Doctoral Students in New Zealand Have Low Awareness…

Doctoral Students in New Zealand Have Low Awareness of Institutional Repository Existence, but Positive Attitudes Toward Open Access Publication of Their Work :

“Objective : To investigate doctoral students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward open access models of scholarly communication and institutional repositories, and to examine their willingness to comply with a mandatory institutional repository (IR) submission policy.

Design : Mixed method, sequential exploratory design.

Setting : A large, multi-campus New Zealand university that mandates IR deposit of doctoral theses.

Subjects :Two doctoral students from each of four university colleges were interviewed. All 901 doctoral students were subsequently sent a survey, with 251 responding.

Methods : Semi-structured interviews with eight subjects selected by purposive sampling, followed by a survey sent to all doctoral students. The authors used NVivo 8 for analysis of interview data, along with a two-phase approach to coding. First, they analyzed transcripts from semi-structured interviews line-by-line to identify themes. In the second phase, authors employed focused coding to analyze the most common themes and to merge or drop peripheral themes. Themes were mapped against Rogers’ diffusion of innovation theory and social exchange theory constructs to aid interpretation. The results were used to develop a survey with a fixed set of response choices. Authors then analyzed survey results using Excel and SurveyMonkey, first as a single data set and then by discipline.

Main Results : The authors found that general awareness of open access was high (62%), and overall support for open access publication was 86.3%. Awareness of IRs as a general concept was much lower at 48%. Those subject to a mandatory IR deposit policy for doctoral theses overwhelmingly indicated willingness to comply (92.6%), as did those matriculating prior to the policy (83.3%), although only 77.3% of all respondents agreed that deposit should be mandatory. Only 17.6% of respondents had deposited their own work in an IR, while 31.7% reported directly accessing a repository for research. The greatest perceived benefits of IR participation were removal of cost for readers, ease of sharing research, increased exposure and citing of one’s work, and professional networking. The greatest perceived risks were plagiarism, loss of ability to publish elsewhere, and less prestige relative to traditional publication. The reason most given for selecting a specific publication outlet was recommendation of a doctoral supervisor. Disciplinary differences in responses were not sizable. For additional interpretation, the authors applied Rogers’s diffusion of innovations theory to determine the extent to which IRs are effective innovations. The authors posit that repositories will become a more widely adopted innovations as awareness of IRs in general increases, and through increased awareness that IR content is discoverable through major search engines such as Google Scholar, thus improving usability and increasing dissemination of research. Using the social exchange theory framework, the authors found that respondents’ expressed willingness to deposit their work in IRs demonstrated altruistic motives for sharing their research freely with others, appreciation for the reciprocity of gaining access to others’ research, and awareness of the potential direct reward of having their work cited more often.

Conclusion : Authors identified that lack of awareness, rather than resistance to deposit, as the main barrier to IR depository participation. Major benefits perceived for participating included the public good of knowledge sharing and increased exposure for one’s work. Concerns included copyright and plagiarism issues. These findings have implications for communication and marketing campaigns to promote doctoral students’ deposit of their work in institutional repositories. While respondents reported low direct use of IRs for conducting research, the vast majority reported using Google Scholar, and so may have unknowingly accessed open access repository content. This finding suggests that attention be given to enhanced metadata for optimizing discoverability of IR content through general search engines.”


Awareness and Use of Open Access Scholarly Publications…

Awareness and Use of Open Access Scholarly Publications by LIS Lecturers in Southern Nigeria :

“The study examined the awareness and use of open access scholarly publications by Library and Information Science (LIS) lecturers in southern Nigeria. Based on this, three (3) objectives were set out for the study. The descriptive survey design was employed and the questionnaire entitled “Awareness and Use of Open Access to Scholarly Publications Questionnaire” (AUOASPQ) was administered on the entire population of 141 LIS lecturers from which 114 responses were successfully collected. The data collected were analyzed using frequency counts, percentages, mean and regression analysis. The study revealed a high level of usage of open access publications by both senior and junior LIS lecturers and that the awareness of open access concepts accounts for the tendency of LIS lecturers in southern Nigeria to use open access publications. The study recommends that efforts should be geared towards inculcating the awareness and use of open access especially through enabling infrastructure and enacting policies such as mandatory deposit of scholarly works in open access archives.”


The Relationship between Ph D Students’ Excellence Scholarships…

The Relationship between Ph.D. Students’ Excellence Scholarships and their Research Productivity, Scientific Impact and Degree Completion :

“Drawing on three distinct sources of data (students, excellence scholarships and scientific publications) on the entire population of doctoral students in the province of Québec, this report presents evidence of a relationship between excellence scholarships and research productivity, scientific impact and degree completion. It shows that funded students publish more papers than their unfunded colleagues and that there is only a slight difference between funded and unfunded Ph.D. students in terms of scientific impact. Funded students are also more likely to graduate, and this effect is greater for students funded by the federal government. Finally, although funding is clearly linked to higher degree completion for students who did not publish, this relationship does not hold for those who manage to publish at least one paper during the course of their Ph.D. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implication of the findings for Canadian science policy.”


Beyond open access: an examination of Australian academic publication behaviour

This study explored the publication behaviour of academics from Australian universities and how this impacted on the adoption of open access models of scholarly publishing. Using grounded theory as its methodology, the study developed theoretical models that identified publication practice. The study also indicated how this practice had been influenced by ongoing changes in government policy associated with research recognition. While the government policies aimed to improve Australian research quality, studies such as this thesis assist in determining the impact that changes made to research evaluation policies may have on the research community and research dissemination.

The study examined data collected through three methods: focus groups held with Australian academics and publishers, an online survey of academics from Australian universities and interviews with Australian academics and university based e-press managers. In total, two hundred and eighty-one participants contributed to this study, including twenty-three in-depth interviewees and thirteen focus group participants. The survey participants represented a cross section of the Australian university community, whilst the focus groups and interviews represented academics from two universities, one from the Group of Eight and the other from the Australian Technology Network.

The outcome of this study was a number of theoretical models that suggested that the changing policies associated with research recognition have narrowed the publication behaviour of the Australian academic community and that this could be to the detriment of the adoption of alternative models of scholarly publishing. The publication behaviour, which had a focus on tiered journal listings, resulted in a dissemination pattern that was primarily directed to the academy. This was of concern for disciplines that had a practitioner-based research focus. Such disciplines would benefit from open access dissemination.

The study also examined engagement with institutional repositories and highlighted the importance of mediation in populating the content of repositories. The process of permission-based mandates was supported as a means to develop repository content. Permission-based mandates allow academics to enter a non-exclusive agreement with their university or institution so that the university can manage copyright and repository submission processes on behalf of the academic. Academics can then focus on the process of publication, while mediators can manage copyright and the repository submission processes.


How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals …

How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals :

“This summary report is the output of a large scale survey of journal readers (n=19064) about journal content discovery conducted during May, June and July of 2102. While statistics and analytics can tell us some of this information, there are many gaps in the knowledge that these can provide which we have endeavoured to fill by asking readers what how they discover journal content.”


Current Issues in Research Communications Open Access –…

Current Issues in Research Communications: Open Access – the View from the Academy :

“This is the fourth and final quarterly report to JISC from the Research
Communications Strategy (RCS) project. In addition to a strategic overview of developments and issues in the sector, it contains a number of recommendations for further action. It includes:

  • initial results from the RCS‟s recent opinion-gathering activities on attitudes to open access among researchers and senior managers in HEIs
  • comments on some ongoing issues relevant to the open access (OA) agenda
  • suggested approaches to future OA advocacy.”