2017 librarian OA survey

Open access is the future? Views from the library community

A small survey of global library staff reveals that respondents view open access as the future of academic and scientific publishing, and many are not satisfied with the current speed of the transition.

The survey collected opinions from approximately 200 respondents who work in research institutions or libraries, and whose responsibilities relate to scholarly communications, institutional policy, funding administration, research data or publication management.

APC library survey-Image 1 © Springer NatureThe majority of respondents thought that there would come a time when all future scholarly articles will be published open access, with two thirds believing this could happen over the next 10 years. 

More than 70% of respondents agreed that all future research output (including articles, scholarly books and research data) should be accessible via open access, with 91% agreeing that open access is the future of academic and scientific publishing. This level of agreement is noticeably higher than that found among researchers (a 2017 survey with researchers conducted by Springer Nature found 67% agreed with this same statement). 

The survey found a desire for faster progress toward a fully open access future. The least satisfaction was on the speed of movement of scholarly books becoming open access in the future.

Respondents’ preference for the type of open access (e.g. gold or green) was spread across the group surveyed.

APC library survey respondent comments © Springer NatureIn their comments, respondents highlighted open science being on the agenda of many organisations and funders as a key driver of open access. Research data sharing was identified as an area that needed more work and support in terms of policy and education, with less than a third of respondents satisfied with the speed at which data was becoming open.

To learn more about the survey results, view the infographic (below) or access the data in figshare.

We surveyed

  • 199

    People working in: scholarly communications, institutional policy, funding administration, research data and publication management

  • Aug-Sep 2017

    Timeframe of survey responses

"The findings echo conversations we have been having with others in the research community, where researchers see the benefits of open data but are struggling to share their data in ways that make the data easy to find and use by others.

"As an academic publisher, we see the rise of open research as one of the major forces reshaping the way that researchers collaborate to advance discovery. The options to speed up the dissemination of research are increasing year on year, with more and more funders, institutions and countries championing open access."

Carrie Calder, VP for business development and policy, open research at Springer Nature

Carrie Calder

Carrie Calder