Over one thousand DFG-funded scientists from all disciplines took part in the survey. Of these, young researchers in the natural, life and engineering sciences expressed themselves more strongly in favour of promoting open access publications than their older colleagues. In the humanities and social sciences, the result was exactly the reverse. Above all, secondary publications or "self-archiving" on open access platforms of scientific papers that have already appeared in conventional journals met with widespread approval. In the opinion of the respondents, subject-specific servers were the best suited to this purpose. Some of the scientists expressed reservations about the status of open access publications in specialist circles and worried about the long-term availability of electronic publications. However, these doubts decreased in line with the experience researchers already had of online publications.
Open access is designed to facilitate scientific exchange within the scientific community. Since freely accessible publications are quoted more frequently, open access increases the visibility of research results and can thereby boost the reputation of research scientists. When it signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities on 22 October 2003, the DFG had already made a decisive commitment to supporting and promoting free access to scientific publications on the internet.
The results of the study, entitled "Publishing Strategies in Transformation?", are available at www.dfg.de/lis.
Contacts at the DFG are:
Dr. Johannes Fournier, Scientific Library Services and Information Systems,
Tel.: +49 (0)228/885-2418, e-mail: Johannes.Fournier@dfg.de
Dr. Alexis-Michel Mugabushaka, Information Management, Tel.: +49 (0)228/885-2849,