What do researchers think about paying to publish open access – Findings from a global survey | Impact of Social Sciences
peter.suber's bookmarks 2022-06-22
"According to the results of our international survey on attitudes towards the pay-to-publish model, this would be a fairly common conversation amongst academic researchers on the subject of article processing charges (APCs), the pay to publish mode of academic publishing. Authors have warned about the potentially detrimental consequences of this new business model. And, as we have explored, most scholars worldwide share such concern. At least, in relation to the global, general consequences of this system, rather than the particular ones. Globally speaking, participants stated that they at least partially agree with the idea that paying to publish ‘damages or slows scientific advancement’. Yet, when we asked them if they felt that this model ‘has slowed or damaged my scientific career’, their opinion was less emphatic, and most of them did not feel particularly affected by the APC model: they neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. Thus, it would seem most scholars seem to think that other people are suffering the worst consequences of this publication system, while they are among the lucky ones.... The perception of the pay to publish model is also conditioned by the income level of the country where the researchers work. Those from nations from the lower ranks in the World Bank Income Yearly Report state hold lower opinions towards pay to publish. Once again, we interpret that lacking access to external funding leads to expressing a worse opinion of the pay-to-publish model, as 60% of researchers from low-income countries have to pay these publication fees with their own money as they lack external funding. Younger scholars also tended to be more critical. Early career researchers tend to have less access to financial aid, they therefore distrust this system, as they are less inclined to buy into and accept this model. Beyond the economic frame, we also found that the reluctance between younger scholars is deeper among those aged 26-35. We hypothesize that this demographic has acquired some experience in the scientific environment, enough that they are aware of the structural consequences of the pay-to publish model, while most of them are not tenured nor have regular access to external funding, thereby sharpening their initial criticism...."
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