Welcome to the Publishing Research Consortium

We are a group of associations and publishers that supports research into global issues that impact scholarly communication, in order to promote evidence-based discussion. Our objective is to support work that is scientific and pro-scholarship. Overall, we aim to promote an understanding of the role of scholarly publishing and its impact on research and teaching.

Latest research

The Role of Hybrid Open Access in Extending Author Choice
Research Consulting & Pleiade Management and Consultancy
23 February 2018

Press Release  Executive Summary   Full Report

This report presents the findings of a qualitative study consisting of interviews with 33 authors of Gold Open Access articles. The aim of this research was to better understand the factors that influence and motivate authors when choosing to publish OA, with an emphasis on the Gold Hybrid route. It looks at the driving and inhibiting factors being Gold OA, the role OA Plays in the journal selection process and the author’s perceptions of the various OA choices.

Key findings include i) external funding is a key enabler of OA publishing, the use of discretionary funds to pay for APCs is an inhibiting factor ii) OA plays a minor role in the journal selection process partly because OA options are increasing taken for granted by authors, iii) offsetting deals stimulate Gold OA Publishing, iv) Gold Hybrid OA journals offer more flexibility, where funding is limited, than pure Gold Journals.

ECRharbingersyear2graphic2017Early Career Researchers: the harbingers of change? Year Two 2017
8  November 2017

Press Release  Executive Summary   Full report

This reports looks at the data from Year two of a three-year long qualitative study. It provides: a) data about changes in early career researchers’ (ECRs) scholarly communication attitudes and behaviour between 2016 and 2017;b) an exploratory analysis of the data by age/status, gender and subject/discipline; c) new information from three additional questions on mega-journals, new sharing mechanisms and reproducibility introduced for the first time in 2017.

The main findings of this year’s report are that in just 12 months, changes have occurred with a few being quite significant and many more minor. That change is happening everywhere, in every area and country. That ECR’s thinking and behaviour is beginning to be influenced by the strong winds of change that are buffeting scholarly communications.

This year 109 ECRs from seven countries (China, France, Malaysia, Poland, Spain, UK and USA) were interviewed. These countries account for 50% of all papers published globally in 2016.

Ciber ECR Year 1 final report 071116 1Early Career Researchers: the harbingers of change? Year One (2016) 
2 November 2016

Press Release   Executive Summary   Full report

Early Career Researchers, researchers under 35 operating without tenure, are the future of research, and their attitudes and behaviour matter. They are by far the largest group of researchers and they represent the future of research, yet there have been no recent investigations into their attidues towards scholarly communication and the extent to which their behaviours may prove transformational.

This report on data from Year one of a planned three-year qualitative study investigates a wide range of issues using personal interviews with 116 ECRs from seven coutries: UK, US, China, France, Spain, Poland, and Malaysia.

ECRs see publishing in high impact journals as important to advance their careers, but many may adopt different publishing strategies in future if their environment allows. Publishing in open access journals does not feature as a prominent criterion in most ECRs' publishing strategies, despite mandates.

PRC TextMiningOfJournalLiteratureReport final 100516 1Text Mining of Journal Literature 2016
Maralte BV
24 May 2016

Press Release  Key findings   Full report

This survey asked researchers about their knowledge, views and experiences with text mining of journal literature. Desk research on text mining keywords in published journal articles also reveals how text mining is growing in the journal literature. Key findings include: (a) A growing number of papers refer to text mining techniques, but the visible impact is still quite small; (b) Awareness of text mining techniques to hold great promised; (c) But current users envisage the technique to hold great promise; (d) And the majority of respondents are open to learning more; and text mining is not yet 'plug and play' and is still seen as at an experimental phase.

PRC peer review survey report Final 2016 05 19 1PRC Peer Review Survey 2015
Mark Ware Consulting
24 May 2016

Press Release   Key findings   Full report

This report by Mark Ware of survey data from late 2015 analyses opinions and current attitudes to peer review among research authors and reviewers, while also enabling analysis of longitudinal trends by comparison with earlier surveys by PRC (2007), Sense About Science (2009), and Taylor & Francis (2015).

Large majorities of researchers agree that peer review helps scholarly communication and that without peer review there would be no control in scholarly communication. Neverthless, in recent years peer review has come under scrutiny, with its effectiveness, validity, fairness, capacity to delay publication, sustainability, and cost effectiveness all subject to challenge and debate. At the same time, technology has enabled services that arguably reduce the role of peer review, such as pre-print repositories, post-publication 'altmetrics', and research sharing platforms.

Against this background of debate, challenge and innovation, and with the benchmark of previous surveys to call on, PRC thought it important to understand the extent to which attitudes and opinions towards peer review are changing.  

While attitdues towards peer review have remainded remarkably stable, the desire for improvements appears to be increasing. This analysis looks to draw out the nuances and shifts in opinion, while exploring how author and reviewer experiences may impact the direction of change. Why do the respondents continue to engage in peer review, and are there any demographic factors that predict the dimensions of satisfaction?