UKRI Gap Analysis of Open Access Monographs Infrastructure / E. Ferwerda, T. Mosterd, R. Snijder & P. Mounier (2021)

The scope of the report is to identify infrastructure that either handles open access books exclusively, to a large extent, and/or is key infrastructure for OA books. The report describes use cases and workflows as a form of information transfer: for sharing both research results and metadata. The infrastructure is used by all stakeholders to perform interconnected tasks. The infrastructure connections consist of metadata about objects such as the manuscript or the research grant. By focusing on the tasks shared by different stakeholders, overlapping interests are revealed. This helps identify gaps in the existing infrastructure.

The identified gaps occur in most infrastructure areas. There is perceived lack of transparency in monograph publishing, particularly in quality assurance. There should be more attention for best practice in OA book publishing. Authors need to be better supported and have the option to publish their research outputs open access, and funders and institutions need to improve infrastructure to support compliance with policies and monitor research outputs. There are shortcomings in the use of metadata and standards for OA books that limit interoperability and discovery, affecting the wider ecosystem around OA books. The recommendations are to a large extent relevant for the broader stakeholder community and can be considered in the wider context of policy development and measures to improve the infrastructure for OA books.

UKRI Gap Analysis of Open Access Monographs Infrastructure

The deliverance of open access books : Examining usage and dissemination / R. Snijder (2019)

In many scholarly disciplines, books - not articles - are the norm. As print runs become smaller, the question arises whether publishing monographs in open access helps to make their contents globally accessible. To answer this question, the results of multiple studies on the usage of open access books are presented. The research focuses on three areas: economic viability; optimization of open access monographs infrastructure and measuring the effects of open access in terms of scholarly impact and societal influence.

The deliverance of open access books

OAPEN-CH – The impact of open access on scientific monographs in Switzerland : A project conducted by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2018)

In the period from 2014 to 2017, the OAPEN-CH pilot project allowed the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to identify the difficulties arising during the transition phase and define future specifications for open access monographs. The SNSF carried out the project jointly with Swiss and German publishers in the humanities and social sciences. The impact of open access was ascertained on the basis of the 105 monographs published under OAPEN-CH. In 2014, the SNSF had introduced new funding policies that only covered books that were published online and openly accessible after an embargo period of no more than 24 months. The pilot study set out to learn more about the changes to academic publishing and pave the way for future adaptations to funding policies.

OAPEN-CH pilot project

A landscape study on open access and monographs: Policies, funding and publishing in eight European countries (2017)

In October 2017 Knowledge Exchange published the biggest landscape study yet on the conditions and potentials for open access books. The study was produced in collaboration with FWF, CRIStin and Couperin, and authored by Eelco Ferwerda, Frances Pinter and Niels Stern. The study addresses developments among publishers, funders and libraries in the KE countries (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Finland and France), Norway and Austria. and provides an overview of current OA monograph policies, funding streams and publishing models.

Knowledge Exchange Landscape Study

Investigating Open Access Monograph Services (2016)

This project aimed to explore potential future services to support open access (OA) monograph publishing. It was conducted by Jisc Collections and the OAPEN Foundation, with representation from UK universities, independent publishers, and others stakeholders. It explored potential centralised services to support and encourage the publication of OA peer-reviewed monographs. The project was conducted on co-design principles, with universities that have an interest in OA monographs – as university-based publishers, consumers, or supporters.

Investigating OA monograph services: Final report: presents the project’s main activities and results.

Report of ‘Green OA for books’: presents the results of a joint Jisc and OAPEN Round table discussion on green OA for monographs.

OAPEN-UK research project (2016)

The OAPEN-UK research project was a five-year study into open access monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences. OAPEN-UK was designed to work collaboratively and in an agile manner, supporting and responding to developments in the wider monograph publishing environment. This final report includes the main findings, key messages, and recommendations from the project and its many sub-reports.

OAPEN-UK final report

OAPEN-UK matched pairs pilot (2016)

The OAPEN-UK matched pairs pilot, which ran from 2011 until 2014, attempted to understand what happens when you make a book available in open access. This covers the effect on sales and usage of the book, but also how publishers and their supply chains are affected when trying to make an open access monograph available. Books from six publishers were submitted to the pilot. This report outlines the main findings, presents descriptive data from the experiment, and also reflects upon what the publishers have learned from their participation.

OAPEN-UK matched pairs pilot report

The Future of the Monograph in the Digital Era: A Report to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2015)

A working group endeavored to consider whether a model of university-funded monograph publication could improve the publishing landscape for scholars in the humanities and facilitate a “digital transition”. Under such a model, a university would bear a high percentage of the publication costs through an initial contract. The university press would produce a high quality, open-access digital publication, as well as make the book available in print form — possibly through print-on-demand.

The working group endorses a model of university-funded publication that results in an open access digital publication, as well as a print-on-demand physical product that will be sold for an appropriate list price. Among the most significant conclusions are the following:

  • A high premium on long-form scholarship.
  • Endorsement of a model of university funding for digital monograph publication.
  • A period of increased variegation in humanities publication.
  • Endorsement of open access publication of long-form scholarship.
  • A program of university funding should be open to faculty of all ranks.
  • Ensure the high quality of scholarship.
  • Concerns about preservation and discoverability.
  • Uncertainty about the costs remains.
  • Any program of this kind will require education and socialization.

