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Monday, July 14, 2014

Research Authors Lean Toward Open Access

Academic researchers appear to be warming to the idea of publishing their articles in open-access journals rather than subscription-only publications. It’s a trend that would also make libraries and legislators very happy.

The results of the second annual Taylor & Francis Open Access Survey showed a rising number of journal authors agree or strongly agree that open access on a website or online repository provides wider circulation and higher visibility than traditional subscription journals. These authors want to attract more eyeballs to their articles and are willing to give up some control to get it.

Almost half of the 7,936 respondents (who had published a total of 28,219 articles in the past year) were amenable to publishing their work openly as “green open access,” which usually involves the original article version submitted for publication and not the reviewed, edited version.

Some 71% wouldn’t mind if their work was reused for noncommercial purposes without their permission, as long as they were credited and the user followed whatever Creative Commons license had been applied to the article. Of those who had placed an article in an open repository, 46% did so out of a strong sense of “personal responsibility to make my work freely available.”

Legislators at the federal level have been pushing for more open access to research journals, at least those featuring research underwritten by tax dollars or performed using tax-supported campus facilities or materials.

Libraries, especially those that serve a largely academic clientele, are concerned about the increasing subscription costs for journals, both print and digital, according to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Many campus libraries, such as the one at Cornell University, have had to cut back on subscriptions.

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