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Researcher Survey on Scholarly Communication

A survey was conducted to find out researchers’ publishing habits, the factors they consider when deciding which journal to publish their work, and their views on the author pay-to-publish model.

The Survey

Taylor & Francis initiated this researcher survey in July 2019. Nearly 106,400 authors who had published articles in T&F journals between 2017 and 2019 were contacted. Finally, 2,755 authors responded.

The survey asked researchers 16 questions related to publishing habits, licensing, and the future of scholarly communication. Besides, there are 4 more questions about the respondents’ background.

Publishing Habits

Majority of the respondents agreed that there is value in anyone being able to access their research. Yet publishing the final version of their research work in subscription-based journals is still their top choice. On the other hand, the survey results also reveal that the take-up of open access options, such as OA journals and repositories, is growing.

Researchers strongly believe that they should be able to choose where to submit their work instead of being told by their funder or organization. In terms of which journal to submit to, authors prioritize reputation, readership, subject focus and Impact Factor as the most important aspects to consider.

When asked whether they would submit their work to fully open access journals with publishing charges. Only 20% respondents answered “Yes.” For the remaining 80%, half of them answered “No,” half of them “Maybe.” Funding and personal preference are the major reasons behind their answers. In addition, authors who favor this OA publishing model also think that their research will have a greater accessibility and impact.


With the emergence of OA publishing, more license options are available for authors to use. The traditional Copyright Assignment license remains to be one of the preferred choices, but respondents’ most favored license is CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs). The most generous Creative Commons license CC BY, which only requires attribution, is the least preferred option.

The Future

In this part, participants were asked what they think the impact would be when all research was published OA with a fee, and what the effect would be if they could no longer access the content in the subscription-based journals in their field.

Regarding sustainable research communication and activities, freedom to choose the publication venues, funding for OA publishing, and support for early career researchers are considered as very important.

Readers interested in learning more about the survey findings may download the 24-page full report, which contains all the questions and results.

Additional Questions from the Blogger
It may be time for researchers and institutions to think about when more and more research content is available in open access from well-known publishers but yours is not, what would be the preference of most readers? The OA content or the content that requires subscription?

— By Poon Sau Ping, Research Support Services, Library

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published October 27, 2020
last modified March 11, 2022

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