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.”


Discovering the Information Needs of Humanists When Planning…

Discovering the Information Needs of Humanists When Planning an Institutional Repository :

“Through in-person interviews with humanities faculty members, this study examines what information needs are expressed by humanities scholars that an institutional repository (IR) can address. It also asks what concerns humanists have about IRs, and whether there is a repository model other than an institutional one that better suits how they work. Humanists make relatively low use of existing IRs, but this research indicates that an institutional repository can offer services to humanities faculty that are desired by them, especially the digitization, online storage, curation, and sharing of their research materials and publications. If presented in terms that make sense to humanities faculty, and designed consciously with their needs and concerns in mind, an IR can be of real benefit to their teaching, scholarship, collaborations, and publishing.”


Survey of University of Toronto Faculty Awareness Attitudes…

Survey of University of Toronto Faculty Awareness, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Scholarly Communication: A Preliminary Report :

“This report presents the results from a 2010 online survey of the University of Toronto faculty on their awareness, attitudes and practices regarding scholarly communication. The objectives were to collect evidence regarding the current practices of faculty with regard to scholarly communication – primarily scholarly publishing and dissemination; to obtain evidence of their awareness and attitudes toward the changes in practices and forms that are occurring in publishing and dissemination with the turn to the digital, and to stimulate conversation on these topics among faculty within departments, faculties and academic units across the university, as well as with other members of the scholarly communication ecosystem. The survey has five sections that ask about i) current practices ii) scholarly publishing, including copyright and peer review iii) newer practices relating to open access, subject or institutional repositories, policies and mandates iv) costs associated with scholarly communication and iv) local services. Detailed findings, including faculty comments, and a summary of findings organized around a number of broad themes that emerged out of the detailed findings are included. The summary includes comparisons with the results from a 2006 survey of faculty at the University of California.