The frequency of electronic book usage by students, according to the research described here, appears fairly positive. On a six-level scale, ranging from 1 (I don’t use it at all) to 6 (I use it several times a week), the average score was 3.27, and the most frequent response, was "Use several times a month" (n = 84, 28 %). This suggests that, on average, students tend to use e-books approximately once or twice a month.
Now in its third year of operation, Direct to Open (D2O) is proud to announce that it has reached its full funding goal in 2024 and will open access to 79 new monographs and edited book collections this year. What makes this year noteworthy is that this is the first year in which D2O has been fully funded by its November 30 deadline and will not require an extension through the end of the fiscal year.
The core requirements are:
- The final Version of Record or Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher’s website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
- The OA version of the publication must have a Creative Commons licence, with an Open Government Licence (OGL) also permitted.
- Images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should be included in the OA version where possible (third-party materials DO NOT require a CC licence)….
The UKRI allocates £8 billion of taxpayers’ money annually to support research and innovation.
We study the impact of the Google Books digitization project on the market for physical books. We find that digitization significantly boosts the demand for physical versions and provide evidence for the discovery channel. Moreover, digitization allows independent publishers to introduce new editions for existing books, further increasing sales.
Open access (OA) book platforms, such as JSTOR, OAPEN Library or Google Books, have been available for over a decade. Each platform shows usage data, but this results in confusion about how well an individual book is performing overall. Even within one platform, there are considerable usage differences between subjects and languages. Some context is therefore necessary to make sense of OA books usage data. A possible solution is a new metric — the Transparent Open Access Normalized Index (TOANI) score. It is designed to provide a simple answer to the question of how well an individual open access book or chapter is performing. The transparency is based on clear rules, and by making all of the data used visible. The data is normalized, using a common scale for the complete collection of an open access book platform and, to keep the level of complexity as low as possible, the score is based on a simple metric. As a proof of the concept, the usage of over 18,000 open access books and chapters in the OAPEN Library has been analysed, to determine whether each individual title has performed as well as can be expected compared to similar titles.
Edinburgh University Library launched a journal hosting service in 2009, initially to support two journals. The service has since grown into a portfolio of 19 journals and a handful of conference proceedings. The purpose of this case study is to review the 2021 launch of our book hosting service and our service rebrand to Edinburgh Diamond, looking at the reasons for launching, the timeline and challenges, and offering recommendations for those wishing to launch their own service.
This paper presents the results of an empirical research study that used an online survey to examine e-book consumers’ perspectives on digital ownership and digital rights. The study revealed that while most participants value and desire ownership rights, certain conventional ownership rights, such as reselling, gifting, and lending, are deemed less significant and can be relinquished by consumers due to cost-related factors. Furthermore, contrary to prevailing assumptions, the study found no discernible generational gap concerning people’s perceptions of digital ownership rights.
As part of an innovative experiment, Springer Nature has become the first publisher to create a whole new academic book by empowering authors to use GPT as part of the integrated workflow. Developed during a —Hack Day— in the Spring which brought together authors, editors and experts from across Springer Nature, the German-language book Einsatzmöglichkeiten von GPT in Finance, Compliance und Audit (Applications of GPT in finance, compliance and audit) has now been published. It took less than five months from inception to publication — about half the time normally taken. . . .
The process was as follows:
- Working simultaneously on six screens, the team defined commands which GPT then executed chapter by chapter to create the first version of the manuscript
- At each stage of the process, the content generated by the Large Language Model (LLM) was reviewed by the authors, who then asked the machine to adapt the text
- This "prompt ping pong" ensured that the knowledge expertise of the authors renowned in their field was combined with the language expertise of the LLM
- After the Hack Day, the authors and Springer Nature’s editorial team further checked, corrected and supplemented the text
- The team then linked the relevant data sources to ensure proper attribution
Launched as a pilot in January 2023, Path to Open is a delayed open access model where new books are made available to supporting libraries upon publication and become open access after three years. Thirty-seven university presses have joined the initiative along with over sixty academic libraries, including consortia like the Big Ten Academic Alliance who are looking to develop sustainable open access solutions. . . .
JSTOR recently released forty-three of the first 100 Path to Open titles. These books, all peer-reviewed, were selected by the participating university presses and JSTOR, and explore topics in thirty-six subjects like Public Health, Religion, Education, Communications, Literature, Conflict Resolution, and Film Studies.
- OA titles can generate significant print revenue. While there may be some tradeoff between OA editions and print sales, publishers can produce print sales revenue from their OA lists. Publishers may wish to take such revenue into account in considering business models for OA publication today.
