How badly do authors want open access? What priorities do authors really have? Bringing data to the discussion | Dynamic Ecology

“Somewhat contradicting that result is this interesting study by Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo ( It shows a couple of things. First journals that flip and go from free to publish to OA pay to publish have not seen a decline in the number of submissions. This suggests that at the moment plenty of authors are happy with the pay-to-publish OA APC model (although this doesn’t contradict the previous survey that shows that free to publish is even more popular; about 7-11% are Gold or Hybrid OA and another 13-16% ambiguous Bronze OA according to Piwowar et al 2018, which means at 20-25% of papers published by a pay-to-publish model OA this is less than the 35% who said free to read is a high priority). But this article also has some scary results. The cost to publish OA (i.e article publishing charges or APC) is showing hyperinflation, increasing at 3x the rate of inflation. And indeed higher APC charges led to HIGHER submission rates. It is clear that OA is going to be subject to the same dysfunctional prestige or premium goods market rules that earlier models have been subject to as well. If all journals are gold OA, this is only going to result in the rich having easier access to prestigious journals. Notions of all OA APC being $500 or less appears not to reckon with how much authors with grants are willing to pay for prestige/visibility (and also appears not to reckon with the actual costs of publishing journal articles at their current quality levels, but that is a post for a future day)….”

Academic review promotion and tenure documents promote a view of open access that is at odds with the wider academic community | Impact of Social Sciences

“Overall, the results of our survey give reason to be optimistic: the majority of faculty understand that OA is about making research accessible and available. However, they also point to persistent misconceptions about OA, like necessarily high costs and low quality. This raises questions: How might these misconceptions be affecting RPT [review, promotion, and tenure] evaluations? How should researchers who want to prioritise the public availability of their work guard against the potential that their peers hold one of these negative associations? And, as a community, how can we better communicate the complexities of OA without further diluting the central message of open access? Perhaps we can begin by adequately representing and incentivising the basic principles of openness in our RPT documents.”

So, are early career researchers the harbingers of change? – Nicholas – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Interestingly, open science, which is something that many ECRs are still only waking up to as a concept, is the next most unchanging aspect. The large gap between positive attitudes (30%) and more practice (14%) is partly explained by the fact that it is only just obtaining traction and partly because of fears over tenure and reputation. Take Spanish ECRs, for instance, where assessment policies and reputational concerns – absolutely critical, of course, to ECRs in obtaining secure employment – conspire to prevent the ready adoption of open science in practice. That is not to say that all ECRs are completely happy with all the component parts of open science. Thus, they tend not welcome the visibility open peer review brings with it as it could have reputational consequences, as one French ECR said: ‘Open Peer Review is tricky because you engage your own reputation as a reviewer’. Open data can be a poisoned chalice as well because ECRs do not want to give away their data until they have fully exploited it, as one Spanish ECR told us: ‘Sharing data is good for verification and reproducibility, but we should wait before we do this until they have been completely exploited to avoid losing our competitive edge’. Nevertheless, a number of counties (e.g. France and Poland) are rolling out open science national plans, and funders will expect compliance down the line….

Returning to the question posed at the very beginning of the study, whether ECRs are the harbingers of change, weighting up all the evidence, the answer has to be yes, albeit a slightly qualified yes. The drivers of change are social media, open science, and collaboration propelled by ECRs’ Millennium generation beliefs. …

Indeed, there may be plenty of papers exhorting ECRs to embrace open practices (Eschert, 2015; Gould, 2015; McKiernan et al., 2016), but no research robustly showing that ECRs are in fact rushing to do this. Of course, most of these studies predate the Harbingers study, so, maybe, things have changed in the interim, which explains why the results of this study, indicating that the scholarly walls have been breached in places, and ECRs have planted one foot in the future, is at odds with the research of many of our peers. …”

The future of scholarly books is open (access) | Group | Springer Nature

“The majority of book authors support the idea that all future scholarly books should be open access (OA). This is one of the key findings of a new white paper presented by Springer Nature at the OAI-11 conference at CERN this week. Based on the responses of 2,542 book authors who were surveyed by Springer Nature in February and March 2019, the white paper provides a global view of book authors’ attitudes towards OA. The survey looks at researchers’ motivations for publishing a book, and analyses the parameters and key drivers which influence academics to publish OA or not. The white paper also identifies major obstacles to OA publication which book authors still face: from a lack of awareness of OA publishing options and low funding, to concerns about how OA books are perceived. The white paper is freely available for download. 

