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The SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project has run a large-scale survey of the attitudes of researchers on, and the experiences with, open access publishing. Around forty thousands answers were collected across disciplines and around the world, showing an overwhelming support for the idea of open access, while highlighting funding and (perceived) quality as the main barriers to publishing in open access journals. This article serves as an introduction to the survey and presents this and other highlights from a preliminary analysis of the survey responses. To allow a maximal re-use of the information collected by this survey, the data are hereby released under a CC0 waiver, so to allow libraries, publishers, funding agencies and academics to further analyse risks and opportunities, drivers and barriers, in the transition to open access publishing.