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Academics and publishing in open access journals

Posted by gazjjohnson on 8 January, 2009

There’s an interesting blog post from Gerry McKiernan entitled Academic Rank of Authors Publishing in Open Access Journals, where he highlights a recent Elaine Nowick article which states:

Previous research has indicated that some faculty members may have some concerns about publishing in Open Access journals because of a perceived lack of rigor and reputation of Open Access titles…There was no indication that pre-tenured faculty avoided Open Access titles. In fact, there was a slight but significant trend for pre-tenured faculty to publish in Open Access journals.

This study has been published in, of all places, Agriculture Information Worldwide(ref in Gerry’s post).  This is a refreshing result to read, even taking into account that the study would only have looked at (I assume, I can’t access the paper itself as it’s not yet available anywhere it seems) US based academics within a smattering of disciplines.  However, going on my past experience of encouraging academics to think of publishing in OAJ this is one more piece of evidence that supports that trend.

Does anyone know of any comparator studies performed on UK academics and their attitudes then?

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2 Responses to “Academics and publishing in open access journals”

  1. ajcann said

    Nothing similar has been done in the Life Sciences field in the UK, I can’t be sure about other disciplines but I’m not aware of anything. Anecdotally, when I’ve discussed this informally with senior scientific colleagues, they have been scornful of open access publishing. In part, this is related to low impact scores in the run up to RAE 2008, but there are also much deeper feelings of distrust here.

  2. Can’t say I’m shocked – I ran an event in late 2007 at Nottingham for (mainly) our science academics and this reluctance was pretty widespread. Nottingham does have the benefit of a Prof called Jerry (I forget his surname) who’s the editor of a OAJ in the biosciences that’s actually really high up in terms of reference half-life, citation ranking etc. Not to mention he’s a great enthusiast for open access publishing fullstop.

    He did help us win over a few more converts, but so far I’ve not identified anyone here at Leicester who could be such an advocate here (in any discipline).

    Maybe Keith knows someone?

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