OAPEN-UK is a four-year research project that is exploring an OA model for publishing HSS monographs in collaboration with publishers, research funders, researchers and institutions. It aims to provide stakeholders with a well-researched evidence base to ensure that decisions regarding a move to an OA model are based on knowledge and understanding of the UK HSS scholarly environment and the perceptions, processes and policies within it. This presentation will report the results of a survey of 700 academics undertaken in Spring 2012 with a focus on their attitudes towards and perceptions of creative commons licensing, the services their publishers provide, open access business models and the impacts of open access on the scholarly environment.
We are piloting the model used by the OAPEN project which was an EU project whereby a grant is paid to the publisher who publish a PDF of the monograph available under a creative commons licence but can also generate revenue through sales of print and ebook device friendly editions such as epub.What we have done though is set up two groups in our pilot – the open access group and the control group. Publishers were invited to submit titles for inclusion in the pilot but they had to submit pairs of titles matched on subject area, publication date, sales etc. The pairs were then selected by the project’s Steering Group and one from each pair randomly selected to go into the experimental group and one into the control group.The titles in the OA pot are made available under a CC licence from the publishers website, the OAPEN Library website and IRs. The control group titles are made available for sale under the publishers normal route such as for sale to libraries as part of packages, via aggregators.All the titles, whether OA or Control are available for purchase in print format and some are also available in epub or specific e-formats such as amz. We have 58 tiles from Palgrave Macmillan, Taylor & Francis, Berg Publishers, Liverpool University Press and University Wales Press and over the next three years we will gather and compare sales and usage data for each group to measure the effects on OA.The pilot is just one part of OAPEN UK, we are also running a large programme of research
A core part of OAPEN-UK is data gathering. We have learnt from previous projects that it is necessary to gather data over at least a three year period if you are going to have anything useful to say, especially when dealing with citations and research. The research plan is focused on three questions. 1. How policies, processes and mechanisms need to change in order to enable OA publication of monographs?Business model will include looking at prices, variation in prices by publisher, e-only OA as a viable strategy and the potential ongoing need or demand for print, the most effective way to manage OA fees, licensing regimes, IPR and reuse rights and royalties.Organisational policies will include changes that funders make to their OA policies, that libraries make to their purchasing and selection policies, that repositories make to their depositing policies and that institutions make to comply with all of the above.Technical changes will include back- and front-end system changes made by publishers, integration into existing library systems, changes to funder systems for awarding grants and discoverability2. What are the measurable effects of a move to OA monographs?On readership/ usage, sales, citation - These issues should all be covered by the hard data that we are collecting – they are about things that can be measured by counting something. Changes in attitudes and perceptions should be covered in question 3.3. How do perceptions of OA monograph publication change among participants during the project?Perceived risks and benefits might include issues such as business models, readership, academic reward, discoverability, quality, depending upon who we are talking to.
Survey based upon focus group findings and literature review – probe some of the issues more deeply, uncover researcher attitudes to issues such as open access, licensing arrangements, royalties and author priorities from the publishing process.SurveyMonkey tool used.Distributed via various networks including UK librarians, learned societies, European colleagues.Achieved over 800 responses, of which 690 were usable: good response rate.
Good spread of birth decades – allows cross-tabulation
Again, reasonably good spread. We have eliminated those who only responded to a couple of questions or are outside the sample frame i.e. undergraduate and master’s students, administrators, and the self-identified librarians. But n.b. that there are still a lot of people who fall into the ‘library and information studies’ category – it’s grouped with communications, cultural and media studies, so we couldn’t eliminate it altogether. ‘Other’ category includes retired/emeritus positions and researchers who’d classified themselves as readers or tutors. We may be able to re-integrate these into the existing categories, but as stand-alone they are not big enough to merit cross-tabulation.
Discipline – slightly more humanities than social sciences, but this shouldn’t be a problem. Region not a good spread: throughout analysis we have used all together but there may be some regional variations.Nb other OAPEN projects may repeat the survey to give us some comparable data.
The survey results are positive – it is always assumed that HSS scholars are not as aware of OA as in SMT however this shows that awareness is high with almost 40% suggesting that they are familiar with OA. Of course there may be a bias here but we tried not to promote the survey as about open access – rather as about the future of monographs.Awareness was slightly higher for humanities than social science.
Overall, awareness of OA seems to increase as time goes on, with fewer researchers saying they are ‘not aware’ of and more saying that they are ‘familiar’ with OA.
OA awareness seems very slightly higher in the humanities, with fewer researchers unaware and considerably more familiar with open access.
However when we move onto the intricacies of OA and look at the licensing element, we can see that although awareness of CC is reasonable, with over 50% saying they are aware - there is almost 40% that are not aware at all – which means that there is a lot of work to be done to increase awareness which is essential for an OA model.
When we asked about their willingness to publish with a CC licence – even for those that answered that they are aware of CC only 50% would feel confident and 40% would still need to look into it. This suggests that of the 60% that said they are aware of CC, the proportion that are familiar is much smaller.And when we look at those that were not aware of CC, confidence levels drop dramatically.
In my opinion this one of the most fascinating graphs from the survey. It shows which of the flavours of CC licences researchers would consider. Most of the researchers would prefer the most restrictive form of CC licence i.e. CC BY NC ND. It seems that they’re more concerned to protect their work than restrict income streams: CC BY ND is more popular than CC BY NC.
This breaks down the researchers into those who are aware and unaware of CC licences. So of all the researchers who are aware of CC licences, 22.7% would use CC BY, while of those researchers who are unaware of CC licences, 15.5% would use CC BY. The only licence where those who are not aware of CC are more likely to be willing to use the licence than those who are aware of CC is CC BY ND, reinforcing the impression that researchers care most about protecting the integrity of their work, rather than profit or openness per se. This came up in our focus groups – where as authors they were keen to protect their work but as readers and users they were keen to be able to interrogate the books as they required.This is good news for business models which rely on sales of versions and formats but has implications for the future of open access and the strong push for CC BY which we are seeing from the funding councils.
