Do developing countries profit from free books? Discovery and online usage in developed and developing countries compared :
« For years, Open Access has been seen as a way to remove barriers to research in developing countries. In order to test this, an experiment was conducted to measure whether publishing academic books in Open Access has a positive effect on developing countries. During a period of nine months the usage data of 180 books was recorded. Of those, a set of 43 titles was used as control group with restricted access. The rest was made fully accessible.
The data shows the digital divide between developing countries and developed countries: 70 percent of the discovery data and 73 percent of online usage data come from developed countries. Using statistical analysis, the experiment confirms that Open Access publishing enhances discovery and online usage in developing countries. This strengthens the claims of the advocates of Open Access: researchers from the developing countries do benefit from free academic books. »