survey of vision researchers: 2016 results on open access

Salvaged from an early Feb 2016 Google+ posting:
A vision researcher discussion happened on a semi-private email group (CVnet), but you can see some discussion on the visionlist archive (by moving around here: http://visionscience.com/pipermail/visionlist/2016/009312.html
), and below you can see the results of the survey.

Dear vision researchers,

A while ago I circulated a survey about open access and publishing, one that was oriented largely towards the issues raised in the initial CVnet emails. The survey was only open for a few weeks, but 380 of you responded.

Here are the raw data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tfpSVeLflOG4moGvhHlT2SivnW5Rqw-upGrwLZkqEcA/edit?usp=sharing and here is an automatic Google-generated summary: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vhKwMkTCpm3DZGq2SGmd8_cNXXBv344Lo8XWtyDQXho/viewanalytics

I don’t want to be seen as biasing interpretation of the survey, but it seems safe to say that the large number of responses, and the data, show that many of us have opinions about these issues and want something done. The first question was “Which financial/organizational aspect of journals should be the community’s top priority?” and of the six options provided, the most popular answer was

“open access”, with 132 responses
“Full academic or professional society control” was 2nd with 78 responses
“Low cost” was 3rd, with 61 responses

To “What should the vision community do NOW?”, 1st was
“Make a change (choosing this will lead to some possible options)” with 353 votes
“Nothing, carry on as normal” was the other option and received 24 votes.

Those 353 pro-change respondents were shown multiple options for change, and could choose more than one. There was a strong vote for several, with the leading ones being
“Encourage the VR Editorial Board to jump ship” with 164 votes and
“Encourage the JoV Editorial Board to jump ship” with 160 votes.
Note there was also significant support for the MDPI Vision journal (137 votes) and
“Redirect our submissions and support to i-Perception” (106 votes).

To “What should the academics on the editorial boards of overpriced journals (be they subscription or open access) do?”,
“Work with the publisher to reform the journal itself” had 214 votes, followed by
“Wait until a majority or supermajority of editors agree to resign, and then resign en masse, with a plan agreed among the editors to join or start something else” with 90 votes

There was one other question, about desired features of journals; please go to the data to check out the options and responses https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vhKwMkTCpm3DZGq2SGmd8_cNXXBv344Lo8XWtyDQXho/viewanalytics

Given the large number of responses and the overwhelming vote for “make a change” (93%), I hope that the editors of our journals will respond to this survey data and the related CVnet discussion, such as how authors without funds can publish in OA. Very likely, the editorial boards of journals have been discussing these issues behind the scenes for a few weeks, and it is understandable that reaching consensus on how a journal can respond will take time. As a result, editors’ responses are likely to occur at different times, resulting in a wandering discussion that will exhaust many of us and might focus criticism or praise overmuch on an individual journal.

So that our discussion is less piecemeal, the CVnet moderator, Hoover Chan, has agreed that if editors send their responses directly to him, he will collate the responses and send them out as a batch on 21 February (3 weeks from now).

Most of the discussion so far has centred on JoV and Vis Res, but there are other vision journals, such as Perception/iPerception (which it was nice to hear from just now), AP&P; Frontiers Perception Science; MDPI Vision; Multisensory Research and JEP:HPP; it would be good if we could have responses from all of them.

Perhaps the most salient question raised both by the survey responses and the CVnet discussion is exactly why each journal is as expensive/cheap as it is, particularly its open access option, and whether each journal will provide transparent accounting of costs. Given that the data indicate that “Full academic or professional society control” is a high priority, editors should also comment on the ability of themselves and the rest of us to affect their journal’s policies, features and cost.

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