Increases in open access (OA) publishing could have a detrimental effect on funding streams to UK universities, according to a survey commissioned by the Biosciences Federation. Unless author-side payments are adequately funded, any increase in OA publishing could threaten the funding streams of UK learned societies and UK universities.
The Biosciences Federation now calls for urgent action by UK universities and Research Councils to make OA publishing funds more easily and readily accessible to researchers.
Entitled ‘Learned Societies and Open Access’, the survey asked member learned societies and individual society members what effect OA might have on the publishing community and the funding structure of the learned societies themselves. Seventeen societies provided substantial useable data for the survey.
Only 15% of respondents had tried to access OA publication funds; of these, more than half experienced difficulty in doing so. While many researchers are in favour of increased access to research data, concerns were expressed over the cost to authors, possible reductions in quality and the negative impact on existing publishers and societies.
The survey also found that, where OA publication is compulsory, researchers still prefer to use the final version published in peer-reviewed journals rather than institutional or subject repositories.