Canadian Researchers’ Publishing Attitudes and Behaviours: A Phase 5 Report

A Canadian-centric look at scholarly science and technology publishing trends 2014

With the emergence of open access, publishers are facing a significant challenge in understanding the changing publishing environment and determining how best to serve their authors and readership. In turn, researchers have been presented with new decision criteria for evaluating research, and for selecting a journal for research dissemination.

As a not-for-profit scholarly publisher best known for our NRC Research Press journals, we are committed to meeting researchers’ needs and providing a viable, long-term Canadian science and technology publishing option. To help fulfill that mandate, we commissioned Phase 5, an independent research agency, to conduct an objective survey of Canadian researchers and draft a report of the findings.

Our aim was to give a voice to Canadian science researchers, to find out how they are consuming journal content and selecting a journal in which to publish their research in these changing times. We also wanted to share this information with our peers and stakeholders who operate within the Canadian publishing landscape. Well over 500 responses were received; we are thankful to all who participated in the survey. For each completed survey, $1 was donated to Youth Science Canada.

The survey questions were offered in both English and French. The full report is available in English and the key findings have been translated to French and can be read here.

View or download the full report.

Some key findings described in the report:

  • Researchers agree with principle, not cost, of open access (OA)
  • Almost half of the researchers reported publishing more than half of their research in open access format in past 2 years, yet availability of open access was 8 times less important than impact factor and 13 times less important than journal reputation when selecting a journal
  • For those who have published OA, institutions and tri-agency funding typically cover cost, yet many researchers indicated they did not know whether Canada’s major funding bodies support OA
  • Peer review, reach, and discoverability are considered most important journal features
  • Use of repositories differs widely across disciplines
  • Laboratory/institutional blogs or websites and social media are increasingly being used for research dissemination

We invite further conversations about the findings in this report and about open access options and opportunities within Canada and in the publishing community at large. We are eager to collaborate with partners, funders, libraries, and institutions to find and implement solutions that help meet the needs of all members of our research community. Find out more about our current initiatives to provide open access options for our authors and readers.

To provide feedback or to comment on this report or for more information, please send us an email.