Is there any research/study/survey/... that looked at how the reasons why physicians and other clinical researchers do not systematically publish in open access venues?

Swan, Alma. Policy guidelines for the development and promotion of open access. UNESCO, 2012. shows that level of open access is low in medical sciences:

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  • I don't have any definite reference, but based on my own experience, I would name two main reasons: the first, publishing in "traditional" journals is usually free of charge, while publishing in open-access journals can cost the author hundreds to thousands of US dollars (example). The second, the presumption or perception that open-access is less prestigious and "doesn't count" for one's academic progress. I would also add a third one, which may simply be ignorance of the concept. – Don_S Aug 22 '17 at 4:53

I'm not sure your assertion is accurate at the present time, at least in regards to the US. The chart you provide stops at 2006, and NIH Public Access policy didn't kick in until 2008. Also, it is uncertain how "Open Access" is defined. NIH rules specify that an article (funded by NIH) must be available to the public after 12 months of exclusive (non-public) publication. So it may be the case that medical articles may be freely available to the public but still not meet certain criteria for "Open Access".


For several reasons: (if I really understand what you are asking)

  1. The layman wouldn't understand medical terminology.
  2. Worse, they would certainly misunderstand studies results. That might be dangerous.
  3. One simple study in medicine means nothing. Nowadays it's all "evidence based medicine" which means "what one worker found in one study has to be confirmed by several others in order to be accepted by the medical community as a universal truth.
  4. A layman reading the protocol of a research paper wouldn't understand it. Nor would they understand the statistics involved in validating the results.
  5. There are other reasons but these must suffice to explain why medical literature isn't published in mainstream magazines.
  • Open access doesn't equate with laymen, and my what an elitist view. – Carey Gregory Sep 19 '17 at 15:41

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