- OA titles can generate meaningful digital revenue. When made available through consumer channels such as Kindle, ebooks that are available openly on other platforms can in parallel generate meaningful consumer sales. Publishers may benefit from giving focused consideration specific to OA monographs to their pricing and windowing tactics for such channels.
- Outliers are essential. A small number of OA titles sell particularly well, just as is historically the case in traditional monograph sales models. Publishers bearing this in mind will be thinking in terms of the sustainability and growth of their lists overall rather than each title individually.
- Titles with both hard and soft cover formats generate the most revenue. This may be the result of format choices publishers based on market forecasting, so from our data we cannot be sure that there is a causal relationship. Still, publishers may wish to give additional attention to their format strategy for OA books.
- Sales vary widely by field. History, arts, and humanities saw lower unit sales while social sciences saw higher unit sales and STEM fields saw the greatest. Publishers may need to pursue different sustainability models for OA books based on their field.
- An opportunity to increase print sales? There is currently significant friction for users in navigating from digital to print editions. Publishers and digital distribution platforms should work together to create a more seamless reader experience from digital discoverability of and engagement with the OA version to potential print sales.
The Internet Archive announced today that it has appealed its loss in a major ebook copyright case. A notice indicates that it’s filed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Hachette v. Internet Archive, a publishing industry lawsuit over the nonprofit group’s Open Library program. . . .
Court documents indicate the Internet Archive is still preparing its response to the lawsuit by UMG and other record labels; a pretrial conference in that case is currently scheduled for October.
A key responsibility for many library publishers is to collaborate with authors to determine the best mechanisms for sharing and publishing research. Librarians are often asked to assist with a wide range of research outputs and publication types, including eBooks, digital humanities (DH) projects, scholarly journals, archival and thematic collections, and community projects. These projects can exist on a variety of platforms both for profit and academy owned. Additionally, over the past decade, more and more academy owned platforms have been created to support both library publishing programs. Library publishers who wish to emphasize open access and open-source publishing can feel overwhelmed by the proliferation of available academy-owned or -affiliated publishing platforms. For many of these platforms, documentation exists but can be difficult to locate and interpret. While experienced users can usually find and evaluate the available resources for a particular platform, this kind of documentation is often less useful to authors and librarians who are just starting a new publishing project and want to determine if a given platform will work for them. Because of the challenges involved in identifying and evaluating the various platforms, we created this comparative crosswalk to help library publishers (and potentially authors) determine which platforms are right for their services and authors’ needs.
The paper will explore CDL modes by combing CDL practices and programs from research papers and official website documents of different library organizations. Then, based on legal frameworks of CDL in the US, Canada and the UK which are summarized, copyright issues of CDL modes are analyzed from perspectives of implementing institution, service resources, and usage mode. Finally, some copyright recommendations for sustainable development of CDL are proposed.
Most importantly, the proposed agreement includes a permanent injunction that would, among its provisions, bar the IA’s lending of unauthorized scans of in-copyright, commercially available books, as well as bar the IA from "profiting from" or "inducing" any other party’s "infringing reproduction, public distribution, public display and/or public performance" of books "in any digital or electronic form" once notified by the copyright holder. . . .
The negotiated payment is all inclusive—it covers costs, fees, damages, and other claims, including the IA’s claim that damages should be remitted—something that should assuage initial concerns expressed by some who feared a massive damage award might force the nonprofit IA to cease operations. The negotiated judgment does seek destruction of the IA’s scans as the publishers’ initial complaint had suggested.
For a second time in two years, a magistrate judge in New York has recommended that a consumer class action lawsuit accusing the Big Five publishers of colluding with Amazon to fix e-book prices should be dismissed. But while the judge recommended tossing the case against the publishers, the court found that monopolization and attempted monopolization claims against Amazon should proceed.
Big Ten Open Books connects readers everywhere to fully accessible, trusted books from leading university presses. The first collection of 100 books is on the subject of Gender and Sexuality Studies. The ebooks are free-to-read by anyone with an Internet connection. They are also openly-licensed under Creative Commons licenses which make most of the titles free-to-reuse in any non-commercial way. . . .
The works in this collection have all been previously published by university presses and have undergone a rigorous selection and quality certification process that allows readers and users of this collection to trust the veracity of the content made available. Participating presses are Indiana University Press, Michigan State University Press, Northwestern University Press, Purdue University Press, University of Michigan Press, and University of Wisconsin Press.
