Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, July 23, 2005

German survey of attitudes toward OA

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) has released a major new study of OA, Publikationsstrategien im Wandel? Ergebnisse einer Umfrage zum Publikations- und Rezeptionsverhalten unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Open Access, 2005. Also see this news story on it: Richard Sietmann, DFG legt Studie zu Open Access vor, Heise Online, July 23, 2005. (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)

The study asked over 1,000 German scientists about their experiences with OA journals, OA preprint archiving, and OA postprint archiving. The responses show strong support for OA. For example, over two-thirds said that OA will improve access to scientific knowledge and produce a lasting change in the landscape of scientific publishing. (PS: If anyone is willing to translate the report's one-page Executive Summary and post it to SOAF, then I'll blog it here.)

Update (July 24). Jutta Haider has translated the executive summary. Excerpt: 'Until now, throughout all disciplines, very few researchers actively publish in Open Access. Of all those questioned only about every tenth had published in an Open Access journal. According to those questioned the distribution of freely accessible preprints on the Internet - common practice only in some subjects - is also done infrequently. Somewhat more frequently papers that had already been published elsewhere are secondarily distributed for free online....In contrast to the low Open Access publication activity a majority of those questioned throughout all disciplines approve of an increased advancement of Open Access by the German Research Foundation. Whereas those at earlier stages of their careers in the natural, life, and engineering sciences support the advancement of Open Access somewhat more strongly than their already more established colleagues....The preparedness of scientists to use part of their funding to finance the free availability of their publications is proportionate to the expenditure scientists already have to provide to publish conventionally. Therefore life scientists are most prepared to pay author fees for open access publications, while humanities scholars and social scientists are least prepared....Proposals of the researchers with regards to the question how the German Research Foundation could advance Open Access essentially aim at the following: measures to intensify the debate surrounding freely accessible publications, measures to assure the quality of Open Access journals, and the technical, legal, organizational support of secondary Open Access publication of material that was previously published in a conventional way.' (Thanks, Jutta!)