ABOUT THE RESOURCE
The SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project has run a large-scale survey of the attitudes of researchers on, and the experiences with, open access publishing. In the SOAP Symposium (project-soap.eu/soap-symposium) on 13 January 2011 in Berlin, the results of the SOAP Survey were made publicly available. "Highlights from the SOAP project survey. What Scientists Think about Open Access Publishing" article is available in arXiv presenting preliminary analysis of the survey responses. To allow a maximal re-use of the information collected by this survey, the data were released under a CC0 waiver, so to allow libraries, publishers, funding agencies and academics to further analyse risks and opportunities, drivers and barriers, in the transition to open access publishing.
SURFfoundation made the first overview of the SOAP survey results, tailored to the situation in the Netherlands. Marnix van Berchum and Annemiek van der Kuil selected the questions and the selection should be considered as a first attempt to analyse the SOAP data for the Dutch situation. Further analysis could include different questions, and comparisons with other countries. SURFfoundation also invited others to make use of the SOAP data, to make their own analyses.
We followed the approach of the SURFfoundation and made the first overview of the SOAP survey results, tailored to the situation in 11 EIFL partner countries: Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Thailand and Ukraine.
We encourage you to re-use the data collected by the SOAP survey to make your own analysis for your countries and regions. And we are looking forward to your questions and comments about our preliminary overview.
Based on the results described in our overview, we can make the following preliminary conclusions about the situation in 11 EIFL partner countries:
- About 86% of researchers are convinced that open access publishing is beneficial to their research field directly improving the way scientific community work and providing the benefits outside the scientific community - public good benefits.
- About 63% of researchers published open access articles. 51% of researchers published "between one and five open access articles"; about 7% of researchers published "between six and ten open access articles" and almost 5% - "more than ten open access articles".
- The respondents listed top five factors when making choices about publishing in a journal: prestige (prestige/perceived quality of the journal), journal impact factor, speed of publication of the journal, importance for career (importance of the journal for academic promotion, tenure or assessment), and relevance of the journal for the community.
The SOAP survey, the largest to touch issues in open access publishing, has collected a large amount of answer across disciplines and around the world. While the data sample cannot be held to represent the opinions of all scholars active in all countries and in all disciplines, it does present a cross-section of attitudes on open access publishing which were previously not analysed.