Survey 2015-2016

The survey

Our global survey is part of an ongoing effort to chart the changing landscape of scholarly communication. The changes in this landscape are driven by technology, policies, and culture, but in the end only take place because researchers and other stakeholders decide to adapt their workflows or recommend changes to others. Thus, the developing landscape is for an important part expressed through changing tool usage. New tools are constantly being developed by researchers themselves, small start-ups or big players, as reflected in our list of scholarly communication tools that now offers over 600 of these tools. However, tool usage varies by field, country and position. How exactly is what we intend to find out with this research.

The survey  ran from May 10, 2015 to February 10, 2016. The separate questionnaire listing the tools mentioned in the survey is still available.



Over 9 months, the survey received more than 20,000 responses. This is in large part thanks to the efforts of our custom-URL partners:  >100 organisations (primarily  universities and publishers) who distributed the survey among their researchers. The translation of the survey in 6 languages (with special thanks to our reviewers and testers!) has facilitated response from China, Japan, Russia, Latin-America and French- and Arab-speaking countries.

Data sharing

The (anonymized) survey data are available in various ways:

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(GitHub repo)
Full dataset with raw (anonymized) and cleaned data files, variable list and original survey questions Description of the dataset as a data publication. Interactive dashboard for filtering and comparisons

(if dashboard is slow or unresponsive  – please use Excel pivot template (9 MB))

Build your R, Python or Julia scripts and start analyzing, share your scripts for others to build on List of possible analysis ideas and results of two hackdays 

What you can do with the data

The data will make it possible to compare research workflows across the entire research cycle for different disciplines, research roles, countries and career lengths. The results also include the respondents’ stance on Open Access and Open Science, and on what they perceive to be the most important developments in scholarly communication.

Outreach and follow-up research

We presented the survey data and the most important insights at Force2016, April 17-19 in Portland, USA, and at various conferences and webinars since.  We are continuing our own analyses on the data, and are planning a qualitative follow-up study with people who have indicated they are willing to be contacted again. In that we might take a deeper look at motivations for choosing more open, efficient and/or transparant ways of working. We welcome suggestions on topics to focus on in this follow up study.

Distribution partners

Over 100 institutions have partnered with us to make this survey a success and get institutionally tagged data. Our partners include:

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Brighton and Sussex NHS Library and Knowledge Service Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel Centre Hospitalier Regional Orléans Dowling College, New York East Carolina University, Greenville, NC Erasmus MC Rotterdam
university-logi-eahil university-logi-european-research-institute uni-logi-George_Mason
European Association of Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) European University Institute, Florence George Mason University, Fairfax VA Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Lake Winnipeg Basin Information Network, University of Manitoba Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Springer Nature logi_Antonius university-logi-tu_dortmund university-logo-leipzig
Pacific University Hillsboro, Portland Springer Nature St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein Technische Universität Dortmund Universität Leipzig University Medical Center Groningen
university-logi-edinburgh university-logi-muenster university-logi-utrecht-sol
University of Cambridge University of Colorado, Boulder University of Edinburgh University of Munster, Medical Faculty Univerzita Pardubice Utrecht University
VU_logo university-logi_pasteur_square_100 university-logi-Simon_Bolivar_square_100 university_logi_TUD_square_100 university_logi_BIU_square_100 Wake Forest
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam  Institut Pasteur, Paris Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas
Technische Universität Dresden BIU Santé, Paris Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem
SciELO universitY-logi-salford INRA_logo PLoS_small TUHH-logo-small f1000-small
University of Salford, Manchester
INRA, Paris
PLOS Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg F1000
rowmanlittlefield-square-small EPFL_100x100 MCSlotervaart UPMC_logo_small College_of_the_Bahamas  LUMC
Rowman & Littlefield
EPFL,  Lausanne
 MC Slotervaart, Amsterdam Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris College of the Bahamas, Nassau Leiden University Medical Center
UnitedAcademics Universidad_de_Sevilla AUTh UTK MIT Wiley_Wordmark_black-small
 United Academics  Universidad de Sevilla Aristotle University of Thessaloniki University of Tennessee, Knoxville Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Wiley
Emerald Hannover-Hochschule-square-small HAN Vlerick-Business-School-small University of Nigeria Nsukka University of Pretoria
Emerald Hochschule Hannover Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen   Vlerick Business School University of Nigeria Nsukka University of Pretoria
CSIR CSUCI Northampton-small Comunicar-small !SAGE_50yrs logo_master2 NKI_square
CSIR South Africa, Pretoria California State University Channel Islands  The University of Northampton  Comunicar – Media Education Research Journal Sage Publishing Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam
UvA_small HvA _small UPB-small LaCoruna-small University_of_Oslo_logo-small
Universiteit van Amsterdam Hogeschool van Amsterdam  Universidad Pontifica Bolivariana  Universidade da Coruña University of Oslo

NB Distributions partners could choose whether or not to have their institution listed here.