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De Gruyter’s Open Author Survey – update

DG311

February 5, 2016

We are excited to announce that we have finished the Key Challenges of Research Communication – De Gruyter Open Author Survey. Today, I am publishing both a survey questionnaire and the research questions behind it. Some more information about our sampling and methodology will follow soon. We will also publish a dataset and my analysis plan for this research.

We have just finished collecting data for our Key Challenges of Research Communication survey. We received more than 1000 submissions from academic researchers working in dozens of countries.

We are making a dataset from the research which will be open and available within a month, but before that, I want to share with you information that may be helpful in understanding the results.

What was the goal?

The main goal of the research was to examine the attitudes of academic authors around the world towards open access publishing, including their experiences with open access, their publishing practices and their opinions about different publishing models. We knew that our research was preceded by several other surveys of this kind. However, since none of these surveys (including ours) were close to reaching a representative sample of the global community of researchers (which is probably impossible, or almost impossible), we put our major focus on repeating some questions presented in published research, to see whether the earlier results would be confirmed or not. Please read the results of our research together with the results of others, and I will also try to present it this way. We have also add a couple of new questions, or have modified old ones, based on current discussions in the open access community and the experience of our staff in working with academic authors. The major difference with our present research, is the emphasis on open access book publishing, a field which had been little examined to date.

The research tool

A detailed set of research problems was constructed on this basis. You can find the initial version of the research problems here. We have constructed an online questionnaire using Drupal, an easy to use content managing system, and the Drupal Webform module (to learn why you should choose a self-hosted platform such as Drupal over third party ones, read this).

During the design phase, we realized the survey was a little bit too long (which is a quite common problem), so we had to reduce the number of research problems we were interested in.

The final version of the survey is here. Below you can find a final list of the research questions that our study was designed to answer. The research questions were not directly translated into survey questions, although each survey question might be assigned to one of the research problems.

I will soon publish my analysis plan, so you will know in advance what I will be doing step-by-step. I will be publishing all the results on this blog very soon, together with some more information about our sampling and methodology. Stay tuned!

The research problem

So here‘s the list of final research questions to be answered:

1) How popular are different forms of Open Access?

How many researchers published in Open Access an article with APCs globally, within the last 3 years? How many times?

How many researchers published a free Open Access article within the last 3 years? How many times?

How many researchers published a monograph chapter in an open access book (free and paid) globally? How many times?

How many researchers have published an open access book (free and paid) within the last 3 years globally? How many times?

How many researchers have self-archived their work (article or book) published in a conventional way in an OA repository? How many times?

How many researchers globally predict that they will publish any kind of monograph and/or a chapter in an edited volume within the next 5 years?

What is the share of different forms of OA in publication output?

2) What are the motivations of authors behind various publishing behaviours?

What are the reasons for self-archiving work in an OA repository?

How important are the following factors in choosing a journal:
– Opinions of colleagues/supervisors about the journal
– Readership among peers
– Abstracting and Indexing services that cover the journal
– Publication delay (from submission to online publication)
– Relevant and comprehensive peer review process
– Open access to journal content
– Chances for getting work published
– Journal Impact Factor
– Other quantitative measures of journal factor/quality

How important are the following factors in choosing a book publisher:
– Opinions of colleagues/supervisors about the publisher
– Publisher’s expertise in the topic of my book
– Open access option provided
– Marketing support offered
– E-book distribution networks
– Hard copies distribution networks
– Publication delay (from submission to online publication)
– Relevant review process
– Chances for getting work published

When open access is a factor for choosing a publication venue, is it for ethical reasons or perceived career benefits?

How many researchers know of high-quality open access journals in their field?

How many researchers know of high-quality open access book publishers in their field?

3) What is the depth of the APC market?

What is the average amount of the last APC/BPC paid by researchers? Does this amount depend on the discipline and (in case of APC) type of journal?

How did researchers who paid for OA publishing find funding? (did they use grant money or institutional funds? Were the funds they used intended for APCs or other? Did they pay out of their own pockets? What is the percentage share of different sources?)

How difficult it is for researchers to get money for APC/BPC?

Is the procedure of paying APC/BPC difficult for researchers?

How many researchers have access to funds to cover APC/BPC at the moment? How much money it is on average? What are sources of this money?

How many researchers are willing to pay out of their own pocket to get published in a journal?

4) What are the opinions and experiences of researchers with copyright and licensing?

Do researchers allow:

– translations without approval,
– republication by a commercial company without approval,
– inclusion in academic anthologies without approval,
– extracting data from the text by automatic software without approval?

5) Can researchers easily access all the literature they need?

6) What are the most important problems that the research community faces currently according to researchers themselves?

7) How do all the problems mentioned above differ according to the discipline, type of contract (permanent/temporary), number of works published, country and academic degree?

This entry was posted on February 5, 2016 by Witold Kieńć and tagged , , , .

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