Journals' ends: scholars favour prestige over access

When deciding where to publish their research, less than one in three academics see it as very important that a journal makes its articles available for free on the internet, a survey has found

Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent of about 3,500 scholars polled by the UK Survey of Academics 2012 say it is very important that the journal they favour has a high impact factor, publishes in a field close to their research and is widely circulated among their peers.

Fewer respondents say that journal selectivity is very important and less than a third of them emphasise the journal’s accessibility to readers in developing nations.

Perhaps ironically, the survey, published on 14 May, also shows the importance of online and open access to academics.

It found that 49 per cent of respondents say they would often like to use journal articles that are not held in their library collections. Where they cannot find the materials they need, 90 per cent say they often or occasionally look online for freely available versions.

Source: UK Survey of Academics 2012 by research and consulting service Ithaka S+R, Jisc and Research Libraries UK
Note: ‘Very important’ corresponds to a mark of 8, 9 or 10 on a 1-10 scale of importance

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