Researcher and Academic Library Roles and User Beliefs in the Pandemic: Designing the Open-Access and Library Usage Scale (OALU) | DeZouche | Journal of Intellectual Freedom & Privacy

Abstract:  We investigated whether individuals believe they have a right to information during a crisis, and whether attitudes about crisis-related information sharing differ by age and one’s role in providing or consuming information. We measured attitudes about aspects of data sharing related to COVID-19: researchers’ obligation to share data, publishers’ obligation to share information, and libraries’ responsibility to provide them. We predicted younger individuals, especially students as consumers of information, would report stronger preference for open access to pandemic-related information. A principal components analysis was performed, and two predicted factors emerged: information-sharing obligations and libraries’ responsibility to provide resources. Age was not significantly correlated with attitudes about libraries or information-sharing. Planned analyses comparing students, faculty, and community members unaffiliated with the university revealed no differences in their attitudes regarding library resources or information-sharing. A lack of age and university affiliation-related differences can be explained by universally strong attitudes in favor of both information-sharing and library resources, with a greater desire for information-sharing. Knowing that individuals demonstrate a strong preference for open access to information and that these attitudes do not differ between those who are providing (faculty), and consuming information (students/community) can contribute to funding for these resources. This research is innovative and timely, as attitudes about access when information is urgently and globally needed, as during a pandemic, is likely to differ from those observed under different circumstances.


Survey of US Higher Education Faculty 2023, Need for & Use of Information About Copyright

“This report looks closely at the extent and kind of information about copyright practices needed by faculty at US colleges and universities.  The report helps its readers to answer questions such as:  how much do faculty need information about copyright? How much have they used and benefited from information about copyright provided by academic libraries?  What policies in this area do faculty want libraries to follow?  How satisfied are they with current policies? What are the demographic characteristics of faculty who have consulted attorneys about copyright issues? Which faculty go to librarians and which rely on peers for copyright advice?  Which copyright issues most concern faculty? Are they more inclined to query about copyright issues related to open access? Or to issues related to making material available in their classes? The study presents specific data for faculty interest in a broad range of copyright issues, including but not limited to open access, copyright for data, issues with commercial article sharing platforms, negotiation of author contracts, use of audio-visual materials, copyright issues in citation and much more.

This study is based on data from a survey of 806 higher education faculty randomly chosen from nearly 500 colleges and universities in the USA. Data is broken out by personal variables such as work title, gender, personal income level, academic discipline, age and other variables, as well as institutional indicators such as college or university type or Carnegie class, enrollment size, public or private status and others. Readers can compare the copyright needs and practices of faculty in medicine to those in the social sciences, for example, or to business faculty. Also, copyright information consumption of associate professors can be compared to that  for full professors, or copyright consultation practices of men to that for women, etc. etc.

Just a few of this 118-page report’s many findings are that:

Broken out by work title, associate professors had the strongest need for information about copyright.
26.4% of full professors sampled had ever consulted a lawyer over a copyright issue.
Broken out by type of college, dissatisfaction with the services to advise or inform about copyright practices was highest at specialized colleges, such as seminaries, theater schools and other similar institutions.
34.12% of survey participants felt that they had a need for copyright advice about making their research available in repositories or other open access venues.”

Empirical validation of IR sustainability model: leveraging on a PLS-SEM approach | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose This study aims to validate a proposed conceptual model for the implementation of sustainable institutional repositories (IRs) in Nigeria.


A quantitative approach shaped the survey research design. This study used structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis to evaluate the proposed model. The population of the study comprises 117 librarians, information technology staff and researchers knowledgeable about IR implementation status across 14 public universities in Nigeria. The data was collected using an online survey. The Smart-PLS v3.3 software was used to facilitate the analysis.


The findings indicate that the nine identified factors of the IR sustainability model have a significant influence on the implementation of sustainable IRs. This signified that the model has adequately depicted the relationship between the implementation of sustainable IRs and the identified factors.


This study provides an integrated synthesis of factors that influence the implementation of sustainable IRs. This study also presents the first-ever empirically validated model for sustainable IRs. The findings of this study addressed the challenge of implementing sustainable IRs and institutionalized the idea of IRs’ sustainability assessment.

