“This survey studies how colleges and universities use open access resources as a supplement to or replacement for academic journals and other materials. Although the primary focus of the report is on scholarly publishing, especially academic journals, some questions relate to other information vehicles such as textbooks, audio-visual resources and print books.
As a response to the COVID crisis many colleges and universities are turning to open access resources and this report gives highly detailed data on the extent of use of a broad range of specific open access resources including but not limited to Google Scholar, Google Books, LOCKSS, the Directory of Open Access Journals, PubMed Central, arXiv, bioRxiv, MedRxiv, ResearchGate the Directory of Open Access Books, OAPEN, the Online Guide to Open Access Journals, PDQY, Open Access Theses and Dissertations, the Registry of Research Data Repositories, MedEdPortal, the Open Access Directory, OpenDOAR, the Free Music Archive, EBSCO Open Dissertations, Science.Gov, OpenStax, MERLOT, Lumen Learning, the Open Course Library, Boundless and Saylor Academy.
The report also looks at use of interlibrary loan, direct appeals to authors and at pirating sites such as Sci-Hub as ways to fulfill patron demand after subscription cancellations. The study also gives detailed data on the use of, and perception of the skill level in using, digital object identifiers to track and find open access and other available free or low- cost materials. Study participants also comment on what they are doing to publicize open access resources to their patrons, and what training they are providing in their discovery and use.
Just a few of the 132-page report’s many findings are that:
37% of those sampled turn to interlibrary loan as their first choice in replacing content to which they have lost access.
The Resource – Open Access Theses and Dissertations – was used very frequently by 5.71% of survey participants and frequently by 20%.
63% of US-based colleges and universities in the sample produced a guidebook, listserv or LibGuide on how to locate and use open access resources.”