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J R Soc Med. 2006 Mar;99(3):141-8.

Open access publishing and author-pays business models: a survey of authors' knowledge and perceptions.

Author information

  • 1BMJ Publishing Group, BMJ Editorial Office, London WC1H 9JR, UK.



We aimed to assess journal authors' current knowledge and perceptions of open access and author-pays publishing.


An electronic survey.


Authors of research papers submitted to BMJ, Archives of Disease in Childhood, and Journal of Medical Genetics in 2004.


Familiarity with and perceptions of open access and author-pays publishing.


468/1113 (42%) responded. Prior to definitions being provided, 47% (222/468) and 38% (176/468) reported they were familiar with the terms "open access" and "author-pays" publishing, respectively. Some who did not at first recognize the terms, did claim to recognize them when they were defined. Only 10% (49/468) had submitted to an author-pays journal. Compared with non-open access subscription-based journals, 35% agreed that open access author-pays journals have a greater capacity to publish more content making it easier to get published, 27% thought they had lower impact factors, 31% thought they had faster and more timely publications, and 46% agreed that people will think anyone can pay to get published. 55% (256/468) thought they would not continue to submit to their respective journal if it became open access and charged, largely because of the reputation of the journals. Half (54%, 255/468) said open access has "no impact" or was "low priority" in their submission decisions. Two-thirds (66%, 308/468) said they would prefer to submit to a non-open access subscription-based journal than an open access author-pays journal. Over half thought they would have to make a contribution or pay the full cost of an author charge (56%, 262/468).


The survey yielded useful information about respondents' knowledge and perceptions of these publishing models. Authors have limited familiarity with the concept of open-access publishing and surrounding issues. Currently, open access policies have little impact on authors' decision of where to submit papers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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