The article presents a research project at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training in Germany and reflects the perspective of researchers in the field of vocational education and training (VET). It investigates the technical and structural, policy-related, and normative and inherent academic research conditions exerting an influence on the acceptance, dissemination, and use of Open Access (OA). The research project focuses on the German-speaking countries. VET research represents an interlinking of various related academic research areas, rather than comprising a stand-alone discipline. Therefore, the assumption must be that the results of the project will be at least partially transferable to other fields within the social sciences and the humanities and will thus contribute towards findings with regard to OA across the whole of the latter domain. The background to the project is underpinned by science communication and by media theory. The empirical basis of the study has its foundations in a Sequential Mixed Method Design with a qualitative strand, followed by a quantitative strand. The qualitative exploration via focus groups will lead to hypotheses for the online survey. The online survey will be aimed at academic researchers from various disciplines who share common ground in that they address topics that are related to VET research. The realisation of the research project is planned for 2018–2020.
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