survey noodling

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Glenn Hampson

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Mar 5, 2022, 3:02:27 PMMar 5
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In the conversations we’ve had on this list over the last seven years, we’ve sometimes heard from those who are deeply embedded in the research community that most researchers aren’t interested in rocking the communication boat too much. The current system, imperfect as it is, meets researcher needs just fine. We’ve never had any numbers to back up this impression---it’s always been anecdotal. So, while It’s way too early to release any survey results, it’s fascinating to see some of the patterns that are emerging. Of the roughly 60 responses I’ve looked at so far, about half of researchers support the status quo (which includes support for current policies and reforms), and the other half are “rebels” or potential rebels. In the table below, you can see how different clusters of responses to question 1 point to different general types of researcher attitudes.

 

There’s a lot more to parse here---“status quo” might mean the University of California’s new open system, or it might mean a subscription-dominated system. We’ll need to investigate these question later. But for now, here’s an early take on what the opinion breakdown looks like. Survey responses have been grouped into “status quo” or “rebel” categories---clearly a highly subjective coding, but the point is to try to reveal broad patterns of belief.

 

 

Q1: Which of the following statements about research communication best match your interest and experience? (Check all that apply)

 

Single responses

Count

Status quo

Rebels

1. I don't particularly care about this issue

4

0*

0*

2. I don't know enough about this issue to have an informed opinion

1

0*

0*

3. I am comfortable with the way things are in research communication---at least in my field at my institution

14

14

0

4. I think there are better ways of doing research communication, but I'm fine with whatever reforms governments, funders and/or universities make

5

5

0

5. I think there are better ways of doing research communication, but I'm not particularly thrilled with some of the reforms that have been happening

6

0

6

6. I think there are better ways of doing research communication, and I'd like to hear about and explore new ideas and policies

9

0

9

Subtotal

39

19

15

 

Multiple responses

 

Count

 

Status quo

 

Rebels

Blissfully ignorant (2+3)

1

1

0

Blissfully ignorant and blowing in the wind (2+3+4)

3

3

0

Resigned to whatever happens (3+4)

2

2

0

Resigned and frustrated (3+5)

5

0

5

Resigned and frustrated but ready to change (3+4+5+6)

2

0

2

Que sera sera (2+3+4+5+6)

1

0

1

Closet rebel (2+5)

1

0

1

Closet rebel, type 2 (1+5)

1

0

1

Almost a rebel (4+5)

1

0

1

Full on rebel (5+6)

1

0

1

 

Subtotal

 

18

 

6

 

12

 

Totals

 

57

 

25

 

27

 

 

*By themselves, these opinions don’t reveal anything about support for the status quo, so they aren’t counted as being either for or against change.

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