In the first few months of 2014 Taylor & Francis carried out a worldwide survey, with the aim of exploring journal authors’ views on open access.
Having previously conducted a survey on open access in 2013, we have been able to see how authors’ opinions have developed, and whether the discussion and debate on open access has helped to inform and shape views.
With responses to both the 2013 and 2014 survey given side-by-side, you can easily see how attitudes have changed.
Selected Findings (via T&F News Release)
Responses showed that positive attitudes towards open access, when discussed in general, are growing. There were significant increases in the proportions strongly agreeing that open access offered a wider circulation than publication in a subscription journal (from 38% to 49%), and that it offered higher visibility (27% to 35%). 70% of respondents also disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement ‘There are no fundamental benefits to open access publication’, an increase of 10% year-on-year and a strong indicator that open access continues to be viewed as a force for good.
This positive picture blurs though when contrasted against authors’ future intentions on publishing their own work. When authors were asked about their future plans for publishing more articles as gold open access, 47% were unsure (the largest group). When asked if they plan to publish more articles as green open access, 46% said yes, with 41% unsure. Could understanding how to deposit their work be one of the causes of this uncertainty? Half of respondents report making their last article green open access, whether depositing it in a repository, uploading it to a website, or giving permission for someone to do this on their behalf. Lack of understanding of publishers’ policies on repositories was given as the single most important factor in deciding not to deposit. Other reasons, in descending order, were lack of time, lack of technical understanding, concerns around discoverability, and around longevity.
Licences continue to be a contentious issue, with 53% of authors showing a first or second preference for the CC-BY-NC-ND licence. Despite strong advocates for CC-BY, it remained the ‘least preferred’ option in this survey. However, there is evidence that opinions on this are softening as understanding increases, with this proportion dropping from 52% in 2013 to 35% this year.
Direct to Full Text Report (36 pages; PDF)
See Also: Links to Materials from 2013 Survey