New report suggests growing confidence in open access

A new survey finds that as open access grows, a greater share of the researcher community is coming to see it as just as high quality as the subscription model.

Last Thursday, our colleagues from the Nature Publishing Group came out with a survey of researcher perceptions of open access. And gratifyingly, as open access grows, a greater share of the researcher community is coming to see it as just as high quality as the subscription model. Or, as we like to say, open access is a business model; and that, editorially, SpringerOpen journals run the same way as all Springer journals.

The survey found that, in the sciences, only a little more than a quarter of researchers surveyed had concerns about open access quality. This is down from 40% in 2014. Dan Penny, Head of Insights at Nature, had (not coincidentally) a germane insight: “Perceptions are likely to change over time as more open access publications establish strong reputations, funders mandate open access, and authors publish their best research in OA journals.”

The survey also found that researchers pick journals primarily by reputation, and subject fit; and that the factors comprising the journals’ reputations are (in addition to the Impact Factor) consistency of quality, quality of peer review, and overall reputation in the community. The findings from this part of the survey actually track pretty closely with other, previous surveys of what researchers have said they find of value when picking which journals to which to submit their work.

The survey data are available under a CC-BY license. You can find the survey here: http://figshare.com/articles/Author_Insights_2015_survey/1425362

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