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Attitudes towards open access: A meta-synthesis of the empirical literature


The aim of the present study is to report the results of a meta-synthesis of the empirical literature on scholars' attitudes towards Open Access (OA) journals. A total of 15 articles published in scholarly journals since 2002 (when the Budapest Open Access Initiative was released) were included in the study and five major themes emerged from their examination and analysis. The literature indicates that attitudes and perceptions of OA are varied across countries and across disciplines. Free access, which is perceived to facilitate wider dissemination of research outputs, is a strong incentive for publishing in OA. However, quality and reputation are the most important factors in selecting a journal and take priority over the availability of free access. Although OA is perceived to have many advantages over the traditional publication model, it raises some concerns too, especially in regard to the author-pays model, the quality of peer-review and the impact of the journals.