High-tech SMEs’ access to information

The Publishing Research Consortium has published a new report by Mark Ware Consulting today:

Access by UK small and medium-sized enterprises to professional and academic information

From the press release (pdf):

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 250 employees or fewer, make up 99.9% of UK businesses, and represent 59% of private sector employment and 52% of turnover. The latest study from the Publishing Research Consortium shows that staff in high-tech SMEs in the UK value research articles even more highly, and read more of them, than do those in larger businesses.

… Of those who considered information to be an important success factor for their organisation, 71% found access to research articles ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ (compared with 82% in larger businesses and 94% in higher education), while 29% felt it was ‘fairly difficult’ or ‘very difficult’; 60% felt it was easier than five years ago.

Despite this, more than half had experienced some recent difficulty in obtaining one or more articles; although they use a wide range of access channels, they find pay-per-view (PPV) costly and difficult, and ‘walk-in’ access at a local university inconvenient.

The report goes on to consider some suggestions for improving access for SMEs.

I will be presenting the results of the study at an extra session at the ALPSP Annual Conference at 5.30 on Thursday 10 September (slides).

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