Our authors don’t care about financial compensation

We have 58 books in the OAPEN-UK pilot – 29 are available open access and 29 are available under the normal route to market. In November 2011 we sent out a survey to the authors of these titles and to members of our Steering Group which includes 5 publishers, some researchers, librarians and research council reps. The survey asked a variety of questions about their attitudes and perceptions and provides us with a baseline to track changes against as we progress through the project. What we are specifically looking at is if participation in the project changes their perceptions towards open access.

Of the 31 authors who responded, (it’s a small sample size but the findings are supported by our researcher survey which had 690 responses), financial compensation is not important and was ranked very low compared to career advancement and releasing information for social progress and knowledge in society.

Read the full article published in Insights to find out more about our authors and steering group’s perceptions and view the survey data in our baseline presentation.

What do humanities and social science researchers really think?

We surveyed humanities and social science researchers on their attitudes towards open access publishing, their awareness of Creative Commons licensing, the value they place on the services provided by publishers, how they feel about self-publishing, and their preferences and priorities as both readers and authors of monographs.

The full results are fascinating and we really recommend that you read the full presentation but here is a little taster for you:

  • 690 usable responses – 82% UK based – 60% Humanities / 40% Social Science
  • 53% are awareness of OA and 38% familiar with open access (that pretty high)
  • Around 50% of researchers think it is ok to make a profit from OA publishing as long as that profit goes back into supporting the discipline or making more OA content available – 20% think you can make a profit and use it however you like and 20% think that you can make a profit but only to cover costs. This is interesting for business modelling
  • Almost 60% of researchers are aware of Creative Commons but 40% are not (still lots to be done here)
  • Almost 80% would prefer the most restrictive CC licence (CC BY NC ND) but what is interesting is that if you look across the responses it is clear that researchers are more concerned about protecting their work than it being used commercially as CC BY ND is preferred over CC BY NC. This is extremely interesting and will be the focus on more of our work
  • Researchers value the distribution and marketing services of publishers the most – oh and that they give them a print book at the end!
  • In correlation to the above, researchers as authors are least willing to perform marketing and distribution  – more to discover here in understanding what it is that authors think their publishers do, especially in light of recent blogs on this topic
  • Early career academics are more willing to consider self-publishing than later career researchers
  • Of the 397 that had published a mono, book chapter or co-authored a mono since 2000, 45% said that their research was underpinned by cure university funds, 22% from research council grants and 20% from another funder – central pots for HSS researchers to use to fund OA monographs (if it is a gold model) is going to be critical
  • Of the 397 – the monograph authors picked their publishers because 1st they are good at disseminating to the right audience, 2nd cause they have good QA process, 3rd cause they are the best in their filed and 4th because they were the only ones interested!
  • Back to the 690 – 60% had read a monograph in the last couple of days – 39% had bought it and 33% had got it via the library
  • Phd students more likely to rely on the library that late career academics
  • Print still dominates reading preferences but less so for early career academics
  • Perception of the 690 is that open access will have negative impacts on quality, reputation and reward but will be brilliant for availability and efficiency – so clearly any open access model really has to address quality and think about impacts in terms of the REF and reputations. Oh and no one really cares about royalties!

The presentation provides so much more information than above and we are going to have enjoy using this data to inform the future of OAPEN-UK. We welcome your comments and thoughts.

I would like to thank @ellencollins for all her work in pulling together the data and creating the presentation.

from @carenmilloy