A survey of University of Kashmir scholars was undertaken in 2008 to ascertain their experience, attitudes and perceptions about the open access (OA) movement. The purpose of this paper is to report the survey's findings.
The study was based on data collected from scholars belonging to the Science and Social Science faculties at the University of Kashmir. A pre‐defined, closed‐ended, 14‐item questionnaire was distributed among 84 research scholars. The selection of scholars was based on stratified disproportionate sampling in which the sample size for the departments of both faculties was confined to four scholars, as only four research scholars were enrolled in the Department of Psychology.
The majority of the scholars consulted both open access as well as library‐subscribed resources. Of OA resource users, four‐fifths consulted journals and two‐fifths consulted books. Colleagues (57.14 per cent) were the main referral sources of OA awareness with the least intervention from library professionals. Scholars (95.23 per cent) retrieved OA content via search engines. About 21 per cent remarked above 60 per cent relevancy of OA content related to their research need. The majority of scholars considered OA useful to publish their work quickly, boost their productivity as an author and increase citations of their work. One third reported awareness of more than two OA journals. About 30 per cent reported OA journals as a source of publishing their work, whereas just 10 per cent deposited their works in OA repositories. Overall, Science scholars had the edge over their Social Science counterparts in acceptance of open access.
The research highlights the viewpoints of only 84 scholars out of 326 registered scholars in the fields of Sciences and Social Sciences at the University of Kashmir.
Research of this kind has not been carried out before at the University of Kashmir. The paper discusses open access awareness among the researchers of the University of Kashmir with recommendations for information professionals and teaching faculty to acquaint researchers with the benefits of open access.
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