• Open access self-archiving: An author study. Technical Report, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), UK FE and HE funding councils

      Swan, Alma; Brown, Sheridan (2005-05)
      This, our second author international, cross-disciplinary study on open access had 1296 respondents. Its focus was on self-archiving. Almost half (49%) of the respondent population have self-archived at least one article during the last three years. Use of institutional repositories for this purpose has doubled and usage has increased by almost 60% for subject-based repositories. Self-archiving activity is greatest amongst those who publish the largest number of papers. There is still a substantial proportion of authors unaware of the possibility of providing open access to their work by self-archiving. Of the authors who have not yet self-archived any articles, 71% remain unaware of the option. With 49% of the author population having self-archived in some way, this means that 36% of the total author population (71% of the remaining 51%), has not yet been appraised of this way of providing open access. Authors have frequently expressed reluctance to self-archive because of the perceived time required and possible technical difficulties in carrying out this activity, yet findings here show that only 20% of authors found some degree of difficulty with the first act of depositing an article in a repository, and that this dropped to 9% for subsequent deposits. Another author worry is about infringing agreed copyright agreements with publishers, yet only 10% of authors currently know of the SHERPA/RoMEO list of publisher permissions policies with respect to self-archiving, where clear guidance as to what a publisher permits is provided. Where it is not known if permission is required, however, authors are not seeking it and are self-archiving without it. Communicating their results to peers remains the primary reason for scholars publishing their work; in other words, researchers publish to have an impact on their field. The vast majority of authors (81%) would willingly comply with a mandate from their employer or research funder to deposit copies of their articles in an institutional or subject-based repository. A further 13% would comply reluctantly; 5% would not comply with such a mandate.