This report explains that, while there is nothing new about publishers’ desire to seek novel ways to increase revenues, along with control and surveillance of readers, the new publisher-platform partnership creates a mechanism to align the ebook market with those goals. That new market alignment raises questions about whether these shifts are the best option for readers and institutional book buyers, particularly libraries. It also raises questions about how the newest players in the market — ebook distribution platforms — shape things to align with their own interests.
In order to fully understand the dynamics at play, we interviewed over 30 stakeholders that fill various essential roles in the ebook marketplace, from publishers to platform CEOs to literary agents, librarians, and lawyers. We discussed the priorities, concerns, and constraints that help shape their participation in the ebook marketplace. Our goal was to understand and document how this world looks through their eyes, and synthesize those views into broader conclusions.
In total, 396,995 unique records were identified from the OA book bibliometric sources, of which 19% were found to be included in at least one of the preservation services. The results suggest reason for concern for the long tail of OA books distributed at thousands of different web domains as these include volatile cloud storage or sometimes no longer contained the files at all.
A major issue is that the sheer cost of BPCs [Book Processing Charges] makes them an extremely expensive way of funding Open Access books. For large commercial publishers, BPCs of £11,000 and more for a conventional academic book are typical. Given very few academics would themselves have the capacity to easily cover these kinds of costs, BPCs are usually paid by universities or funders — sometimes from a specific fund set aside to cover the costs of Open Access publishing, sometimes from a general unallocated part of a university/department budget, sometimes from the budget of a research grant.
As Open Book Collective colleagues have argued again and again, in line with the aims and mission of the COPIM project, as well as arguments made by other project colleagues, a BPC-based Open Access publishing model is fundamentally unsustainable and unscalable. Any requirement for the higher education sector to pay BPCs on a broadscale basis would require an unparalleled national and global injection of funding. . . .
The Open Book Collective’s online presence " its "platform" serves many functions, including providing information about our aims, governance, model and values, as well resources about Open Access. However, a key part of the platform is the area where publishers and publishing "service providers," as we call them (the organisations that provide the crucial infrastructures for Open Access book publishing) make available ‘Offers’ that universities and other organisations can potentially subscribe to. . . .
In the Open Book Collective model, we give publisher/service provider members substantial — but not total — control over how their individual Offers are priced. Each initiative proposes a "tiered" costing Offer to us (tiered pricing involves varying subscription prices by university’s size and/or national context), which we assess to determine whether it is fair and reasonable. If so, and our Membership Committee agrees that the initiative meets our broader membership criteria, then it is eligible to become a member of the Open Book Collective, with its Offer potentially hosted on our platform.
Author attitudes towards Open Access (OA) remains an important area of investigation in academic publishing. The successful implementation of new OA infrastructure and business models depend on their reception within scholarly communities. This paper proposes "Open Access Culture"—the set of beliefs, practices, and attitudes towards OA publishing shared by members of an academic field—as a framework to understand how OA innovations are and will be received by different scholarly communities. The investigation of OA culture helps identify the needs of individual academic fields (e.g., the importance of print publishing for a particular field), thus foregrounding author preferences in the publishing process. The University of Michigan Press (UMP) is drawing upon the OA Culture framework to aid the implementation of its OA monograph initiative. UMP has undertaken research (author survey as well as editor, author, and librarian interviews) to understand how the monograph initiative will integrate different fields. This paper presents results of this research demonstrating the application of the OA Culture framework to several fields, as well the Humanities, Arts, and Humanistic Social Sciences (HSS) more broadly. This is one way that University Presses may take an author-centered approach to OA publishing programs, one that foregrounds the needs of individual authors and considers their unique disciplinary context. Moreover, the paper offers a recent view of sentiments towards OA in the HSS and thus helps to contextualize the current OA landscape.
In this article, we share how a small, independent, academic open access (OA) press, punctum books, has survived and can maybe thrive financially, but also in terms of human quality of life dividends, in the very precarious landscape of making and funding open books. Tracing the history of the press and our bumpy road to better financial sustainability, and the ways in which we have settled upon a business model that purposefully "scales small," we argue that the mission and the business model of any OA book publisher must be in better alignment than is currently the case in much of academic publishing and that bibliodiversity, along with an ethics of care—of ourselves, our authors, and the librarians who fund us—should be paramount in everything we do as a publisher. We also offer a brief survey of the current state of the field of library funded OA books initiatives in order to raise some questions about the weight and logics of these initiatives and, with more and more players entering this scene, about the viability more largely of consortial library funding for OA books in the United States.
