January 16, 2022

Research Article: “Imagining a Gold Open Access Future: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Funding Scenarios Among Authors of Academic Scholarship” (Preprint)

The following accepted for publication article (preprint) is scheduled for final publication in the September 2017 issue of College & Research Libraries (C&RL).


Imagining a Gold Open Access Future: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Funding Scenarios Among Authors of Academic Scholarship


Carol Tenopir
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Elizabeth D. Dalton
Middle Tennessee State University

Lisa Christian
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Misty K. Jones
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Mark McCabe
Boston University

MacKenzie Smith
University Librarian, University of California, Davis

Allison Fish
Indiana University, Bloomington


College and Research Libraries (C&RL)


The viability of gold open access publishing models into the future will depend, in part, on the attitudes of authors towards open access (OA). In a survey of academics at four major research universities in North America, we examine academic authors’ opinions and behaviors towards gold OA. The study allows us to see what academics know and perceive about open access models, their current behavior in regards to publishing in OA, and possible future behavior. In particular, we gauge current attitudes to examine the perceived likelihood of various outcomes in an all-open access publishing scenario. We also survey how much authors at these types of universities would be willing to pay for article processing charges (APCs) from different sources. Although the loudest voices may often be heard, in reality there is a wide range of attitudes and behaviors towards publishing. Understanding the range of perceptions, opinions, and behaviors among academics towards gold OA is important for academic librarians who must examine how OA serves their research communities, to prepare for an OA future, and to understand how OA impacts the library’s role.


The survey discussed here is part of a larger project called Pay It Forward, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the University of California, Davis, to examine the full implications in an imagined complete gold OA future, including not only behavioral and service implications, but also cost implications to research institutions.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint) (47 pages; PDF)

Pay It Forward Project Resources

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.