Re: Forthcoming OA Developments in France

From: Alma Swan <a.swan_at_TALK21.COM>
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 07:32:51 +0100

> > [Rick] It would also be interesting to see the results of the
> author surveys
> > to which you refer. I assume that they're publicly
> available online
> > somewhere?
> [Stevan] Yes; the most recent replication was Heather Morrison's
> posting of the Canadian replication (see AmSci again). There
> is also Chawki Hajjem's Quebec survey (in French, alas):
> I think Jennifer de Beer did a replication too. And Swan &
> Brown themselves did an independent replication. There may
> well be others.
> (Alma may know, and if so will no doubt post.)

The most recent national-scale survey to be reported was carried out in
Japan by the Committee on International Scholarly Communication (SPARC
Japan), the Japan Association of University Libraries and the National
Institute of Informatics

If the 'don't knows' are removed from the population, the percentage of
Japanese researchers who would obey a mandate to self-archive is 91% (72%
willingly, 19% reluctantly).

This survey also confirmed - again, in yet another region - the other
significant issue with respect to open access, which is the high level of
non-awareness about it within the research community. The same situation was
reported in China last year by Jingli Chu at the Beijing meeting:
and wherever the question is asked the result is much the same - the level
of awareness, let alone proper understanding, is still low.

Our own surveys carried out a year apart, and those carried out across a
similar time spread by the CIBER group, show that awareness is increasing.
My guess (and it is only a guess, though informed by conversations I hear
within the research community) is that the level of awareness about open
access in North America and Europe has now risen quite substantially,
probably due in large part to the recent deliberations of the NIH and RCUK,
and the CURES and FRPAA developments. The impact factor successes of some OA
journals from PLoS and BioMed Central (and some other OA publishers) have
also become something of a discussion point amongst authors. There is still,
however, a major job to do in explaining and discussing what sort of
effective communication channels are now open to researchers and what these
might mean for the future of their field, and in putting right some common

Mandates are extremely useful in two ways: they bring in the result, yes,
and they are also very effective at rapidly raising the level to which
researchers are informed about the issues.

Alma Swan
Key Perspectives Ltd
Truro, UK
Received on Tue Jun 27 2006 - 10:40:41 BST

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