Attitudes of North American Academics toward Open Access Scholarly Journals

Abstract:  In this study, the authors examine attitudes of researchers toward open access (OA) scholarly journals. Using two-step cluster analysis to explore survey data from faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at large North American research institutions, two different cluster types emerge: Those with a positive attitude toward OA and a desire to reach the nonscholarly audience groups who would most benefit from OA (“pro-OA”), and those with a more negative, skeptical attitude and less interest in reaching nonscholarly readers (“non-OA”). The article explores these cluster identities in terms of position type, subject discipline, and productivity, as well as implications for policy and practice.

North American professors slow to embrace sharing research data | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Senior North American faculty appear to be slow in adopting online tools for research collaboration, suggesting academics rather than their journals are the chief obstacle to open access.

An analysis by the non-profit Center for Open Science found that its main scientist-to-scientist sharing tool was getting relatively weak adoption in the US and among the nation’s highest-ranking professors.

By country, the US and Canada were among the nations slowest to participate, while the UK and Australia were among the most receptive, according to the study of tenure-track faculty usage rates in psychology, the six-year-old centre’s initial target group….

Funding agencies were “starting to do more” to encourage data-sharing practices, while “the farthest behind are the universities”, which were generally too decentralised to impose data-sharing practices on their faculty, [Brian Nosek] said….”

CP2OA: Participants from across North America converge to move the needle on open access | UC Berkeley Library News

“Can we move more quickly toward an open access publishing world in which all scholarly literature is free to read? While this may seem like a daunting objective, 125 representatives of libraries, consortia, and author communities throughout North America came together this week for a two-day working forum to develop action plans for how they might reach this goal.

The Choosing Pathways to Open Access, or CP2OA, working forum, sponsored by University of California’s Council of University Librarians, convened Oct. 16-17 on the UC Berkeley campus. Participants arrived from more than 80 institutions, nearly 30 states, and four Canadian provinces. The goal was for everyone to engage in action-focused deliberations about a range of open access, or OA, funding strategies, and leave with their own customized plans for how they will repurpose subscription and other funds within their home organization or community — and more broadly, through collective efforts, move the OA needle forward.

Did it work? Decidedly so….”

MIT and Royal Society of Chemistry Sign First North American “Read and Publish” Agreement for Scholarly Articles | MIT Libraries News

“The MIT Libraries and the Royal Society of Chemistry have signed a groundbreaking license agreement that incorporates elements of a traditional subscription purchase and open access to scholarly articles. The experimental two-year agreement is seen as an important step on the path toward making more research freely and openly available to the world.

The new agreement combines traditional subscription-based access to Royal Society of Chemistry articles for the MIT community with immediate open access to MIT-authored articles, making them freely available to all audiences at the time of publication. It is the first of its kind among North American institutions….

In order to encourage this overall transition to open access, MIT and the Royal Society of Chemistry collaborated on significant new language in the agreement, signaling the Royal Society of Chemistry ’s commitment to a fully open access publishing model in the future. The agreement affirms that the current read and publish model is a “transitional business model whose aim is to provide a mechanism to shift over time to full open access.” Making this successful transition to full open access will require collaborations across universities.”

G-8 Leaders Communique (June 18, 2013)

“Open government data are an essential resource of the information age. Moving data into the public sphere can improve the lives of citizens, and increasing access to these data can drive innovation, economic growth and the creation of good jobs. Making government data publicly available by default and reusable free of charge in machine-readable, readily-accessible, open formats, and describing these data clearly so that the public can readily understand their contents and meanings, generates new fuel for innovation by private sector innovators, entrepreneurs, and non-governmental organisations. Open data also increase awareness about how countries’ natural resources are used, how extractives revenues are spent, and how land is transacted and managed.

47. We have today agreed and published an Open Data Charter (annexed) with the following principles:

Open Data by Default – foster expectations that government data be published openly while continuing to safeguard privacy;

Quality and Quantity – release quality, timely and well described open data;

Useable by All – release as much data in as many open formats as possible;

Releasing Data for Improved Governance – share expertise and be transparent about data collection, standards and publishing processes;

Releasing Data for Innovation – consult with users and empower future generations of innovators….

We will publish individual action plans detailing how we will implement the Open Data Charter according to our national frameworks (October 2013)…[for example] Genome data, research and educational activity, experiment results….”

The Colonial North American Project at Harvard University · Colonial North American Project at Harvard

“This website provides access to some of the remarkable materials digitized as part of the ongoing, multi-year Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.

 

When complete, the project will make available to the world digitized images of all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th and 18th century North America. Scattered through twelve repositories, these documents reveal a great deal about topics such as social life, education, trade, finance, politics, revolution, war, women, Native American life, slavery, science, medicine, and religion. In addition to reflecting the origins of the United States, the digitized materials also document aspects of life and work in Great Britain, France, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The ‘Essays’ on this website are the work of a Summer 2015 Arcadia Fellow, Alicia DeMaio, who was one of the first researchers to connect thematically related material from among the images digitized to date….”

Pay It Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions

“As the global open access movement continues to grow and evolve, the question of whether a wholesale shift of the scholarly journal publishing system to “gold” open access is a viable way forward is of increasing interest. In such a shift, all journal publishers would make all scholarly articles freely available to readers, with authors or their institutions paying to publish their work when required by the publisher, rather than readers paying to read it. Lending momentum to this discussion is the fact that gold open access journals have steadily gained market share, doubling in article volume every four years and now in excess of 14% of the total journal output1 . While gold open access doesn’t require any particular funding model, a common one is an article processing charge paid by authors, or another entity on their behalf, to cover the cost of publishing an article that has been accepted for publication. If that business model is adopted by a majority of journal publishers in the future, there are significant financial implications for the academy. As we consider the trade-offs of the status quo and various methods of achieving broad open access, questions pertaining to the long-term financial sustainability of the article processing charge business model must be carefully contemplated…. The project focused on large, research-intensive universities in North America and defined sustainability as costing those institutions roughly no more than, and ideally considerably less than, current journal subscription costs for comparable journals today, with a rate of growth that will be possible for these institutions to support over time. The project sheds new light on the financial viability of the article processing charge business model to create open access at a much larger scale….”