Open Access & Science Publishing: Results of a Study on Researchers’ Acceptance and Use of Open Access Publishing


According to this Open Access & Science Publishing study researchers' overall attitude toward Open Access publishing is very positive. Open Access publishing means providing access to scientific publications at no charge and exempt from most copyright and licensing restrictions to everyone. Up to 91% of the 688 participants in a study conducted jointly between researchers at the University of Munich and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock describe their attitude toward Open Access publishing to be positive or very positive. However many show reluctance to use these new means of distributing their research work. While about two-thirds of the respondents indicate to have accessed Open Access literature before, only one third has published work in Open Access outlets. Advantages like increased speed, range and potentially higher citation rates of Open Access publications are seen alongside insufficient impact factors, lacking long-term availability and the inferior ability to reach the specific target audience of scientists within one's own discipline. Moreover the low level of use among close colleagues seems to be a barrier towards Open Access publishing. 73% of the interviewees believe that their close colleagues do not use Open Access media for publishing their research findings.

These are results of a study recently conducted by the Institute for Information Systems and New Media at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, and the Department of Information Science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The research was in part supported by the Maulden-Entergy Endowment at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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