“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.”