« This special issue of Cultural Science Journal is devoted to the report of a groundbreaking experiment in re-coordinating global markets for specialist scholarly books and enabling the knowledge commons: the Knowledge Unlatched proof-of-concept pilot. The pilot took place between January 2012 and September 2014. It involved libraries, publishers, authors, readers and research funders in the process of developing and testing a global library consortium model for supporting Open Access books. The experiment established that authors, librarians, publishers and research funding agencies can work together in powerful new ways to enable open access; that doing so is cost effective; and that a global library consortium model has the potential dramatically to widen access to the knowledge and ideas contained in book-length scholarly works. »
« This report examines, and seeks to clarify, the range of issues that emerge when we think about the relationship between open access and monographs (including under this latter term other long scholarly publications). It arises from the immediate need of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and its sister funding councils in the UK, to examine the issues for open access in relation to books in a context where both funding and research councils in the UK have already established open-access requirements for publications in journals and conference proceedings, but the issues are much greater than those of defining the practicalities of mandates and the sustainability of open-access models. Furthermore, although the principal focus of the report is defined by the culture and policy preoccupations of higher education in this country, the international character of research, publishing, and academic careers has to be acknowledged. »
« 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. »
« 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
This paper presents the initial findings of OAPEN-UK, a UK research project gathering evidence on the social and technological impacts of an open access business model for scholarly monographs in the humanities and social sciences.
Free E-Books and Print Sales :
« Digital technologies now enable books and other digital resources to be openly available to those with access to the Internet. This study examined the financial viability of a religious publisher that put free digital versions of eight of its print books on the Internet. The cost to put these eight books online was $940. Over a 10-week period, these books were downloaded 102,256 times and sales of these books increased 26%. Online sales increased at a much higher rate. Comparisons with historical book sales and sales of comparable titles indicate that that this increase may have been connected to the free books being available. There was a modest correlation between book downloads and print sales. »
URL : http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.3336451.0014.109