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In their very own words: authors and scholarly journal publishing

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This paper presents the results of a major investigation by questionnaire of author attitudes towards scholarly publishing, which was funded by the Publisher's Association. Altogether, the views of nearly 4,000 authors were obtained and this paper concerns just those thousand or so authors who accepted the invitation to write freely about their own personal feelings and experiences. Using QSR N6 textual analysis software, their comments were processed and themes extracted. While the rest of the questionnaire, which was formed of closed-question, tick-box type questions, clearly must have had some impact on their thinking, the authors had considerable latitude in regard to what they could say. The paper provides a unique opportunity to hear their views directly. The pressing topics turned out to be (in rough order of concern): the peer-review system, copyright, journal prices, alternative business models for journal publishing, big deals, Elsevier, electronic publishing and digital journals.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.

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