A defining overview on OA & academic books

This first-of-a-kind study from Knowledge Exchange maps the landscape for Open Access books in the Knowledge Exchange countries, together with Norway and Austria as well exploring next steps with key stakeholders for the development of OA books.

1 January 2017 - 31 January 2019,  00:00 - 00:00, 

Are books included in national Open Access policies? What kind of funding streams supporting open access monographs exist? And what variety of publishing models for Open Access monographs can be located?

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Knowledge Exchange is continously active in promoting Open Access by bringing together Open Access experts from all six KE-countries. This study was initiated by Knowledge Exchange and financed by Knowledge ExchangeFWFCRIStin and Couperin, and together with the skilled expertise of Eelco Ferwerda, Frances Pinter and Niels Stern, we can now publish the biggest landscape study on the conditions and potentials for Open Access books yet.

The field of OA monographs is still in its early evolution and therefore 73 in-depth conversations were conducted to understand the different developments among three stakeholder groups: Publishers, funders and libraries. The importance of author attitudes, scholarly reward and incentive systems is also raised throughout the study by numerous interviewees.

Our study shows that although the main OA policies do not include monographs, conversations about OA and monographs are surfacing and are expected to be accelerating over the next few years.

The general explanation for monographs not being included in policies is the global focus on journal publishing and the perception that monographs are more complex to deal with than journals. Some also point to a lack of demand yet from authors.

In general, OA book publishers will comply with gold OA policies from funders and institutions. This is not the case for green OA. It appears that the current self archiving policies from publishers for books are largely restricted to book chapters.

The report also points towards the fact that funding schemes for books are lagging behind schemes for articles and their availability to fund the publishing process is somewhat ad hoc across the countries we've surveyed. Nevertheless the authors are ‘cautiously optimistic' about the prospects for OA and monographs.

The report creates an overview of both the OA monographs policies, funding streams and publishing models for all eight countries for the first time. This is used to point towards areas of future efforts.

Webinar: New Developments in OA Monographs

On the 14th December, Knowledge Exchange and OASPA co-hosted the webinar 'New Developments in Open Access Monographs', to present the latest findings on the development of OA monographs. The webinar featured three recent studies, including our our own 'Landscape study on Open Access and Monographs', which was presented by Eelco Ferwerda.

In addition, Lucy Montgomery talked about the challenges and opportunities of usage data for OA scholarly monograph publishers, based on the findings of two recent studies on the uses of OA books, carried out by Knowledge Unlatched Research. 

Christina Emery from Springer Nature, also presented a white paper comparing usage data for OA and non-OA scholarly books and shared key findings from the recently published Springer Nature report ‘The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books?'.

You can read more about the webinar on the OASPA website, or listen back to the discussion below.

Summary: A landscape study on OA and Monographs

Following suggestions received as part of the feedback to our landscape study, published at the end of 2017, we have produced a summary of the full report. The summary provides an overview of the key areas, easy to read infographics and shorter condensate of the great insights of the full report. It is by no means a substitute for the rich information contained in the original work, hence it also delivers references to the matching sections of the 2017 report.

The summary report is just one of the follow-up actions to the initial study Knowledge Exchange are currently preparing. We will also launch a survey to help determine future work on the topic, as well as a webinar and/or workshop to be organised later in 2018.

Open-access monographs published by university presses in Spain

Almost at the same time as Knowledge Exchange published our Landscape Study on OA and Monographs, Ernest Sabadal (Universitat de Barcelona), Candela Ollé (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) and Sílvia Redondo (Fundació Escoles Garbí) from the Acceso Abierto research group, independently published their own study on OA monographs in Spain.

This study, originally published in the Spanish journal El profesional de la información, analyses the open-access model of publishing monographs by the members of the Spanish Universities Publishers Association (UNE). The study reveals a strong uptake of open access amongst Spanish university presses and that most of them consider open access a good way to increase the dissemination of monographs.

You can read the translated study here.

Survey on next steps for OA Monographs

In continuation to our Landscape Study on Open Access and Monographs published in 2017, Knowledge Exchange and its Task & Finish group on OA monographs commissioned a survey to further our exploration around the development of OA books.

The 2017 report defined the Open Access monograph landscape and found that both OA monographs and the policies and models that support them appear to be growing. However, it reported considerable variation between each country in the study. 

In early 2018, KE commissioned a follow up survey to help identify the next steps that should be considered in order to continue to support the transition to Open Access Monographs. Conducted between April and May 2018, the survey received 233 responses from 25 countries. Academic libraries and universities were the largest groups that responded to the survey, authors and publishers were also well represented.

The survey report is available here: Knowledge Exchange Survey on Open Access Monographs

The results of the survey will also inform thediscussions at the Knowledge Exchange Stakeholder Workshop on Open Access andMonographs on 7th-8th November 2018, in Brussels. Outputs from this Survey and Workshop debates will be used to further delineate shared paths and key action ideas better empowering the advancement of open access to scholarly monographs.

See also: Summary: A Landscape Study on Open Access (OA) and Monographs, March 2010, rev. July 2018.

Knowledge Exchange Stakeholder workshop on Open Access and Monographs

On the 7th and 8th November 2018, Knowledge Exchange bought together experts and keystakeholders in the Open Access monograph landscape. The aims of the workshop were to give the opportunity toreinforce the importance of Open Access monographs being integrated in thedevelopment of an Open Access culture, to encourage collaboration and to sharebest practices. The recently published results of our survey on OA Monographs also informed thediscussions.

A report of the workshop is planned to published in early 2019.

There is a need for a number of business models to serve the needs of OA monographs

Key findings / outcome report download

Knowledge Exchange Survey on Open Access Monographs
icon Open Access
31 October 2018

Knowledge Exchange Survey on Open Access Monographs

Purpose: Report: DOI 10.5281/zenodo.1475446

File type: PDF

Summary: A landscape study on open access (OA) and monographs (revised July 2018)
icon Open Access
23 March 2018

Summary: A landscape study on open access (OA) and monographs (revised July 2018)

Purpose: Report, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1309409

File type: PDF

A landscape study on open access and monographs
icon Open Access
6 October 2017

A landscape study on open access and monographs

Purpose: Report, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.815932

File type: PDF


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