship into digital repositories, and developing open access educational materials from university resources. 

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:

  • The lowest percentage considering the high cost of journals a big problem was in the United States, where only 11.56% of higher education leadership had this opinion; the highest share, in Canada, 27.45% had this view.
  • More than 40% of administrators from public universities in the sample supported the idea of using university funds to develop open access textbooks from materials developed or owned by the university or its scholars.
  • Support for mandatory deposit requirements for scholarly output into university digital repositories was highest among the universities ranked in the top 41 worldwide.

Data in the report is broken out by country, university ranking, work title, field of work responsibility, level of compensations, age, gender and other variables.”