Thank you for joining the Charlesworth Author Services education team throughout Open Access Week 2019. We presented a series of Webinars (click here to watch on demand) and blog posts alongside other content on our Twitter feed throughout the week and answered a host of researcher questions, in particular from academics in China via the WeChat platform.
What did we learn from all the feedback we received over the course of the week?
The potential of OA remains largely unexplored and untapped by researchers
It’s clear that researchers around the world do want to improve access to their research and are supportive of OA. Most researchers, however, are largely unaware of the initiatives and services that have already been established by academia and the publishing industry to enhance OA. Education in this area is clearly needed; Charlesworth Author Services provide a range of workshops, webinars, and blog articles that you can access or book in order to ensure you and your research team are up-to-date when it comes to OA.
Our observations match with those reported in another recently published author survey many academic researchers remain in the dark regarding the key differences between OA publishing and traditional publishing models, including available data access initiatives and copyright. More than 60 percent of surveyed early career researchers (ECRs), for example, were unaware of any transnational OA initiatives, even though these date back to 2002.
Perhaps most significantly, very few academic researchers are aware of the critically important Plan S, the European Union-led initiative that will clearly have a significant effect on publishing options for researchers around the world. This is particularly surprising and again highlights the need for ECR education and training: Plan S has been a headline story within the publishing industry for more than two years, and has been the focus of numerous political, funding agency, and institutional-level discussions. Contact us to find out how our on-site workshops in Open Research can help your institution.
In terms of how academic researchers publish their work, while most are aware of so-called ‘old OA’ and would make use of this model if financially viable (research work published as fully open access and free to all for download), significantly fewer (around 25 percent) have ever made use of ‘green OA’, even though this is now widely available across scholarly publishing (within this model, a research paper is published in final form while an earlier version is reposited by an academic in an approved online database or website).
We have seen that although the vast majority of academics do support the principle of OA academic research and publishing, there is obviously less consensus on the extent to which others should be allowed to re-use; although this ‘copyright’ issue is the other main pillar of the OA movement, most academic researchers remain largely unaware of its implications.
Unsurprisingly, and as noted in the researcher survey use of a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) remains least popular amongst academics as this gives others the right to build upon and distribute an original study. As you might expect, most colleagues tend to choose the use of a CC BY-NC-ND license (if given the chance by a journal), as this prevents the creation of derivatives or commercial reuse.
What are the key takeaways for academic researchers from International Open Access Week 2019?
-Academic Researchers, especially ECRs, are overwhelmingly supportive of OA publishing;
-Although academics do want to publish their work in OA outlets, they nevertheless tend to remain unaware of the options available as well as existing initiatives across the scholarly publishing industry;
-The aspect of OA publishing that causes most confusion amongst ECRs is copyright. What do Creative Commons attribution licenses mean and, again, what are the different options available to authors?
As we have noted before, it’s also the case that ECR OA publishing aspirations are not always consistent with career goals; who is going to turn down the chance to publish their work in a leading high Impact Factor journal with a great reputation in the field? Amongst working academics, OA then often becomes a secondary concern.
The Charlesworth Author Services team also provides a range of expert English language editing services and consultancy services all designed to significantly enhance your chances of being successfully published in your preferred journal.
Why not get in touch with a member of our Charlesworth Author Services team for more information, and get your paper and grant writing edited and polished by one of our PhD-level specialists working in your research field? To find out more click here.
Our academic writing and publishing training courses, online materials, and blog articles contain numerous tips and tricks to help you navigate academic writing and publishing, and maximise your potential as a researcher. More details can be found here.
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