National Open Access and Preservation Policies in Europe…

National Open Access and Preservation Policies in Europe :

“The present report is the analysis of the answers to the questionnaire that the European Commission prepared on open access and preservation policies in Europe, with a view to taking stock in 2011 of the status of implementation of the 2007 Council conclusions on scientific information in the digital age.”


Asking for Permission: A Survey of Copyright Workflows for Institutional Repositories

An online survey of institutional repository (IR) managers identified copyright clearance trends in staffing and workflows. The majority of respondents followed a mediated deposit model, and reported that library personnel, instead of authors, engaged in copyright clearance activities for IRs.

The most common “information gaps” pertained to the breadth of information in copyright directories like SHERPA/RoMEO. To fill these gaps, most respondents directly contacted publishers for permissions.

Respondents typically did not share publisher responses with other IRs, citing barriers such as time, expertise, staffing, and the need for improved methods for sharing data with copyright directories.


An Open Access Future? Report from the eurocancercoms project

“In 2010, the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) as a member of the Eurocancercoms FP7 project conducted a survey on professional communication activities across its European membership with particular reference to the use of the internet and barriers to communication. Over half of the survey respondents were working in basic cancer research, a further third in translational research and the remaining respondents in epidemiology or medical oncology. From a range of interesting information and opinions, the survey revealed that the internet is used by 94% of cancer researchers for professional activities every day with the majority accessing PubMed and online journals daily or 2-3 times a week. These simple statistics place access to published research findings online at the centre of support for cancer researchers’ work: a crucial sharing of information which can accelerate progress in the scientific battle with cancer.

While the survey had not focussed on Open Access specifically, comment banks and discussions at consensus meetings following the publication of the survey results highlighted the issue of access to subscription journals, the barrier to essential and urgent information that a ‘paywall’ creates, and the need for free access. A second survey picking up on the issue of Open Access publishing has now been completed. This paper shares the results of that survey, which was again conducted across the European membership of EACR, and cross references responses with selected data from the Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP) 2011 which was undertaken across all academic disciplines. The SOAP data is freely accessible and can be mined for information by anyone who wishes to use it. A number of questions were included in the survey that mirrored those used by SOAP, allowing the direct comparison of results. In this article a comparison has been made between the responses provided by cancer researchers and the 7,433 respondents to the SOAP survey from the Biological Sciences. (Over 43,000 responses were received across all disciplines to the SOAP survey.)

As a conclusion and invitation to further discussion, this paper also contributes to the debate around subscription and Open Access publishing, supporting the case for accelerating the progress towards Open Access publishing of cancer research articles as a particularly supportive way of assisting all researchers to make unhindered progress with their work.”


Open access journals – what publishers offer what…

Open access journals – what publishers offer, what researchers want :

“The SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project has analyzed the current supply and demand situation in the open access journal landscape. Starting from the Directory of Open Access Journals, several sources of data were considered, including journal websites and direct inquiries within the publishing industry to comprehensively map the present supply of online peer-reviewed OA journals. The demand for open access publishing is summarised, as assessed through a large-scale survey of researchers’ opinions and attitudes. Some forty thousand answers were collected across disciplines and around the world, reflecting major support for the idea of open access, while highlighting drivers of and barriers to open access publishing.”


Publication Fees in Open Access Publishing Sources of…

Publication Fees in Open Access Publishing: Sources of Funding and Factors Influencing Choice of Journal :

“Open access (OA) journals make their full text content available for free on the Web and use other means than subscriptions or access charges for funding the publication process. Publication fees or article processing charges (APC)s have become the predominant means for funding professional OA publishing. We surveyed 1,038 authors from seven discipline categories who recently published articles in 74 OA journals that charge APCs. Authors were asked about the source of funding for the APC, factors influencing their choice of a journal and past history publishing in OA and subscription journals. Additional information about the journal and the authors’ country were obtained from the journal websites. A total of 429 (41%) authors completed the survey. There were large differences in the source of funding among disciplines. Journals with impact factors charged higher APCs as did journals from disciplines where grant funding is plentiful. Topical fit, quality, and speed of publication where the most important factors in the authors’ choice of a journal. Open accessibility was less important but a significant factor for many authors in their choice of a journal to publish. These findings are consistent with other research on OA publishing and suggest, that if OA journals meet normal quality standards, authors and their employers and funders are willing to pay reasonable APCs, the acceptable levels of which are dependent on the field of science and the quality of the journal in question.”


