Re: Who Needs Open Access, and Why?

From: Martin Frank <>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 03:43:18 +0100

While it is appropriate to survey scientists to get their opinions,
it is also important to survey them in a way that clearly defines what
the potential impact of open access might be for them. While they all want
free and unfettered access to the scientific literature, something many of
them have through their institutional subscriptions, they must recognize
that obtaining free access might result in significant cost to their
grants and institutions, and in the case of not-for-profit publishers,
significant changes in the scientific societies that support the production
 of the journals, changes that might result in the elimination of the
support that societies provide for the next generation of scientists.

If the survey truly provides information that allows for reasoned
decisions by the respondents, then a survey is worthwhile, otherwise it
will not help any of us in our efforts to provide access as freely as
possible within the framework of our existing business and publications

Martin Frank, Ph.D.
Executive Director
American Physiological Society
9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991
Tel: 301-634-7118 Fax: 301-634-7242
APS Home Page:
"...integrating the life sciences from molecule20
to organism"

>>> 10/23/04 12:22 PM >>>
At a meeting last week it was stated that there is no evidence that
researchers WANT open access. I'm not sure anyone has actually asked them
this, formally, so I am about to carry out an exercise to gather data on
the topic. I would like to hear from librarians, open archive administrators
and researchers themselves on this issue.

In her recent posting to this forum, Paula Callan produced an example of
the reactions of a researcher in her institution, including some specific
statistics on the usage of his work. This is the sort of information I
need - attributable evidence (with empirical data included if it exists) for or
against the notion that researchers WANT open access. Does anyone else
have similar evidence one way or the other, please?

Please - no humble opinions, no unsubstantiated impressions, no speculative
thoughts. I need data that will stand up to scrutiny. I am happy to
receive responses offline, though this community would probably benefit from
hearing them.

Final word: I have plenty of statistics about researchers not being AWARE
of open access. That is not the same as not WANTING it and I am not interested

in uninformed researchers' opinions. What I am after are data that
indicate whether, once aware of the issues, researchers do or do not want open
access - as authors AND readers.

Alma P Swan
Key Perspectives Ltd
Truro, UK

Added by Moderator:

Prior Amsci Topic Thread:
    "Who Needs Open Access, and Why?"

    Internet Librarian International 2004. London. 11 October, 2004.

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Received on Sun Oct 24 2004 - 03:43:18 BST

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