Science and technology

OECD International survey of scientific authors


This survey targets authors who have published in scientific peer-reviewed journals. The survey aims to collect information on their activities from the underpinning research to its ultimate outcomes, covering the review, publication and dissemination processes. The initial phase of the study aims to inform policy-relevant questions on the subject of open access to publications and research outcomes and the potential implications of open science. 

The specific research questions being considered are the following:

  • What was the role of peer-reviewed publications as a source of knowledge in the production of the scientific knowledge underpinning the work of the scientist?
  • What access restrictions (in terms of documents and other materials) were experienced by the scientist?
  • How was the research funded and were there any restrictions on the use and dissemination of research outputs?
  • Are scientific publications publicly available and on what basis (subscription, gold or green open access?)
  • What was the peer review process like and what do respondents perceive as its cost and added value?
  • How highly scientists rate open dissemination, and how sensitive is this to a number of factors?
  • What do respondents perceive to be the use and impact of their research output?

These questions will be investigated according to scientific domains, country, and other personal and work characteristics. The study is designed to provide elements to evaluate the implications for incentives, funding and behaviour of different access systems that policy makers have been recently considering.

The survey is currently in its pilot phase. The pilot aims to identify whether the OECD, an internationally respected producer and publisher of statistical evidence across a wide range of policy areas, can secure sufficiently high response rates from scientific authors across several countries that yield representative and robust statistical results. This work is being carried out under the aegis of the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy's Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI) that is responsible for OECD statistics and indicators on science, technology and innovation.  

September 2016 update

The initial round of analysis on this survey has now been completed, reviewed and approved within the OECD. Detailed results are now available at the link below:

Survey microdata for approximately 6000 respondents are being anonymised for use by interested researchers.

Selected results from the survey have featured so far in: 

Related OECD projects and activities



For any questions or clarifications please contact: surveyonscience [at]