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Report: Open Access to Journal Articles Gaining Acceptance from Researchers

Journal authors report increasingly positive attitudes toward open access journals, according to a new report from Taylor & Francis Online.

The report, "Taylor & Francis Open Access Survey, June 2014," is the second annual survey of journal authors on their opinions toward open access publication. Nearly 8,000 authors from around the world responded to the survey, down from nearly 15,000 the previous year. The survey defined open access as "archiving of an article on a website or in a repository.... often the accepted version of an article, not the final published article" (green open access) or "publication of the final article ... often after payment of an article publishing charge" (gold open access).

Compared to last year, the survey found that attitudes toward open access are becoming increasingly positive. In particular, the number of respondents who strongly agree that "open access offers wider circulation than publication in a subscription journal" increased from 38 percent to 49 percent; the number who strongly agree that "open access offers higher visibility than publication in a subscription journal" increased from 27 percent to 35 percent; and the number who strongly disagree that "there are no fundamental benefits to open access publication" increased from 30 percent to 39 percent.

The survey also asked researchers about their use of repositories, such as Google Scholar, attitudes and values toward dissemination of research through text mining and data mining; preferred open access licenses; and article submission practices.

Other key findings from the report:

  • 47 percent of respondents were unsure about their future plans for publishing articles as gold open access;
  • 46 percent were willing to publish more articles as green open access;
  • 31 percent of researchers always "specifically search for articles in repositories using a general search engine" such as Google or Google Scholar;
  • 22 percent strongly agree that the articles they find in repositories are often useful in their research;
  • 36 percent strongly agree that it's acceptable for their work to be re-used for non-commercial gain, without their prior knowledge or permission, provided they receive credit as the original author; and
  • 33 percent most preferred the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs).

Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents were from the United States and Canada; 32 percent were based in Europe; and the remainder were from elsewhere in the world.

A free PDF of the complete report, "Taylor & Francis Open Access Survey, June 2014," can be found on the Taylor & Francis Online site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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