They asked “almost exclusively scientists, and the majority of the scientists were physical scientists.” Their motivation for the study was that “the vast majority of the research literature [about digital repositories] concerns the mechanics and problems of running them.” They try to “show what impact more than a decade of digital repositories has had on scholarly attitudes and information-seeking behaviour.” They asked the scientists by sending 85,000 emails during the Christmas days 2011. They got only 1,685 usable responses.
“Nearly two-thirds … [of the respondents] had deposited in … a [digital] repository”. While the younger of the researchers prefer deposition in Institutional Repositories, the older of the researchers prefer usage of Subject Repositories. It is interesting to know that “around three-quarters of the depositors also make arrangements to provide access via their personal or institutional website”.
Nearly all scientists said, that they “use digital repositories to find information”, which may “reflect the strength of support for arXiv.” The questionnaire shows what changes in repositories could convince more scientists to submit their publication, as there are e.g. clear statements for long term availability of the service, easier to understand copyright regulations, a closer technical incorporation into their own website. They cannot be convinced by easier to use web sites, but they “thought the quality of the content, speed of response” to be very good.
Read more at: Learned Publishing, Vol. 25, No. 3, July 2012: (doi.:10.1087/20120306)