In thinking about business models and profit, we asked a question to understand whether researchers have a problem with people making money from OA publishing, by comparing it to their attitudes to making money out of any type of publishing.Differences don’t look very significant between open access and other types of publishing.Roughly equal groups saying that profit is acceptable for any purpose and only to cover costs. Very small minority think no profit is acceptable. Majority think it’s acceptable to make a profit if that profit goes back into supporting the discipline or making more OA content available.
We then went on to look at authors priorities and the services that their publishers provide. The services that rank the highest – most important – are all the elements that are about getting the book out and available.Those which come after the book is availableare less important – esp. information about usage/sales/citation – or at least, authors do not see publisher services in this area as important.This is interesting in terms of an OA model – where the post
Breaking down the services to look at important/very important, this is reinforced. The most important services are distribution and sales and marketing and promotion, and the print copy of the final book also seen as very important. The post-publication services are less likely to be seen as ‘very important’.
Now looking only at authors who have published a book since 2000 – 397 in the sample. You can see for the monograph authors, the ability of the publisher to reach a particular audience and their quality assurance processes are the most important. There is a refreshing honesty in that they also picked that the publisher was the only one interested in their book!
This slides ask the authors about their satisfaction with their publishers services. The responses to this support the previous slides and again show that authors are satisfied with the print book, the sales, promotion and design. Although there is some work to do around some of the pre-publication services such as advice and guidance and copyediting. Whilst publishers might find the last lot of slides very encouraging, I personally find it confusing and somewhat depressing. As they suggest that authors don’t really care at all about readership or anything past the print copy being available – they don’t seem to want to know that it has been sold!In an OA model – data on sales, usage etc is likely to become much more relevant so how do we engage the authors in caring about this and would they be willing to take on more of the services that publishers provide?
Well this is what we asked.Marketing and distribution are the ones that they would be most unwilling to take on: editing and design and layout they are happier to do. Do they understand exactly what is involved in these tasks? What is that authors believe their publishers do so well in this area when sales are in the region of 200 per monograph? In the trade market and in academia we are really starting to see researchers promoting their own articles and books and being central to the marketing and promotion activites of publishers – so I wonder if this slide will change as OA become more accpeted?
Self-publishing using Kindle Direct or similar: unwillingness increases by career stage, but uncertainty is very high among PhD candidates. All about getting that first book! Researchers outside academia are much more open to self-publishing. Comments (though not thoroughly analysed) suggest that lack of quality is an important factor – some would not self-publish as mistrust QA processes; others, because they think their colleagues would see their work as poorer quality, although they themselves do not necessarily think it would be.
Last 3 are drawn from free-text comments: is there a real difference between self- and no-funding? Hard to say. Respondents could choose multiple options. Core university funds are most important, although if you aggregate RC and other funders they are nearly as big.
Most researchers either bought the book for themselves or borrowed it from the library. Slightly different from JISC Collections Tenopir/Volentine study which found a similar proportion (39.1%) buying for themselves, but fewer (25.7%) borrowing from the library. And higher proportions getting copies from the author/publisher. Nonetheless, encouraging as it suggests there is a lot of book-buying going on!
Print is more common in humanities than in social sciences.
Social sciences have more researchers who prefer electronic content, and fewer without a preference than humanities.
We then went on to ask about scholarly communication and how the importance of the following goals. The slide shows that while all goals are ranked as important/very important by researchers, availability & dissemination and quality are clearly the most important. Very homogeneous across career stage, age and discipline, apart from organisation and preservation, where older, more senior researchers and researchers in the humanities were more likely to consider it ‘very important’.
Ranking re-emphasises previous graph: availability & dissemination and quality are the most important factors. Reputation and reward least important. Again, fairly similar across different subgroups. Availability and dissemination is top for all; reputation and reward is bottom. Quality is ranked #4 by post-docs, social scientists and those born in the 1960s, while efficiency and effectiveness has a sprinkling of #2 rankings. Organisation and preservation is ranked bottom by social scientists and professors (interesting, in view of the previous slide)
Effect on availability will be very positive; quality and reputation & reward will be neutral, and organisation and preservation will be positive – interesting to know why they think this!Efficiency and effectiveness was overall seen as positive, but mixed views on this: most career stages see it as ‘very positive’ but professors say neutral.
We have the case studies, publisher infographics etc…Quality and trust how we can work to address these issuesetc
Digital Humanities Seminar at the Open University
Caren Milloy, Head of Projects,
58 HSS titles: 2006 - 2011
OA with CC licence
Google Books (100%)
Google Books (10%)
Print version available for sale
E-book device friendly version available for sale
The research programme
1.How policies, processes and mechanisms need
to change in order to enable OA publication of
2.What are the measurable effects of a move to
3.How do perceptions of OA monograph
publication change among participants during
OAPEN-UK Research Plan
Ellen Collins, Research Information Network
Year 1 end
Year 2 end
About the respondents
Before 1959 1960s 1970s 1980s and onwards Missing
Birth decade of survey respondents
About the respondents
PhD Post-doc Assistant
Career stage of survey respondents
About the respondents
UK Rest of Europe North America Rest of world Missing
Region of residence of survey
Social sciences Humanities Missing
Discipline of survey
• Considerable potential for OAPEN-UK-style open
• Need to increase confidence and understanding of
• A push for CC BY may alienate researchers??
• Need to investigate researchers understanding of
• Encourage authors to care more about post
• Quality is paramount – need to ensure that OA
model tackles negative perceptions
Thank you & Further Info
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