Survey reveals researcher reliance on OA

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A new survey of UK academics, carried out by Ithaka S+R, Jisc and RLUK, has revealed an increasing reliance on the internet and open resources for their research and publishing activities. For example, 40 per cent of researchers surveyed said that when beginning a project they start by searching the internet for relevant materials, with only 2 per cent starting with a visit to the physical library.

The study also found access limitations to be a concern. While 86 per cent of respondents rely on their college or university library collections and subscriptions, 49 per cent said that they would often like to use journal articles that are not in those collections.

Use of open resources was a related theme. The study found that, if researchers can’t find the resources or information they need through their university library, 90 per cent of respondents often or occasionally look online for a freely available version.

The survey received 3,498 responses (a response rate of 7.9 per cent) and covered a range of areas, including how academics discover and stay abreast of research, their teaching of undergraduates, how they choose research topics and publication channels, and their views on learned societies and university libraries, and their collections.