Re: Who Needs Open Access, and Why?

From: David Goodman <>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 03:44:52 +0100

Alma, you are surely familiar with the ciber study "Scholarly
communication in the digital environment: what do authors want" , which provides probably the
best current data. It does show many authors unaware of OA; it also
shows the desire for it among those who are aware. (It represents
the situation in Jan 2004, and I expect any scientist who reads even
only Nature is now somewhat more up to date.). I suggest it only as
representative of the available data, not as a methodological example.

The methodologically best evidence is to measure what people really do.
The evidence from Brody (et al.) that people actually read by preference
OA versions is more valuable than any survey of opinions on the subject,
or any amount of the questionnaires we have depended on. I really do
not see the point of another opinion survey.

David Goodman

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum on behalf of Alma Swan
Sent: Sat 10/23/2004 12:20 PM
Subject: Re: Who Needs Open Access, and Why?

At a meeting last week it was stated that there is no evidence that
researchers WANT open access. I'm not sure anyone has actually asked them
this, formally, so I am about to carry out an exercise to gather data on the
topic. I would like to hear from librarians, open archive administrators and
researchers themselves on this issue.

In her recent posting to this forum, Paula Callan produced an example of the
reactions of a researcher in her institution, including some specific
statistics on the usage of his work. This is the sort of information I need
- attributable evidence (with empirical data included if it exists) for or
against the notion that researchers WANT open access. Does anyone else have
similar evidence one way or the other, please?

Please - no humble opinions, no unsubstantiated impressions, no speculative
thoughts. I need data that will stand up to scrutiny. I am happy to receive
responses offline, though this community would probably benefit from hearing

Final word: I have plenty of statistics about researchers not being AWARE of
open access. That is not the same as not WANTING it and I am not interested
in uninformed researchers' opinions. What I am after are data that indicate
whether, once aware of the issues, researchers do or do not want open access
- as authors AND readers.

Alma P Swan
Key Perspectives Ltd
Truro, UK

Added by Moderator:

Prior Amsci Topic Thread:
    "Who Needs Open Access, and Why?"

    Internet Librarian International 2004. London. 11 October, 2004.

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Received on Sun Oct 24 2004 - 03:44:52 BST

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