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Free Content Learned society members and open access

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The individual members of 35 UK learned societies were surveyed on their attitudes to open access (OA); 1,368 responses were received. Most respondents said they knew what OA was, and supported the idea of OA journals. However, although 60% said that they read OA journals and 25% that they published in them, in both cases around one-third of the journals named were not OA. While many were in favour of increased access through OA journals, concerns were expressed about the cost to authors, possible reduction in quality, and negative impact on existing journals, publishers, and societies. By contrast, less than half knew what self-archiving was; 36% thought it was a good idea and 50% were unsure. Just under half said they used repositories of self-archived articles, but 13% of references were not in fact to self-archiving repositories. 29% said they self-archived their own articles, but 10% of references were not to publicly accessible sites of any kind. The access and convenience of self-archiving repositories were seen as positive, but there were concerns about quality control, workload for authors and institutions, chaotic proliferation of versions, and potential damage to existing journals, publishers, and societies.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-07-01

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.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
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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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