Scholarly Communication Practices in Humanities and Social Sciences: A Study of Researchers’ Attitudes and Awareness of Open Access : Open Information Science

Abstract:  This paper examines issues relating to the perceptions and adoption of open access (OA) and institutional repositories. Using a survey research design, we collected data from academics and other researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) at a university in Australia. We looked at factors influencing choice of publishers and journal outlets, as well as the use of social media and nontraditional channels for scholarly communication. We used an online questionnaire to collect data and used descriptive statistics to analyse the data. Our findings suggest that researchers are highly influenced by traditional measures of quality, such as journal impact factor, and are less concerned with making their work more findable and promoting it through social media. This highlights a disconnect between researchers’ desired outcomes and the efforts that they put in toward the same. Our findings also suggest that institutional policies have the potential to increase OA awareness and adoption. This study contributes to the growing literature on scholarly communication by offering evidence from the HASS field, where limited studies have been conducted. Based on the findings, we recommend that academic librarians engage with faculty through outreach and workshops to change perceptions of OA and the institutional repository.