Developing a Clearer Vision: Understanding Researcher Motivations and Behaviors in Open Access Publishing

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  • Open access (OA) publishing represents an appealing alternative to high collection costs and tight budgets. To facilitate a better understanding of researcher motivations, this analysis seeks to answer the following questions: Does an institutional fund supporting article processing charges make a difference in researchers' decisions to publish via OA and what motivates researchers to pay for gold OA? The analysis consists of two parts: descriptive analysis of the institutional OA fund requests and a bibliometric analysis of institutional gold OA publications. Follow-up surveys identified author motivations. Part one: The institutional OA fund provides limited reimbursement for article processing charges accrued when publishing in fully OA publications. Many requests are denied due to limited funding or type of journal. Requests from academic biomedical researchers were analyzed by role, amount requested, reason for denial, and nature of final publication. Follow-up surveys were conducted to determine researchers' funding options and publication behaviors. Part two: Through a bibliometric analysis in Web of Science, institutional OA publication patterns were determined. In addition, cross-referencing these results with institutional subscriptions identified those articles for which researchers chose to pay optional OA charges. Follow-up surveys were conducted with these authors to determine their motivations.
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