عنوان مقاله [English]
Objective: The purpose of the present study was to determine the importance and necessity of using open access journals, and also the effective factors and barriers to the use of such journals from the perspective of academic librarians in Iran’s top universities.
Methodology: The research was conducted using a survey method. The population of the study consisted of the librarians at central libraries of Iran’s top universities. The sample size of 176 was calculated using Cochran’s formula. For collecting data, a stratified random sampling method was utilized. The data required to answer the research questions were collected using a researcher-made questionnaire. The face and content validity of the instrument was confirmed by a panel of Knowledge and Information Science experts. Using the Cronbach's Alpha test, the reliability of the instrument was assessed (87%) which indicated acceptable reliability.
Findings: According to the results, the librarians rated the importance of open access journals and the effect of considering them on attracting users at an above-average level. From the librarians’ point of view, the necessity of using open-access journals by academic libraries in Iran to serve their users was also rated at an above-average level. However, the factors affecting using open-access journals varied so that “cost savings” ranked first, with a mean rank of 6.70, and “access to the updated information in using open access journals” ranked last, with a mean rank of 4.43. Among the debilitative factors in using open access journals, the infrastructure factors ranked first and the cultural factors ranked last. Within debilitative infrastructure factors, “the credibility of open access journals” was the most effective and ranked first, with a mean rank of 3.55, and “incompatibility of the open access journals with the requirements of source organization” was the least effective and ranked fifth, with a mean rank of 2.64. within the cultural factors, “unfamiliarity with open access journals” was the most effective and ranked first, with a mean rank of 3.49, and “negative attitude to using open access journals” was the least effective and ranked fifth, with a mean rank of 2.78.
Conclusion: The findings of this study revealed that the academic libraries’ librarians have properly perceived the importance and status of open-access journals. Some of the barriers to using these journals could be overcome by improving the users’ information-seeking skills and training them in that regard. To encourage the use of open-access journals in academic libraries, proper policies and planning should be developed to get over the existing barriers and restrictions.