Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A survey of AAAS members on copyright and research

The presentations from the symposium, Effects of Intellectual Property Protections on Scientific Research:  Results of a Survey of U.S. AAAS Members (Washington, D.C., January 16, 2007), are now online.  Excerpts from the summary document:

  • Individual scientists [web sites?] or their respective institutional departments were second to peer-reviewed journals as a reported means of publishing (13 percent of respondents); in contrast, only 1 percent of respondents reported using freely-accessible archives to publish their work [without also publishing them in peer-reviewed journals?]....
  • Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents reported that their most recent publications were placed in an electronic bibliographic service or index; among those respondents, just over half (54 percent) had their publication deposited into a national/governmental library, and 19 percent of those respondents had their publication placed in a freely-accessible archive.
  • Over half (60 percent) of the survey respondents indicated that difficulties associated with accessing or disseminating copyrighted materials did not affect the conduct of their scientific work; just under one-third (29 percent) reported having been affected by such difficulties.
  • Among those who reported that their work had been affected by difficulties in accessing copyrighted scientific literature, the most frequently-reported responses were that their research was delayed by less than one month (42 percent), or by one month or longer (21 percent ).
  • The majority of survey respondents (58 percent) believed that access to most scientific literature had become easier over the past three years; a considerably smaller number reported that it has become “more difficult” or “much more difficult” (9 percent and 2 percent, respectively.)
  • The majority of respondents reported not having used alternative, open access (OA) licensing models to publish their most recent work: less than 10 percent reported having done so.
  • About five times as many respondents from academia published through OA models than respondents from industry; 10 percent of academic respondents reported using OA models, versus 2 percent of industry respondents.
  • Almost three-fourths of respondents, however, reported having referenced OA publications more frequently or about as much as they had (at the time of taking the survey) before three years ago....
  • Among those respondents who reported having difficulties in using data from a publicly funded source, the two most highly-cited problems were a substantial delay in the transfer of data, and that access to data was denied (by 44 percent and 39 percent of respondents, respectively); 59 percent of those respondents who reported the types of difficulties encountered represented the life sciences field....