OpenAIRE, LIBER, SPARC Europe and COAR Launch Joint Strategy to Strengthen the European Repository Network – COAR

“Open science is ushering in a new paradigm for research; one in which all  researchers have unprecedented access to the full corpus of research for analysis, text and data mining, and other novel research methods. A prerequisite for achieving this vision is a strong and well-functioning network of repositories that provides human and machine access to the wide range of valuable research outputs. Repositories also support much needed bibliodiversity in the system as they collect a diverse range of content types, domains and languages, and are fundamental for achieving Europe’s desired changes to research evaluation, whereby “assessment of research, researchers and research organisations recognises the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research”.

Currently, Europe has one of the most well-developed networks globally with hundreds of repositories hosted by universities, research centres, government departments, and not-for-profit organisations. However, there are significant variations across the European repository landscape with differing levels of support and funding; and, while some countries have strong national coordination, others do not. In a practical sense, this means that some repositories have access to the resources they need to provide a well-functioning service, while others find it a challenge to maintain up-to-date software platforms and suitable staffing levels….

To that end, today OpenAIRE, LIBER, SPARC Europe, and COAR are launching a joint strategy aimed at strengthening the European repository network. Through this strategy we are committed to working together – and with other relevant organisations – to develop and execute an action plan that will reinforce and enhance repositories in Europe. As a first step, we will undertake a survey that will enable us to have a better understanding of the current repository landscape and identify priority areas of action. The survey will be available in February 2023.”

Survey points to key two challenges with preprint feedback: recognition and trust – ASAPbio

“In preparation for the Recognizing Preprint Peer Review workshop, ASAPbio integrated input from two working groups to prepare a survey for researchers, funders, and journal editors and publishing organization employees. The survey sought to gather views and experience with preprint feedback and review from a broad range of stakeholders, to help inform the conversations at the workshop.

The survey garnered 230 responses, and we share here summaries of the two largest categories of respondents: 161 responses from researchers and 51 responses from journal editors and publishing organization employees. You can view the results on Google Sheets and on Zenodo….

Most respondents had received no feedback on preprints, which, for the purpose of this survey, we defined as any public commentary on preprints. Of those who had received some feedback, only a small fraction indicated that the feedback came in the form of detailed reviews. 

With few researchers having received feedback, perhaps it’s unsurprising that a significant number of them expressed concerns with the prospect: the most significant concerns related to hesitancy about the quality or fairness of the feedback and about the commenter’s motivations for providing it.

However, more than half of respondents said they’d be likely or very likely to request feedback on their preprints if journals incorporated preprint reviews into editorial decisions or treated them like reviews transferred from another journal. Other potential incentives, such as funders recognizing preprint peer reviews in various ways, were not far behind….”

Mapping the Swiss Landscape of Diamond Open Access Journals. The PLATO Study on Scholar-Led Publishing. Report | Zenodo


From March to September 2022, the «Platinum Open Access Funding» Project (PLATO), in collaboration with the Institute for Applied Data Science & Finance at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, undertook a bibliometric and empirical study of the Platinum/Diamond open access journal landscape in Switzerland. The PLATO project is an initiative of six Swiss universities – the University of Zurich, the University of Bern, the University of Geneva, the University of Neuchâtel, the Zurich University of the Arts and ETH Zurich –, dedicated to furthering community-led scholarly publishing in Switzerland. Diamond open access stands for a concept of equitable open access to and participation in scholarly publishing that is free for both authors and readers.

The main objective of the PLATO Study was to gain insight into the Platinum/Diamond open access publishing ecosystem in Switzerland through a mixed-method approach. The study consisted of three parts: First, bibliometric data were combined with inputs from Swiss open access publishers, institutional open access experts as well as information on journal websites to identify Swiss Diamond Open Access journals and their main characteristics. Second, seven semi-structured interviews with editors of select Diamond Open Access journals were conducted to generate a thorough understanding of their workflows, infrastructures, business models, challenges and opportunities. Third, based on the inputs from the interviews, three surveys were designed and sent to authors/reviewers, editors, and representatives of hosting and funding institutions of Swiss Diamond OA journals.”

