16 June 2014
Computer Science, Information & Library Science, Philosophy of Science, Computer Engineering, Green open access, Open access, Inhibitors, Human factors, Exploratory study, Self-archiving, Copyright transfer agreement, Awareness, Practice, Survey
Access to the work of others is something that is too often taken for granted, yet problematic and difficult to be obtained unless someone pays for it. Green and gold open access are claimed to be a solution to this problem. While open access is gaining momentum in some fields, there is a limited and seasoned knowledge about self-archiving in computer science. In particular, there is an inadequate understanding of author-based self-archiving awareness, practice, and inhibitors. This article reports an exploratory study of the awareness of self-archiving, the practice of self-archiving, and the inhibitors of self-archiving among authors in an Italian computer science faculty. Forty-nine individuals among interns, PhD students, researchers, and professors were recruited in a questionnaire (response rate of 72.8%). The quantitative and qualitative responses suggested that there is still work needed in terms of advocating green open access to computer science authors who seldom self-archive and when they do, they often infringe the copyright transfer agreements (CTAs) of the publishers. In addition, tools from the open-source community are needed to facilitate author-based self-archiving, which should comprise of an automatic check of the CTAs. The study identified nine factors inhibiting the act of self-archiving among computer scientists. As a first step, this study proposes several propositions regarding author-based self-archiving in computer science that can be further investigated. Recommendations to foster self-archiving in computer science, based on the results, are provided.