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Researchers' green open access practice: a cross‐disciplinary analysis

Valérie Spezi (LISU, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Jenny Fry (Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Claire Creaser (LISU, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Steve Probets (Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Sonya White (LISU, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 10 May 2013




This paper aims to report on the findings of the second phase of the Behavioural strand of the EC‐funded PEER project ( The paper seeks to explore authors' and readers' behaviours in relation to authors' peer‐reviewed accepted manuscripts in open access repositories.


The research was undertaken using a mixed‐method approach, involving the distribution of a survey by the 12 participating publishers to their authors in selected journal titles and a participatory workshop with European researchers from selected disciplinary areas.


Researchers' attitudes towards versions of published journal articles made open access via open access repositories may vary depending on whether researchers report behaviours from the perspective of an author or a reader. The research found that disciplinary cultures, norms and traditions shape authors' self‐archiving behaviour and readers' use of those versions of journal articles held in repositories.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations of the research is that it was impossible for the research team to gauge the representativeness of the survey compared to the actual disciplinary distribution of the population of EU researchers, as such population information is not available in an aggregated and consistent format.


The PEER Observatory is an unprecedented large‐scale collaboration between publishers, researchers and repositories to investigate the effects of self‐archiving at European level. The paper provides a disciplinary reading of the findings and augments the understanding of how disciplinary culture and norms shape authors' and readers' behaviours in relation to self‐archiving.



Spezi, V., Fry, J., Creaser, C., Probets, S. and White, S. (2013), "Researchers' green open access practice: a cross‐disciplinary analysis", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 69 No. 3, pp. 334-359.



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