Evangelists and Pragmatists Finding Common Ground: ISSSS members’ views on open access publishing

Abstract

The issues surrounding open access (OA) publishing in academia are complex, sometimes misunderstood, and frequently debated among faculty and other stakeholders. In this study we explored the opinions of members of the Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity (ISSSS) about this topic, with a view toward the future of the society’s peer reviewed journal, Operant Subjectivity (OS). We replicated a study conducted by Waller, Revelle and Shrimplin (2013) [Keep the Change: Clusters of Faculty Opinion on Open Access; available open access from http://goo.gl/Tdlvrf]. Those authors identified three opinions about OA publishing among faculty at Miami University, Ohio: “Evangelists,” “Pragmatists,” and “Traditionalists.” Evangelists are in favor of open access, because it promotes the availability of knowledge and the (re)use of research and data worldwide. Pragmatists generally support open access, but are not willing to pay any cost or to pass up more prestigious publishing opportunities to achieve it. Traditionalists are comfortable with the current publishing model and reluctant to publish in open access journals, believing OA journals as having less status and thereby receiving less weight from promotion and tenure committees. Prior to the annual ISSSS Conference in 2013, members of ISSSS were invited via Listserv, Twitter, and LinkedIn to participate in a replication of this study. The study was conducted online using FlashQ [http://www.qmethodology.net/openaccess/index.html]. Participants ranked 48 statements according to agreement, explained the placement of the statements in the outer columns of the grid, and responded to a number of questions about the perceived effect on the attractiveness of OS if it were published online and open access in the future. Analysis of 27 Q sorts revealed two opinions, similar to the “Evangelists” and the “Pragmatists” from the study by Waller and colleagues. In a duo-presentation we discuss the original study by Waller and colleagues and the findings from the current study

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