Report: The Future of the Monograph in the Digital Era

HEFCE Monographs and Open Access project (2015)

The Monographs and Open Access Project was set up to consider the place of monographs in the arts, humanities and social science disciplines, and how they fit into the developing world of open access to research. The project was led by Geoffrey Crossick, Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and was commissioned by HEFCE in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The main findings of the report are as follows:

  • Monographs are a vitally important and distinctive vehicle for research communication, and must be sustained in any moves to open access. The availability of printed books alongside the open-access versions will be essential.
  • Contrary to many perceptions, it would not be appropriate to talk of a crisis of the monograph; this does not mean that monographs are not facing challenges, but the arguments for open access would appear to be for broader and more positive reasons than solving some supposed crisis.
  • Open access offers both short- and long-term advantages for monograph publication and use; many of these are bound up with a transition to digital publishing that has not been at the same speed as that for journals.
  • There is no single dominant emerging business model for supporting open-access publishing of monographs; a range of approaches will coexist for some time and it is unlikely that any single model will emerge as dominant. Policies will therefore need to be flexible.

Monographs and Open Access. A report to HEFCE

New Publication Cultures in the Humanities: Exploring the Paradigm Shift / P. Dávidházi (2014)

The changes we have seen in recent years in the scholarly publishing world - including the growth of digital publishing and changes to the role and strategies of publishers and libraries alike - represent the most dramatic paradigm shift in scholarly communications in centuries. This volume brings together leading scholars from across the humanities to explore that transformation and consider the challenges and opportunities it brings.

New Publication Cultures in the Humanities

OAPEN-NL (2013)

OAPEN-NL builds on the European OAPEN-project, which was set up to gain experience with open access publishing of academic books. OAPEN-NL was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Ministry of OCW via the National PRIMA-subsidy program. The project was conducted by OAPEN Foundation in collaboration with NWO, SURF, and nine academic publishers. Fifty academic books were published in open access supported by a subsidy from NWO. For every open access title, the publishers provided a similar title that was published in the conventional way for comparison. Research showed that publishing in open access had no effect whatever on the sale of books. However, both online usage and online discovery of books in open access increased considerably. The final report contains many recommendations to improve open access for monographs, aimed at all stakeholders in academic book publishing.

OAPEN-NL Final Report

Open Access monographs in the humanities and social sciences conference (2013)

The report of the Open Access Monographs in Humanities and Social Sciences Conference that took place in July 2013 at the British Library. ’Collaboration’ was the key theme of the conference, which was attended by more than 250 delegates from across Europe. Librarians, publishers, learned societies, researchers, funders, and university administrators came together to discuss how the digital gives scholars an opportunity to collaborate more widely.
The conference also acknowledged the challenges that come with a move to open access publishing and these new, more collaborative models, such as issues concerning funding, quality, licensing, dissemination, prestige, impact, and innovation.

The conference report provides an overview of all the presentations and sessions:

  • Open access for monographs is not only possible but also necessary if we want to be able to innovate, to communicate, and disseminate humanities and social science research widely, and to build a sustainable future for the monograph.
  • Effective quality assurance is key to the successful adoption of OA publishing.
  • Collaboration throughout the supply chain and across national boundaries will be required.
  • We must be flexible and willing to accommodate innovative models, not only to sustain the monograph, but for peer review, impact and reputation.

OA Monographs 2013 Conference Report

DOAB user Needs Analysis (2012)

This report is based on the experiences, needs, and expectations of users as they emerged from a survey, an online discussion, and a panel at the 2012 OASPA conference. The report addresses user perceptions and needs with respect to:

  • Open access and open access books
  • Quality and peer review procedures
  • Copyright policies
  • Platform usability
  • Potential business and funding models

The DOAB report is intended for the wider academic and publishing community, and advised in the establishment of procedures, criteria, and standards for the DOAB platform and services and provided guidelines and recommendations for admissions to DOAB and for its sustainability and further development.

DOAB user Needs Analysis

Digital Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Report on User Needs (2010)

In the European Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) there is fertile ground for the development of eMonographs published in Open Access. As this study shows, an in-creasing number of scholars in these disciplines are using digital resources and tools in their daily research practice, in their reading and writing, as well as in their teach-ing curricula. A substantial part of the scholars in these fields is open to innovations in publishing formats and regimes, most importantly concerning eMonographs and Open Access. Despite the fact that this openness is not equally common in all scholarly fields, there is a critical mass to buttress the Open Access publishing of eMonographs. Many scholars in the HSS see this newly developing form of publishing as an impor-tant contribution to their ambition to share their knowledge and research results with their peers and other potential readers, provided there is sufficient quality control. These are the main conclusions of this study based on the direct consultation of some 40 experts from relevant groups of stakeholders in academic publishing, a review of relevant literature, data gathered from two round table discussions and an online survey that reached approximately 250 scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Report on User Needs