The Future of Scholarly Communication Survey: Preliminary Findings

Compared to the dramatic transformations of other publishing and communication domains, scholarly communication has not changed much over the last decades and centuries. To what degree are researchers satisfied with the current situation? In order to explore this topic, TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology launched a survey on information flows in science.

The survey was jointly created by the Knowledge Infrastructures Research Group (Dr. Markus Stocker) and the Learning and Skills Analytics Research Group (Dr. Gábor Kismihók and Olga Lezhnina) of the Data Science & Digital Libraries Research Group (Prof. Sören Auer). It is based on the framework introduced in the Report of the Expert Group to European Commission (

The participants were asked to rate various aspects of scholarly communication in their discipline on Likert scale from 1 = very poor to 5 = excellent (recoded on a 0 to 4 scale). The survey is active, and participants are still welcome to complete it. However, we can already share some preliminary findings based on 88 complete responses.

Most respondents (65.5%) had doctoral degrees, and their research experience varied from 1 to 30 years.

The participants worked in the domains of engineering, physics and mathematics, life sciences, social and behavioral sciences, arts and humanities.

The average scores indicate how the respondents evaluated various aspects of scholarly communication in their domains.

How would you rate …
Q1 The ease of access to published articles in your discipline
Q2 The findability of articles in your discipline
Q3 The usability of interfaces for search of articles in your discipline
Q4 The machine readability of articles in your discipline
Q5 The availability of interactive content (e.g., visualizations) in articles in your discipline
Q6 The availability of additional materials (e.g., data, video, software, etc.) in articles in your discipline
Q7 The availability of open research tools (e.g. software) in your discipline
Q8 The uptake of open research tools  in your discipline
Q9 The equality of access to published papers in your discipline for advantaged and disadvantaged groups
Q10 The diversity in scholarly communication in your discipline
Q11 The inclusivity in scholarly communication in your discipline
Q12 The ease of building of collaborative research in your discipline
Q13 The sustainability of collaborative research in your discipline
Q14 The quality of research in your discipline
Q15 The research integrity in your discipline
Q16 The quality of peer review in your discipline
Q17 The usefulness of researcher metrics in your discipline
Q18 The adaptability of scholarly infrastructure to your discipline
Q19 The adaptability of your discipline to technological innovations
Q20 The cost transparency of the publication process in your discipline
Q21 The cost effectiveness of the publication process in your discipline

A larger sample is required to make statistical inferences, but we can already say that at least 88 researchers are not satisfied with the machine readability of articles, the availability of interactive content, and the availability of additional materials in their domains. These aspects are core aims of the Open Research Knowledge Graph project, which develops novel methods of scholarly communication based on a structured description of research contributions in an interlinked knowledge graph. You can find more information about the ORKG at and in the blog post Organizing the World’s Scientific Knowledge.

... is member of Learning and Skill Analytics Research Group.