Scholastica announces its second report on the ‘State of Journal Production and Access’ among independent academic publishers | STM Publishing News

“Scholastica, a leading software solutions provider for academic journals, announced today the release of “The State of Journal Production and Access 2022” report. The report encompasses the results of Scholastica’s second global survey of individuals working with scholarly society, university, and research institution publishers that independently manage and produce academic journals about how they currently approach production and content access and what they plan to prioritize in the future.

The 2022 survey, which yielded 82 responses, spanned core production and access areas, including article production processes and formats, metadata tagging standards and priorities, and Open Access (OA) journal development approaches and funding models.

Key survey findings include:

When asked to rate their publishers’ primary production goals, most respondents chose “journal/article search engine optimization”
95% of respondents said at least one of their publisher’s journals offered OA options
80% of respondents said their organization utilizes fully-OA publishing models
When asked to rate their publishers’ primary funding/revenue priorities, most respondents chose “identifying viable funding model(s) for publishing one or more fully-OA journals”…”

Jumping over the paywall: Strategies and motivations for scholarly piracy and other alternatives – Francisco Segado-Boj, Juan Martín-Quevedo, Juan-José Prieto-Gutiérrez, 2022

Abstract:  Despite the advance of the Open Access (OA) movement, most scholarly production can only be accessed through a paywall. We conduct an international survey among researchers (N??=??3304) to measure the willingness and motivations to use (or not use) scholarly piracy sites, and other alternatives to overcome a paywall such as paying with their own money, institutional loans, just reading the abstract, asking the corresponding author for a copy of the document, asking a colleague to get the document for them, or searching for an OA version of the paper. We also explore differences in terms of age, professional position, country income level, discipline, and commitment to OA. The results show that researchers most frequently look for OA versions of the documents. However, more than 50% of the participants have used a scholarly piracy site at least once. This is less common in high-income countries, and among older and better-established scholars. Regarding disciplines, such services were less used in Life & Health Sciences and Social Sciences. Those who have never used a pirate library highlighted ethical and legal objections or pointed out that they were not aware of the existence of such libraries.


Pirate Libraries Remain Popular Among Academics, Research Finds * TorrentFreak

“Academic publishers have tried various options to shut down Sci-Hub, without the desired result. Thus far, it appears that the site’s reach is only growing. A new study among thousands of researchers finds that the majority use pirate libraries to bypass paywalls. Lack of access is cited as the prime reason but, worryingly, many researchers also find shadow libraries easier to use than legal alternatives….”


FAIR service investigation survey

“The FAIR principles and “making data FAIR” have become common buzzwords in the biomedical field in recent years. Many organizations are striving to create fully FAIR data or to FAIRify existing data. In that process they often find themselves hindered by a range of challenges. To address those challenges, the FAIRplus consortium and other organizations have developed FAIR products and services in recent years. Now the question is: what is the need for new FAIR services or for improvement of the existing ones, in order to better serve life science organizations in their quest to accelerate biomedical research? To answer this, The Hyve run a survey to collect experience with the FAIR principles, main challenges and the products or services that help (or might have helped) to overcome those challenges….”

Open access and predatory publishing: a survey of the publishing practices of academic pharmacists and nurses in the United States | Journal of the Medical Library Association

Abstract:  Objective: Academics are under great pressure to publish their research, the rewards for which are well known (tenure, promotion, grant funding, professional prestige). As open access publishing gains acceptance as a publishing option, researchers may choose a “predatory publisher.” The purpose of this study is to investigate the motivations and rationale of pharmacy and nursing academics in the United States to publish in open access journals that may be considered “predatory.”

Methods: A 26-item questionnaire was programmed in Qualtrics and distributed electronically to approximately 4,500 academic pharmacists and nurses, 347 of whom completed questionnaires (~8%). Pairwise correlations were performed followed by a logistic regression to evaluate statistical associations between participant characteristics and whether participants had ever paid an article processing fee (APF).

