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PEER Behavioural Research: Final Report Available

News release

6 October 2011

PEER Behavioural Research: Final Report on authors and users 
vis-a-vis journals and repositories now available at: 

The PEER Behavioural Research Team from Loughborough University 
(Department of Information Science & LISU) has completed the 
behavioural research commissioned by PEER. The research which 
consisted of two phases adopted a mixed methods approach 
consisting of surveys, focus groups and an interdisciplinary 
workshop and was carried out between April 2009 and August 2011.

The specific aim of the behavioural research was to understand 
the extent to which authors and users are aware of Open Access 
(OA), the different ways of achieving it, and the (de)motivating 
factors that influence its uptake.

The report integrates findings from the first phase of the 
research with the more in depth.

focus of phase two of the research, which drilled down into some 
of the key findings of the phase 1 results.

Key conclusions:

*Over the period of Phases 1 and 2 of the behavioural research 
the increase in the number of researchers who reported placing a 
version of their journal article(s) into an Open Access 
Repository was negligible.

*Researchers who associated Open Access with 'self-archiving' 
were in the minority. Open Access is more likely to be associated 
with 'self-archiving' (Green Road) by researchers in the Physical 
sciences & mathematics and the Social sciences, humanities & 
arts, than those in the Life sciences and Medical sciences who 
are more likely to associate Open Access with Open Access 
Journals (Gold Road).

*There is anecdotal evidence that some researchers consider 
making journal articles accessible via Open Access to be beyond 
their remit.

*Authors tend to be favourable to Open Access and receptive to 
the benefits of self-archiving in terms of greater readership and 
wider dissemination of their research, with the caveat that 
self-archiving does not compromise the pivotal role of the 
published journal article.

*Readers have concerns about the authority of article content and 
the extent to which it can be cited when the version they have 
accessed is not the final published version. These concerns are 
more prevalent where the purpose of reading is to produce a 
published journal article, and are perceived as less of an issue 
for other types of reading purpose.

*Academic researchers have a conservative set of attitudes, 
perceptions and behaviours towards the scholarly communication 
system and do not desire fundamental changes in the way research 
is currently disseminated and published.

*Open Access Repositories are perceived by researchers as 
complementary to, rather than replacing, current forums for 
disseminating and publishing research.

The full report is available from: 

PEER Behavioural Research Team

Dr Jenny Fry, Professor Charles Oppenheim, Dr Stephen Probets 
Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, 
Claire Creaser, Helen Greenwood, Valerie Spezi, Sonya White LISU, 
Loughborough University.

For enquiries relating to Behavioural Research or other research 
areas within PEER, please contact Chris Armbruster: 

For other enquiries relating to PEER, please e-mail: 

About PEER:

PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research), supported 
by the EC eContentplus programme, is investigating the effects of 
the large-scale, systematic depositing of authors' final 
peer-reviewed manuscripts (so called Green Open Access or 
stage-two research output) on reader access, author visibility, 
and journal viability, as well as on the broader ecology of 
European research. The project is a collaboration between 
publishers, repositories and researchers and will last from 
September 2008 to May 2012.

For further information on PEER, visit the website: 

PEER Partners: International Association of Scientific, Technical 
and Medical Publishers (STM), the European Science Foundation, 
Goettingen State and University Library, the Max Planck Society, 
INRIA, SURF Foundation and University of Bielefeld.

STM publishers participating in PEER: BMJ Publishing Group; 
Cambridge University Press; EDP Sciences; Elsevier; IOP 
Publishing; Nature Publishing Group; Oxford University Press; 
Portland Press; Sage Publications; Springer; Taylor & Francis 
Group; Wiley-Blackwell.

PEER repositories: eSciDoc.PubMan.PEER, Max Planck Digital 
Library (MPDL), Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der 
Wissenschaften e. V. (MPG); HAL, CNRS & Institut National de 
Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA); Goettingen 
State and University Library (UGOE); SSOAR - Social Sciences Open 
Access repository (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social 
Sciences); TARA - Trinity College Dublin (TCD); University 
Library of Debrecen (ULD) Long term preservation archive: 
e-depot, Koninklijke Bibliotheek.