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There were 860 responses with 54% respondents being members of the ACM. Membership is higher in North America (75%) and lower in the rest of the world (49%). The majority of respondents are from Europe (53%) followed by the USA and Canada (37%). The geographic distribution of responses is shown in the following pie chart.

The respondent are divided between academia (80%) and industry (19%).

The relative seniority of respondents as measured by the time from their first publication is summarized in the following pie chart.

The following shortcuts appear in this document: USA to mean responses from North America, EU for responses that come from Europe, Senior for respondent who have published their first paper more than 20 years ago, Middle for those who have first published ten years ago, and Junior for authors who have published less than 10 years ago. ACM will denote respondent who are members of the ACM.

Observations: The survey was publicized by email to SIGPLAN and SIGPOPS members, and then virally through social media and personal connections. One possible explanation for the higher response rate from Europe is that the issues of open access are considered more important there.

Open Access is a Moral Imperative

On the question wether open access (OA) is a “moral imperative”, 73% of respondents agreed. The other responses where a “desirable features” and “not essential”.

The proportion of respondents who believe that adopting OA is a necessity depends on origin and seniority. The following table highlights the differences. Respondents outside of the USA were slightly more favorable to OA (47%). Seniority seemed to play a big role in attitudes, with more junior respondents having stronger feelings (37%). The most striking difference is between Senior USA Academics and Junior USA Academics the former favoring OA at 3% and the latter at 11%.

Focusing only on ACM members the propotion in favor is 66%.

In all groups the majority views open access as a moral imperative.

Observation: There seems to be little question that OA is a shared value for the community. The survey argued in favor of “Gold OA” because SIGPLAN feels that it is important that all paper be accessible. While “Green OA” allows authors to share their papers, it relies on authors to do so, and to make sure that OA links remain accessible. This can’t be guaranteed and won’t be true for older work of authors who do not have a web presence.

The question of how to fund OA divides respondents: 28% are in favor of author processing charges while 41% argue for increased conference registrations.