Researcher Attitudes and Behaviour Towards the ‘Openness’ of Research Outputs in Agriculture and Related Fields

Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development has released Researcher Attitudes and Behaviour Towards the 'Openness' of Research Outputs in Agriculture and Related Fields.

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An online worldwide survey of researchers in agriculture and related fields was carried out in March 2011 by the CGIAR, FAO and GFAR on behalf of the CIARD (Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development) initiative. The aim of the survey was to gain greater understanding of researcher behaviours and attitudes in relation to communicating research outputs and making such outputs open and accessible. There were almost 1500 responses to the survey, with 50% of respondents identifying that they worked in Latin America and 33% in Africa. The survey analysis shows that, although researchers are driven in their work by many different and interacting motivations, institutional/organizational factors are very important and have much influence over individuals' behaviour. Often, making a research output freely and openly available can be in the hands of the individual, and some will act in this way. However, for many others there are perceived barriers to this, such as the lack of required resources and of institutional policies to drive these activities. Further, current behaviours in choosing routes to communicate research results are still strongly biased toward the traditional routes of publishing in journals and books and appearing at conferences, though the availability and increasing use of digital formats is starting to broaden the spread of communication pathways used. The paper ends with reference to the relevance and importance to the CIARD initiative of the results of the survey.

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