At the same time, the university libraries, in close cooperation with Elsevier, conducted a survey among these very same researchers to find out what may the reason of their not making use of this opportunity.
192 authors responded.
- 131 (68%), a vast majority, answered: ‘I didn’t know about the deal’;
- 30 (16%) considered the application process on the Elsevier website unclear;
- 40 respondents (21%) stated ‘it was unclear to me whether I had to pay the APC or not’;
- 19 (also) mentioned other reasons, such as unclearness about affiliation or performing the research for another university;
- 1 researcher mentioned ‘I’m not interested / opposed to Open Access publishing’ because of the high costs;
- none of the respondents pointed to the absence of funder/university requirements.
Many respondents added extra comments. Besides an additional remark related to the reason not having made use of the open access option, many explicitly stated the importance of open access and sometimes even expressed their gratitude for this reparation action.
The first and most important conclusion of the survey can be that researchers who didn’t make use of the agreement are not at all negative about open access. Many give explicit support for open access in their comments. However, their unawareness about the agreement can be pinpointed clearly as the main factor why uptake is staying behind expectations.
Therefore, I’d like to use the opportunity once more to direct everyone about to submit a paper to the list with journal titles that allows them to publish open access at no costs (or with very high discounts). You can find it at: https://www.library.universiteitleiden.nl/research-and-publishing/open-access/publish-open-access-agreements-with-publishers
The list is regularly updated: please feel free to share this list with all your colleagues; the more people make use of these deals, the better!