Taylor & Francis survey reveals that commercial re-use of their work would be unacceptable to most authors
Oxford, March, 2013
In the third in a series of Press Releases on the themes and findings of the Open Access Survey, Taylor & Francis investigates authors’ attitudes and values relating to the dissemination of their research when publishing in Open Access Journals.
What do authors think about the re-use of their research?
Respondents were asked how acceptable it was for their work to be re-used in a variety of ways without their prior knowledge or permission, provided they received credit as the original author.
Findings from the survey demonstrate that the opinion from authors on overall re-use was fairly evenly distributed. 40% agreed with the statement that it was acceptable to have their work re- used in any way, 41% did not support this - 18% did not have a strong opinion either way.
However, asking specifically about commercial re-use versus non-commercial re-use brought up an interesting anomaly. When asked about how acceptable it was for their work to be reused for non-commercial gain, 68% of respondents agreed that it was acceptable, with 18% deeming unacceptable. When asked their opinion about having their work used specifically for commercial gain, however, only 18% found this acceptable with 67% deeming this unacceptable. Therefore we can clearly see that many of the 40% of respondents who had originally said it was acceptable for their work to be re-used in any way didn’t even consider commercial gain when choosing their answer. In fact 46% of those who had agreed that their work could be re-used in any way went on to disagree with the idea of their work being re-used for commercial gain with a further 16% dropping to a neutral position.
Specific types of re-use
Authors were asked also about their attitudes and values relating to various specific types of re-use of their work. Support was strongest for use in text or data mining, with 48% agreeing this is acceptable, and weakest for the adaption of their work, with 50% deeming this unacceptable without their prior knowledge or permission. Translation or inclusion in an anthology elicited more evenly split responses:
Translation of author’s work- 45% of authors were happy for other to translate their work, 39% were not.
Inclusion in an anthology- 45% of authors found it acceptable for their work to be re-used in an anthology, 40% considered this unacceptable.
Use of author’s work in text or data mining
The finding that almost half of the authors surveyed would find text or data mining of their work acceptable is in line with the objectives and aims of policy makers such as Research Councils UK and the Welcome Trust who are strong advocates of the openness of research via these methods.
As noted in last week’s press release, we have taken a number of decisions around licensing options for content to be published on an Open Access basis. These license choices allow for text and data mining, demonstrating that Taylor & Francis have taken feedback from our author community, and funder requirements, into account in guiding our policies and strategies in this area.
Regional and Subject Differences
This press release is accompanied by Supplement 2 to the original report – which examines the subject, regional and country-level variations for each question regarding the re-use of authors’ work in full:
There are many subject and regional differences in the responses to the questions on re-use and these are not always consistent across the different types of re-use. Very broadly speaking authors from Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Library and Information Sciences tend to have more liberal views towards re-use of their work and those from the Arts and Humanities tend to find re-use less acceptable.
Geographically speaking respondents from Latin America and Africa tend to be the most consistently accepting across all the re-use questions.
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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