Other key findings include: •    Pro-OA attitudes are stronger among junior researchers, researchers based in Europe and Asia, and previous OA book authors •    Ethical reasons (equality in access) and reaching a larger audience are identified as key motivations for choosing OA for books •    The majority of authors want more financial support from funders for OA book publication •    Gold OA is the most preferred policy for OA books •    Reputation of publishers matters less to OA authors but is still the deciding factor for publication….”

The politics of open access in action – Samuel Moore

“Open access is a movement constituted by conflict and disagreement rather than consensus and harmony. Given just how much disagreement there is about strategies, definitions, goals, etc., it is incredible that open access has successfully transformed the publishing landscape (and looks set to continue to do so). As OA increases in popularity and inevitability, more conflict arises between those from a range of disciplines and positions, and especially those encountering OA for the first time (often through coercive mandates)….”

Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2018

“While faculty are increasingly interested in an open access publication model, traditional scholarly incentives continue to motivate their decision-making. Approximately two-thirds of respondents in this survey cycle indicated they would be happy to see the traditional subscription-based publication model replaced entirely by an open access system, which represents a greater share of respondents compared to the previous survey cycle. However, only four in ten faculty indicate open access characteristics of journals as highly influential in publication decisions.

There is substantial interest in use of open educational resources for instructional practices, particularly from younger faculty members. About six in ten respondents are very interested in using open educational resources (OER), and roughly half strongly agreed that they would like to adopt new instructional approaches with OER….”

Altruism or Self-Interest? Exploring the Motivations of Open Access Authors | Heaton | College & Research Libraries

Abstract:  More than 250 authors at Utah State University published an Open Access (OA) article in 2016. Analysis of survey results and publication data from Scopus suggests that the following factors led authors to choose OA venues: ability to pay publishing charges, disciplinary colleagues’ positive attitudes toward OA, and personal feelings such as altruism and desire to reach a wide audience. Tenure status was not an apparent factor. This article adds to the body of literature on author motivations and can inform library outreach and marketing efforts, the creation of new publishing models, and the conversation about the larger scholarly publishing landscape.

Scholarly Communication Report: Final Draft

1. Researchers are embracing non-traditional modes of scholarly output. 
2. Researchers are interested in sharing their work more broadly and more meaningfully than they have in the past.
3. Researchers feel a tension between their desire to create and share broadly and the pressures of tenure and promotion.
4. Researchers view the library as a trusted authority with whom they
would like to partner in advocacy and new scholarly production….”

Geographic trends in attitudes to open access | Research Information

In the OA report, when asked whether authors had ever published in an OA journal, the majority of researchers from each country responded affirmatively (B, 68% of 1,133 respondents; I, 57% of 213; J, 59% of 708; UK 60% of 111; US, 51% of 419), except for China (34% of 2,085) and South Korea (44% of 409; roughly equal, yes verses no). Overall, across all survey respondents, with Yes at 45% and No at 35%, OA advocates may feel comfortable that the pendulum is swinging in the right direction. However, there are some striking differences in the geographic profiles of whether or not an author chooses to publish in an OA journal, with an overall 9% of responding authors indicating that they don’t know what OA publishing is.

For example, in response to why respondents chose to publish in an OA journal, more than 60% of authors in almost all geographic areas responded “I wanted my paper to be read by a larger audience” (B, 60% of 766; C, 69% of 710; I, 64% of 121; J, 64% of 415; UK, 63% of 67; US, 60% of 215), however in South Korea, only 37% of 181 authors responded in such a manner, and instead, 71% of 181 authors indicated that “I chose the journal that was the best fit for my paper and it happened to be OA”. This was in striking contrast to authors in the UK, for which the “best fit being OA” response was only indicated by 31% of 67 authors. Notably, when authors in the UK who had “never” published in an OA journal were asked why, 65% (of 34) said “I chose the journal that was the best fit for my paper and it happened to be a subscription journal”. …”