Open access infrastructure for books is becoming more mature, and it is being used by an in-creasing number of people. The growing importance of open access infrastructure leads to more interest in sustainability, governance and impact assessment. For this paper, we will assess the OAPEN Library. In the spring of 2022, it passed the milestone of 20,000 titles. This was a good moment to evaluate the core asset of the OAPEN Library: its collection.
The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible books and chapters, all of which have undergone external peer review. In other words, it functions as an academic library and in our assessment we should treat it as such. However, it is an online library and the limitations of physical books do not play a part. Shelf space is not to be considered.
More important is the question of how well the collection meets the needs of its users. The OAPEN Library sees global usage; the collection reflects this by offering titles in over 50 languages. The collection is not focused on a specific subject area, but the choice of medium — books and chapters, not journals and articles — is more strongly associated with the humanities and social sciences. It does not track its users, but the supporters of the OAPEN Libraries are globally dis-tributed academic institutions, scientific and scholarly funders and publishers. An assessment of the OAPEN Library should therefore take into account the diversity of languages, subjects and stakeholders.
This article describes and explains the need for the work of the Open Book Collective (OBC). The OBC is a major output of the COPIM project (Community-Led Infrastructures for Open Access Monographs). The collective will bring together diverse small-to-medium open access (OA) publishers, open publishing service providers, libraries, and other research institutions to create a new, mutually supportive, and interdependent community space and platform designed to sustainthe future of OA book publishing. The OBC is founded upon equitable, community-led governance and helping publishers move beyond Book Processing Charges (BPCs). Central to the functioning of the Open Book Collective is an online platform that will make it far quicker and easier for libraries and other potential subscribers to compare, evaluate, and subscribe to different OA publishers and open service providers via membership packages. The OBC supports small-to-medium OA publishers by way of the COPIM (Community-Led Publication Infrastructures for Open Access Books) philosophy of "scaling small." This allows publishers and other members to operate sustainably and collaboratively whilst retaining their diverse and singular editorial missions, rather than operating from philosophies centered on economic growth, competition, and monopoly.
This article describes the open access (OA) book platforms OAPEN Library and Directory of Open AccessBooks (DOAB), based on 1.the development and activities of OAPEN in the first ten years; 2. the underlying technical approach behind the platforms; 3. the current role of OAPEN and DOAB and future outlook.
OAPEN started out as a project funded by the European Commission, and become a legal non-profit Dutch entity in 2011. It hosts, disseminates and preserves open access books. OA book publishing has been explored in several pilot projects. Its current collection contains over 24,000 documents. DOAB launched in 2012, inspired and supported by DOAJ. It became a legal non-profit Dutch entity in 2019, owned by the OAPEN Foundationand OpenEdition. It’s current collection contains close to 60,000 titles.
The data model of both platforms is optimised for a multilingual collection and supports funding information. Ingesting books has been optimised to support a wide array of publishers and the dissemination of books takes into account search engines; libraries and aggregators and other organisations. The usage has grown in the last years, to 1 million downloads per month.
The future developments entail increased support of research funders with the establishment of a FunderForum and multi-year research into policy development. DOAB will invest more in bibliodiversity, by adding more emphasis on African and Asian countries. Also,DOAB will roll out its Peer Review Information Service for Monographs (PRISM).
OAPEN and DOAB will continue to work on developing reliable infrastructures, policy development and quality assurance around open access books.
Good, Better, Best: Practices in Archiving & Preserving Open Access Monographs brings together the project’s growing knowledge and understanding around this community of practice, as well as reports on the Work Package’s research and development over the course of the project.
Following an introduction chapter giving a brief background landscape summary alongside employed methodologies, Chapter 2, "A basic guidebook for the small and scholar-led press" considers good, better, and best practices around file formats, metadata, content packaging, existing routes to digital publication archives, archiving and preservation workflows, and challenges surrounding copyright, reuse, and licensing. Additional chapters detail the repository workflow experimentations, both manual and automated, as well as successful proof-of-concept archiving in two online repositories: one, and institutional repository, and the other, the Internet Archive. Along with a chapter (Chapter 6) that explores the current understanding around implications for archiving and preserving complex and experimental monographs, two further chapters (7 and 8) look at future work: the expansion and development of the Thoth Archiving Network and the new Open Book Futures project, beginning May 2023. Appendices include signposting to toolkits, guides, and resources, as well as a brief glossary that provides links to more comprehensive archiving and preservation glossaries already in existence. We hope this will be a useful resource for the small and scholar-led press community and beyond.