April 9, 2010

Ithaka Faculty Survey 2009: Attitudes and practices in scholarly communications

Ithaka, the organization behind the electronic journal preservation service Portico, released the faculty survey it has conducted every 3 years since 2000. Responses were received from 3,025 faculty members from "colleges and universities in the United States that grant bachelor's degrees or higher." In the chapter on scholarly communications, they report:

  • With perennial interest from the library community in developing institutional repositories and substantial attention to successful examples of community-driven repositories like arXiv, our study revealed a significant amount of interest in depositing articles, but relatively limited faculty deposit behaviors. Less than 30% of faculty members have deposited any scholarly output or research material into a repository, but nearly 50% have not deposited but hope to do so in the future. Nearly 80%, therefore, report that they are likely to deposit materials in the future. Whether this is cause for hope that faculty are moving toward depositing more of their work or just an indication of good intentions is hard to tell.
  • [R]oughly one-third of faculty members strongly agree that tenure and promotion practices "unnecessarily constrain" their publishing choices, which suggests that a non-trivial share of faculty members would take different approaches to the dissemination of their work if they could. This belief is stronger among social scientists and humanists than among scientists. Despite the concerns of faculty with the unnecessary constraints of tenure and promotion practices around publishing and dissemination choices, career incentives based on traditional practices are likely to continue unless there is an overall cultural shift and structural change driven from the highest levels of academic administrators.
Posted by stemp003 at April 9, 2010 6:39 PM
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