Results: Participants who had published more articles, were more familiar with predatory publishing, and who were more concerned about research metrics and tenure were more likely to have published in open access journals. Moderate to high institutional research intensity has an impact on the likelihood of publishing open access. The majority of participants who acknowledged they had published in a predatory journal took no action after realizing the journal was predatory and reported no negative impact on their career for having done so.

Conclusion The results of this study provide data and insight into publication decisions made by pharmacy and nursing academics. Gaining a better understanding of who publishes in predatory journals and why can help address the problems associated with predatory publishing at the root.

Befragung: Rahmenbedingungen und Kriterien bei der Veröffentlichung einer wissenschaftlichen Publikation – OPTIMETA

From Google’s English:  “Help us to find out more about the framework and criteria for publishing a scientific publication!

It is our concern to strengthen the Open Access publication landscape by creating the opportunity, especially for smaller Open Access journals, to increase the visibility of their articles and thus their authors through easily implementable technical innovations. We are trying to implement this in the BMBF project OPTIMETA.

In this context, we are interested in the perspective of scientists. We want to find out what attitudes, habits and expectations researchers have in relation to scientific publishing. We are currently conducting a survey and ask for your support. We would be very pleased if you, as a scientist, could take part in the survey and/or forward the survey link to potentially interested researchers.

Participation in the survey is possible until January 20th and will take about 15 to 20 minutes.”

Survey of US Higher Education Faculty 2023: Use of Digital Repositories

“This study looks at how 725 faculty from nearly 500 US colleges and universities are using their own and other digital repositories.  The study gives detailed data on the incidence and extent of use of the scholars own institution’s digital repository, and use of repositories from other institutions.  Data is broken out by 12 personal and institutional variables including size, type or Carnegie class, tuition level and public/private status of the participant’s affiliated institution, as well as personal characteristics such as academic field, tenure status, academic title, gender, income and other variables. The study helps its readers to answer questions such as: who is depositing their journal articles in repositories and how often?  Who is using the repositories of other institutions in their research?  Which scholars are having publication fees paid for them on their behalf by libraries, academic departments and other sponsors?  How satisfied are scholars with their college or university’s open access and digital repository policies?  How important is open access to them and how has it impacted their careers?

Just a few of this 76-page report’s many findings are:

Faculty aged 40-49 were more likely than their older or younger peers to put their research into a repository.
The tendency to place publications in repositories was closely and positively related to a researchers’ personal income. 
The more prestigious a faculty member’s title, the greater the likelihood that a publication fee had ever been paid on the faculty member’s behalf.”

Close to open—Factors that hinder and promote open science in ecology research and education | PLOS ONE

Abstract:  The Open Science (OS) movement is rapidly gaining traction among policy-makers, research funders, scientific journals and individual scientists. Despite these tendencies, the pace of implementing OS throughout the scientific process and across the scientific community remains slow. Thus, a better understanding of the conditions that affect OS engagement, and in particular, of how practitioners learn, use, conduct and share research openly can guide those seeking to implement OS more broadly. We surveyed participants at an OS workshop hosted by the Living Norway Ecological Data Network in 2020 to learn how they perceived OS and its importance in their research, supervision and teaching. Further, we wanted to know what OS practices they had encountered in their education and what they saw as hindering or helping their engagement with OS. The survey contained scaled-response and open-ended questions, allowing for a mixed-methods approach. We obtained survey responses from 60 out of 128 workshop participants (47%). Responses indicated that usage and sharing of open data and code, as well as open access publication, were the most frequent OS practices. Only a minority of respondents reported having encountered OS in their formal education. A majority also viewed OS as less important in their teaching than in their research and supervisory roles. The respondents’ suggestions for what would facilitate greater OS engagement in the future included knowledge, guidelines, and resources, but also social and structural support. These are aspects that could be strengthened by promoting explicit implementation of OS practices in higher education and by nurturing a more inclusive and equitable OS culture. We argue that incorporating OS in teaching and learning of science can yield substantial benefits to the research community, student learning, and ultimately, to the wider societal objectives of science and higher education.