Taylor & Francis authors believe in fundamental benefits of OA but are less sure of citation advantage
Oxford, April, 2013
In the fourth in a series of Press Releases on the themes and findings of the Open Access Survey, Taylor & Francis explores authors’ perceptions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of Open Access (OA).
Popular opinion is reflected in the fact that a strong majority of authors felt that Open Access journals offer wider circulation (71%). However, when asked to think more specifically, only a slim majority (55%) would agree that Open Access journals offer wider visibility ; less than half (45%) said they resulted in a wider readership ; and only a quarter thought that papers published in OA journals were cited more often (25%) than subscription content. This last finding seems to correlate to research on the citation advantage of OA published by Davis et al  and Bjork and Solomon  , but goes against the findings of other studies, such as that of Xia et al  .
Authors’ views are fairly evenly split when asked about the quality and production standards of OA journals, when compared to subscription journals . Only a third (36%) of respondents believe that Open Access journals drive innovation in research , with another third (38%) remaining neutral in their response to this question. There is still however a clear sentiment that Open Access does have some advantages, with 60% of respondents disagreeing with the statement that Open Access has ‘ no fundamental benefits ’ - half of whom ‘strongly disagree’.
In general, Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) authors agreed slightly more than Social Science and Humanities (SSH) authors with the statements presented as possible advantages of Open Access, and disagreed slightly more with the statements presented as possible disadvantages of Open Access.
Within the STM subjects, agreement with the possible advantages of Open Access was highest for authors working in Biological Sciences , Agricultural & Food Sciences and Computer Science , with those from the Biological Sciences also tending to disagree most strongly with the possible disadvantages. Within the SSH subjects the much higher level of agreement from Library and Information Scientists that Open Access drives innovation in research and the much lower levels of agreement with all the possible disadvantages were the standout subject differences.
In general, authors based in Asia , Africa , Latin America and the Middle East tended to show the highest level of agreement with the possible advantages of Open Access, with authors from North America and Australasia showing the lowest level of support. The main exception to this was the question on Faster Publication times where the level of agreement from North America and Australasia was in line with the other regions.
This press release is accompanied by Supplement 3 to the original report – which examines the subject, regional and country-level variations for each question regarding the benefits of Open Access:
The basic results from the full survey and a copy of the questionnaire can be found here and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution licence : www.tandf.co.uk/journals/pdf/open-access-survey-march2013.pdf
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For more information, please contact:
Victoria Wright, Communications Manager, Taylor & Francis Group Journals
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 Davis, P.M., Lewenstein, B.V., Simon, D.H., Booth, J.G., Connolly, M.J.L. (2008) "Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: Randomised controlled trial", BMJ 2008;337:a568. Accessed 4 April 2013.