Friday, March 9, 2007

Positive Attitude Toward Open Access Publishing but Reluctance to Use

The results of a survey into attitudes towards Open Access publishing conducted by the Institute for Information Systems and New Media, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt Munich, in cooperation with the Department of Information Science, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, have just been published. The principal finding of the study is that researchers’ general attitude toward Open Access publishing is very positive but that many are personally reluctant to use such means of disseminating their own research work. The executive summary:
This Management Report summarizes the main descriptive results of a study on researcher’s acceptance of Open Access publishing. The study was conducted in 2006 by the Ludwig-Maximilans-University Munich, Germany, in cooperation with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The main focus is centered on the question if and why scientists decide or do not decide to publish their work according to the Open Access principle without access barriers and free of cost to readers. With the responses from 688 publishing scientists it could be demonstrated that the general attitude toward the Open Access principle is extremely positive. However, many seem to be rather reluctant to publish their own research work in Open Access outlets. Advantages like increased speed, reach 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.

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