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Publications 2016, 4(3), 22; doi:10.3390/publications4030022

What Motivates Authors of Scholarly Articles? The Importance of Journal Attributes and Potential Audience on Publication Choice

School of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
School of Informatics and Commuting, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
University Library University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alan Singleton
Received: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 18 July 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [253 KB, uploaded 18 July 2016]


In this article we examine what motivations influence academic authors in selecting a journal in which to publish. A survey was sent to approximately 15,000 faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at four large North American research universities with a response rate of 14.4% (n = 2021). Respondents were asked to rate how eight different journal attributes and five different audiences influence their choice of publication output. Within the sample, the most highly rated attributes are quality and reputation of journal and fit with the scope of the journal; open access is the least important attribute. Researchers at other research-intensive institutions are considered the most important audience, while the general public is the least important. There are significant differences across subject disciplines and position types. Our findings have implications for understanding the adoption of open access publishing models. View Full-Text
Keywords: scholarly communication; publishing; authorship; open access; journals scholarly communication; publishing; authorship; open access; journals
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tenopir, C.; Dalton, E.; Fish, A.; Christian, L.; Jones, M.; Smith, M. What Motivates Authors of Scholarly Articles? The Importance of Journal Attributes and Potential Audience on Publication Choice. Publications 2016, 4, 22.

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