Faculty self archiving behavior factors affecting the decision…

Faculty self-archiving behavior : factors affecting the decision to self-archive :

“A transformation in scholarly communication is occurring due to the interactions among Internet technologies, new ways of accessing and disseminating scholarly content, as well as changes in the legal, economic, and policy aspects of scholarly publication systems. Self-archiving – the placement of research material on publicly accessible web sites – is an emerging practice used to disseminate scholarly content in a cost-effective and timely manner. This practice is supported by university libraries and public funding agencies through the support or provision of Open Access repository services. Nevertheless, many repositories suffer from low rates of participation. Institutional Repositories (IRs), in particular, have difficulty recruiting content from faculty members whose conduct research and generate a wide variety of research materials. To address this problem, I investigate the motivational factors affecting faculty to participation in various forms of self-archiving practices.

Based on the socio-technical network framework, this study views self-archiving practices as intertwined with technologies and social factors. The factors identified include cost, benefit, and contextual aspects of self-archiving, in addition to individual characteristics. To examine these significant factors affecting self-archiving, my research design involves triangulation of survey and interview data of faculty members sampled from 17 Carnegie Research Universities with DSpace IRs. The sample is also stratified by academic discipline due to existing evidence of variation based on fields.

The analysis of survey responses from 684 professors and 41 phone interviews found that the factor of altruism has the strongest effect on faculty self-archiving. This factor, however, is characterized more by reciprocity, rather than pure altruism. Self-archiving culture has the second greatest impact on the decision to self-archive. Therefore, faculty self-archiving is influenced greatly by intrinsic benefits or disciplinary norms, as opposed to extrinsic benefits. Concerning IRs in particular, results shows that the primary reason professors contribute to the repositories is the perceived ability of IRs to preserve scholarly content. This implies that digital preservation should be significantly more a core function of IRs. IR contributors are also concerned about copyright than non-contributors. Thus IR staff need to provide guidance for copyright management to alleviate this concern and any confusion.”


Analysis of Chemists and Economists survey on Open…

Analysis of Chemists and Economists survey on Open Access :

“The data presented here should be approached with due caution. We are dealing with a relatively small number of academics from a selection of higher education institutions (HEIs), so extrapolating these findings to academia as a whole would not be advisable. There are few non-participants in open access (OA) in the sample, so if there is a bias in the sample, it is towards those who already engage with OA. We can therefore feel more confident about the data regarding why academics do use OA as opposed to why they do not. There were however a large number of participants who did not always make their work OA. From them we should gain some insight into the barriers that currently exist to making work OA.

We know that three institutions from which the academics in this study were drawn have a policy or mandate requiring academic staff to make their work open access. Of those that did have an institutional policy (54 academics), only seven were confident of this. A similar picture existed with funder mandates. Of those that did have a funder mandate (65 academics) only 14 reported that they did. The majority of the academics in the study are engaged with open access, so we can conclude that these policies have had little impact on the uptake of OA. HEIs have failed to get the message of these mandates over to these engaged academics, so we can surmise that the message has also not got over to the less engaged.

The motivations for engaging with open access given by these academics tend to be internal, personal reasons, especially altruistic ones. Both chemists and economists see themselves as working for the wider public benefit. However, economists especially also give more selfish reasons, where OA is seen as conferring a personal benefit. External forces that attempt to push academics towards engagement with OA feature less prominently. One academic commented that the existence of an institutional mandate would make him feel less inclined to engage. However, these are academics who are already engaged, and may be enthusiastic, early adopters of OA. It may take more “push” to bring the others on board.

Quality is a concern for both chemists and economists. The need to publish in high-impact journals and the peer-review process are major concerns of academics when they choose not to participate in OA. These are however issues that would affect any new journal, in any medium. Reputation and the perception of quality take time to develop. However open-access journals need to ensure that they have adequate quality procedures in place with regard to issues like plagiarism and peer review.

The use of an open access option from a traditional journal was the least popular means of making work open access. This is in spite of this option offering a solution to the problem of quality. Cost was a major issue for academics when they choose not to make work open access. Most of these same academics reported that institutional support for payment of open access fees would encourage them to participate in future.”