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International survey shows researchers have excellent access to scholarly information


London, UK – Most researchers around the world feel they have good or excellent access to the scientific and medical journals they need, according to a study recently held of 4,000 scientific and medical research authors from 97 countries. The research was conducted by the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER) at City University in London.

The survey asked authors how they perceived their level of access today compared with five years ago. Over 75% feel that journal access is ‘better’ and over 50% ‘much better’ than it was five years ago. At a time of experimentation with access and business models, the new survey will gauge the degree of satisfaction among research authors with their information provision.

“The first study not only showed that most researchers feel they have good or excellent access to scientific publications, but it also showed that quality and integrity of scientific and medical publications is of the utmost importance to them,” said Graham Taylor of the UK Publishers’ Association, who funded the independent study.

According to the report: “They (authors) want the imprimatur of quality and integrity that a peer-reviewed, high-impact title can offer, together with reasonable levels of publisher service.”

Authors articulated some concerns about a system in which authors would be asked to pay for the publication of their research. According to the CIBER survey, many more authors thought the quality would decline under an author pays model than thought it would improve.

“This is likely due to the fact that the majority of authors tended to believe that fewer papers would be rejected under open access (author pays).” added Graham Taylor.