John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced the results of an author survey on open access, with over ten thousand respondents from across Wiley’s journal portfolio. The research explored the factors that authors assess when deciding where to publish, and whether to publish open access. Among the top factors considered by authors were the relevance and scope of the journal, the journal’s impact factor and the international reach of the journal.
Over 30% of respondents had published at least one open access paper, and 79% stated that open access was more prevalent in their discipline than three years ago. In the survey, an open access article was defined as “free for all to read, download and share online and the author, their institution or funding body pays a fee to ensure that the article is made open access.”
Among authors yet to publish open access, the list of reasons given included a lack of high profile open access journals (48%), lack of funding (44%) and concerns about quality (34%). Authors said they would publish in an open access journal if it had a high impact factor, if it were well regarded and if it had a rigorous peer review process.
“Our goal was to better understand the opinions and behavior of our authors towards open access publishing. It’s clear from the survey results that authors are increasingly embracing this publishing model, and we have seen evidence of that too in the growth of our Wiley Open Access publishing program,” said Rachel Burley, Vice President and Director, Open Access, Wiley. “The survey results also highlight the need for open access journals to continue to build a strong foundation of rigorous peer review, wide international reach and a sharp focus on quality to respond to the needs that authors expressed in this research.”
The survey, conducted in May 2012, was sent to 104,000 authors who published research in Wiley journals in health, life, physical, and social sciences, and the humanities, during 2011. The total number of authors who participated in the survey was 10,673, representing a 10.3% response rate.
The responding authors represented a range of international opinions on open access. While 30% of authors were located in the United States and 10% were based in the UK, other represented nations included Germany (4%), China (4%), and India (3%).
One in three authors (32%) had already published in an open access journal. The highest proportion of open access authors came from a medical background (28%), closely followed by biological sciences (24%), and 71% were based in an academic setting. In contrast, authors who had not published open access papers predominantly came from social science disciplines.
The survey results are available online via slideshare.