« Introduction : Open Access and licenses are closely intertwined. Both Creative Commons (CC) and Open Access seek to restore the balance between the owners of creative works and prospective users. Apart from the legal issues around CC licenses, we could look at role of intermediaries whose work is enabled through CC licenses. Does licensing documents under Creative Commons increase access and reuse in a direct way, or is access and reuse amplified by intermediaries?
OAPEN Library and DOAB The OAPEN Library contains books available under both open licenses, for example Creative Commons, as well as books that are published under terms that only allow for personal use. The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) functions as an intermediary, offering aggregation services exclusively focused on books with an open license.
Methods: Downloads are used as a proxy for the use of books in the OAPEN Library. The data set that this paper analyses data that was captured over a period of 33 months. During this time, 1734 different books were made available through the OAPEN Library: 855 books under a Creative Commons license and 879 books under a more restrictive regime. The influence of open licenses, aggregation in DOAB, and subject and language are evaluated.
Results : Once the effects of subject and language are taken into account, there is no evidence that making books available under open licenses results in more downloads than making books available under licenses that only allow for personal use. Yet, additional aggregation in the DOAB has a large positive effect on the number of times a book is downloaded.
Conclusion : The application of open licenses to books does not, on its own, lead to more downloads. However, open licenses pave the way for intermediaries to offer new discovery and aggregation services. These services play an important role by amplifying the impacts of open access licensing in the case of scholarly books. »
URL : Better Sharing Through Licenses? Measuring the Influence of Creative Commons Licenses on the Usage of Open Access Monographs
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1187
« Introduction. This paper studies the effects of several dissemination channels in an open access environment by analysing the download data of the OAPEN Library.
Method. Download data were obtained containing the number of downloads and the name of the Internet provider. Based on public information, each Internet provider was categorised. The subject and language of each book were determined using metadata from the OAPEN Library.
Analysis. Quantitative analysis was done using Excel, while the qualitative analysis was carried out using the statistical package SPSS.
Results. Almost three quarters of all downloads come from users who do not use the Website www.oapen.org, but find the books by other means. Qualitative analysis found no evidence that channel use was influenced by user groups or the state of users’ Internet infrastructure; nor was any effect on channel use found for either the language or the subjects of the monographs.
Conclusions. The results show that most readers are using the « direct download » channel, which occur if the readers use systems other than the OAPEN Library Website. This implies that making the metadata available in the user’s systems, the infrastructure used on a daily basis, ensures the best results. »
URL : http://www.informationr.net/ir/19-3/paper638.html#.VBdGbhZkI9Q
« As academics in most disciplines know, the unit cost of traditionally printed monographs is rising, while sales have been in steady decline. This is a particular problem in the humanities and social sciences, in which monographs are often the output of choice for scholars and the benchmark against which standing and academic performance are judged. Open Access (OA) is a model that has the potential to support a vibrant research environment, enabling non restricted access, widening readerships, facilitating collaboration and the creation of new ideas and increasing impact. Yet the problems inherent in moving to OA publishing for books seem so numerous, and so hard to solve, that even the Finch Report concluded that it couldn’t be insisted upon without further experimentation. Two organisations, leading experimentation, Jisc Collections and OAPEN, thought it was high time to bring together experts from across academia and publishing to explore open access as a means not just to secure the monograph’s future, but also to transform it, extending its reach and ‘making the scholarship better’. »
A project exploring Open Access monograph publishing in the Netherlands :
« Monographs still play an important role in scholarly communication, particularly in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The availability of publication outlets for research monographs is crucial to the careers of researchers and to research assessment opportunities for universities with departments in those disciplines. Humanities and Social Sciences have suffered from the serials crises, as library funds for the purchase of monographs came under pressure.
The Open Access model addresses the monograph crisis in two ways. By making a digital edition freely available through the Internet the access to and discoverability of the monograph are greatly improved. The Open Access model also provides the opportunity to find a new sustainable business model for monographs, based on the reduced production costs of the digital edition and building on emerging business models for Open Access journals. Open Access models for monographs differ from the models for Open Access journals, because the Open Access version of a monograph does not substitute printed books in the same way that e-journals are substituting printed journals. But although the business models may differ, there are no obstacles to achieve Open Access for books. There are clear benefits to the academic community and society at large and both publishers and funders are experimenting with a variety of models to enable Open Access to monographs. »
URL : http://www.surf.nl/nl/publicaties/Documents/OAPEN%20Rapport_%20A%20project%20exploring%20Open%20Access%20monograph%20publishing%20in%20the%20Netherlands_22102013.pdf
OAPEN Final Report :
« OAPEN started its activities on September 1, 2008 and has now completed its project phaseco-funded by the European Commission. The final stage of the project focused on the launch
of the OAPEN Library, usability, and especially sustainability after the project period. The results were presented during the final conference in Berlin in February 2011.
In the future OAPEN will continue as an independent foundation governed by representatives of the participating institutions. The objectives for the foundation are to stimulate further OA
publishing of academic books, to further develop OAPEN as a platform for OA books and to develop a sustainable business model. In the meantime, OAPEN is conducting a number of experiments in Open Access book publishing, in the form of pilot projects. The first pilot is conducted in the Netherlands with support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Ministry of Education. For the UK a similar pilot project is being prepared by JISC Collections. »
URL : http://project.oapen.org/images/documents/oapen_final_public_report.pdf
Open Access monographic publishing in the humanities :
« In recent years, it has become widely recognized that in the case of monographs, the traditional business model for books is losing its sustainability. Academic publishers have been forced to become more selective in the books they publish, and authors, in particular young researchers and first time authors, have found it harder to find a press willing to publish their work. In response to the economic restraints of printed monographs, many publishers and academic institutes, in particular research libraries, have started to experiment with digital and Open Access publication of monographs.
OAPEN is the first international project to develop an Open Access model for publishers and stakeholders in scholarly communication. OAPEN stands for Open Access Publishing in European Networks. It is a 30 month project co-funded by the European Union, to develop and implement an Open Access (OA) publication model for peer reviewed academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). »
URL : http://iospress.metapress.com/content/l6wg61l0mg6426w8/
The OAPEN library and publication platform is online :
« OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) is a collaborative initiative to develop and implement a sustainable Open Access publication model for academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The OAPEN Library aims to improve the visibility and usability of high quality academic research by aggregating peer reviewed Open Access publications from across Europe. «
URL : http://www.oapen.org/xtf/home?brand=oapen