Researchers’ reasons for publishing their work

From Swan, A. (2006) The culture of Open Access: researchers’ views and responses. In: Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, Chandos.

When we want to change something, we have to look at the incentives for those involved.

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5 Responses to Researchers’ reasons for publishing their work

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  2. I question whether the above figure necessarily translates into support for Open Access. What if “peers” means a very small community of researchers, whom I know are all subscribed to, or have access to, certain journals? Certainly Open Access communicates to the broadest audience, but the figure doesn’t say “broadest,” it says “peers.”

  3. Martin Fenner says:

    Joel, I completely agree with what you say. My point was that “communicating your research to the public” (which Open Access makes easier) or something similar is not an important reason for researchers to publish.

  4. Mike Fowler says:

    Hi Martin,

    I scanned through the linked article, and it didn’t seem to include the questionnaire details – a very quick scan, but this makes it very tough to imply anything about the meaning of the above figure.

    If the questionnaire included the option “communicating to the public”, then we should indeed question the value of Open Access publishing in this respect, but if “communicating to peers” is the closest option available, then perhaps this is what respondents would have marked if they wanted to say “to the public”. It’s a bit too vague to say at the moment.

    If I’ve missed this in my scan of the chapter, or if you know where it is in the Swan & Brown (2005) article they cite in relation to this, please do let me know!

  5. Martin Fenner says:

    Mike, I was mainly interested in columns #2-5. We should admit that advancement of their career is an important reason for researchers to publish. Nothing wrong with that, but we should keep that in mind when we talk about changing incentives for researchers.