An interesting new report from RIN, Access to scholarly content: gaps and barriers (Dec 2011).

* 79.1% in “industry and commerce” said their access to research papers was “easy to access”.

* When the same group was later asked more specifically about academic papers…

“In a later question, put only to those researchers for whom journal articles are important, respondents in all sectors rated their access as somewhere between ‘variable’ and ‘good’. Conference papers, on the other hand, were rated somewhere between ‘variable’ and ‘poor’.”

* “the motor industry, utilities companies, metals and fabrication, construction, and rubber and plastics.” reported the poorest access.

* “34.4 per cent of researchers and knowledge workers describe their current level of access to conference papers (in print or online) as `poor’ or `very poor’.”

* “Based on an analysis of the Labour Force Survey, CIBER estimates that there are around 1.8 million professional knowledge workers in the UK, many working in R&D intensive occupations (such as software development, civil engineering and consultancy) and in small firms, who may not currently have access to journal content via subscriptions.”