Bulgarian authors’ open access awareness and preferences

Date21 February 2020
Publication Date21 February 2020
AuthorMichael Boock,Tania Yordanova Todorova,Tereza Stoyanova Trencheva,Radostina Todorova
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,HR in libraries,Library strategy,Library promotion
Bulgarian authorsopen access
awareness and preferences
Michael Boock
Department of Libraries and Press, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Tania Yordanova Todorova and Tereza Stoyanova Trencheva
Department of Library Management,
State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, Sofia,
Bulgaria, and
Radostina Todorova
New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe the findings of a survey of Bulgarian faculty about the
extent to which their research is openly available, awareness of the European Union Competitiveness Council
open access goal, support for the goal and preferences for achieving it.
Design/methodology/approach The authors conducted a survey of 584 faculty at six universities in
Bulgaria using the Qualtrics online survey software. There were 222 effectively surveyed respondents.
Findings Bulgarian researchers are aware of arguments in favor of open access and believe that it benefits
researchers in their discipline. Only a little more than a third of Bulgarian faculty are familiar with the E.U. goal
of open access to all publicly-funded research by 2020. Once the goal is explained, they support it. Authors may
not understand the intricacies of green and gold open access,but they are willing to meet the E.U. goal by either
publishingin open access journals (the gold method) or depositing articlesin open access repositories(the green
Research limitations/implications The results are useful to countries and funding agencies interested in
achieving open access to state funded research.
Originality/value To date, there has been no research that seeks to determine the degree to which
researchers are aware of the E.U. Competitiveness Councils goal or that seeks to determine faculty preferences
for achieving that goal. This paper explores methods available for achieving open access to the results of
publicly funded research in Bulgaria.
Keywords European Union, Bulgaria
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
At a meeting of the European Union Competitiveness Council (E.U.) on May 27, 2016, member
states agreed to the ambitious goal of making all scientific research papers published by
faculty at public universities freely available by 2020 (Enserink, 2016). To facilitate
achievement of the goal, Plan S, co-ordinated by Science Europe, proposed implementation
details and funding requirements. These announcements and plans represent a strong push
from European research funding agencies for immediate open access to the results of publicly
funded research in Europe.
Open access allows the fruits of research to be read and used by the people who paid for it,
not only those who are fortunate enough to be associated with an institution that is able to
afford to pay for journal subscriptions. There are two primary strategies in place to make
open access to research available, commonly referred to as green and gold. Green open access
refers to articles available via open access repositories. Gold open access refers to articles
available via open access journals. In addition to these two models, many subscription
journals accept a fee from the author to make the article open access, commonly referred to as
the hybrid model.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Received 23 August 2019
Revised 26 November 2019
Accepted 14 January 2020
Library Management
Vol. 41 No. 2/3, 2020
pp. 91-102
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/LM-08-2019-0059

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