"MIT Press releases Direct to Open (D2O) Impact Report"


The MIT Press announces the release of a report on its Direct to Open (D2O) program detailing the impact that it has had in its first three years. Launched in 2021, D2O is a sustainable framework for open access monographs that shifts publishing from a solely market-based, purchase model where individuals and libraries buy single eBooks, to a collaborative, library-supported open access model. . . .

To date, D2O has funded 240 books: 159 in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), and 81 in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, and Mathematics (STEAM). The data show that, on average, open access HSS books in the program are used 3.75 times more and receive 21% more citations than their paywalled counterparts. Open access books in STEAM fields are used 2.67 times more and receive 15% more citations than their non-open counterparts, on average. . . .

At a time when average print runs for academic monographs are often in the low hundreds, books in the D2O program are reaching larger audiences online than ever before—averaging 3,061 downloads per title and bringing important scholarship to international audiences.

https://tinyurl.com/4cwet48f

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Open Access Projects in Europe: From a General Perspective to Monographs and Ebooks


The development of policies in favour of open science and the transformation of publication channels for academic literature and research produced with public funding by researchers and authors in higher education, combined with technological and financial developments in open access models for scholarly publication and the interest shown by funders for a long time in journals and articles and more recently in monographs and textbooks, continue to reshape the face of academic publication.

Cécile Swiatek Cassafieres, a member of the Executive Board of the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBEReurope.org), will provide a general overview of the main European trends, initiatives and projects in this area, focusing on the diamond model and its current prospects, before addressing the case of ‘books’ in open access, from the angle of monographs on the one hand, and textbooks on the other. A presentation of LIBER’s own initiatives will illustrate the Association of European Research Libraries’ support for such developments.

https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11149567

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"Launch of UPLOpen.com: Revolutionizing Access to Open Knowledge and Empowering Global Sustainability Goals"


In an ambitious move to democratize access to scholarly knowledge and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the De Gruyter eBound Foundation is thrilled to unveil UPLOpen.com, a product of University Press Library Open (UPLO), an innovative website that curates high-quality, open access scholarship from the world’s leading university presses. . . .

At launch, UPLOpen.com proudly hosts more than 350 open access books from over thirty university presses, including two landmark collections: Luminos, from the University of California Press, and TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem), a pilot project of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses), which concluded in 2022 but continues to release new titles. By mid-2024, the number of titles hosted on UPLOpen.com is expected to exceed 2,500, with further plans for significant growth already in motion for 2025 and beyond.

https://tinyurl.com/5ftcmx2p

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"Towards a Books Data Commons for AI Training"


This white paper describes ways of building a books data commons: a responsibly designed, broadly accessible data set of digitized books to be used in training AI models. This report, written in partnership with Creative Commons and Proteus Strategies, is based on a series of workshops that brought together practitioners building AI models, legal and policy scholars, and experts working with collections of digitized books.

In the paper, we first explain why books matter for AI training and how broader access could be beneficial. We then summarize two tracks that might be considered for developing such a resource, highlighting existing projects that help foreground the potential challenges. One track relies on public domain and permissively licensed books, while the other depends on exceptions to copyright to enable training on in-copyright books. The report also presents several key design choices and next steps that could advance further development of this approach.

https://tinyurl.com/2fu47552

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"[AAP] Publishers File Brief Opposing Internet Archive Appeal of Loss"


Controlled digital lending is a frontal assault on the foundational copyright principle that rightsholders exclusively control the terms of sale for every different format of their work — a principle that has spawned the broad diversity in formats of books, movies, television and music that consumers enjoy today.

"[T]here is no resemblance between IA’s conversion of millions of print books into ebooks and the historical practice of lending print books. Nor does IA’s distribution of ebooks without paying authors and their publishers a dime conform with the modern practices of libraries, which acquire licenses to lend ebooks to their local communities and enjoy the benefits of digital distribution lawfully."

The Internet Archive ("IA") operates a mass-digitization enterprise in which it copies millions of complete, in-copyright print books and distributes the resulting bootleg ebooks from its website to anyone in the world for free. Granting summary judgment, the District Court properly held that IA’s infringement is not saved by fair use as each of the four factors weighs against IA under longstanding case law.

https://tinyurl.com/5ah5vx3x

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"Supporting Open Access Monographs: Penn State University Libraries’ Participation in the TOME Initiative"


In 2017, Penn State pledged to participate in the then newly established Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME) Initiative. TOME was launched by the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) as a five-year pilot with two main types of participants: colleges and universities and university presses. Penn State was one of the first universities to commit funds to participate in TOME, which was designed to support peer-reviewed, open access monographs in the humanities and social sciences. Each participating university committed $225,000 total for the five-year pilot, split out into $45,000 per academic year to support three grants of $15,000 per monograph. This number was established based on the recommendation from the Ithaka S+R Report "The Costs of Publishing Monographs."

https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.85.3.66

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"E-book Acceptance by First-Year Undergraduate Students: A Longitudinal Examination and Implications for Library Researchers"


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.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2024.102847

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"MIT Press’s Direct to Open Reaches Annual Funding Goal, Opens Access to Full List of 2024 Monographs"


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.

http://tinyurl.com/4phkat8x

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"UKRI [UK Research and Innovation] Monograph Open Access Policy Coming Soon: Here’s What You Need to Know"


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.

https://tinyurl.com/mrxrna84

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"Digitization and the Market for Physical Works: Evidence from the Google Books Project"


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.

https://tinyurl.com/2pbuzty2

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"Measured in a Context: Making Sense of Open Access Book Data"


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.

https://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.627

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"An Open Book: Launching a Library-Based Open Access Books Hosting Service"


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.

https://doi.org/10.53377/lq.13745

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Paywall: "Digital Ownership: The Case of E-books"


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.

https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.807

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"Springer Nature and Authors Successfully Use Generative AI to Publish Academic Book"


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:

  1. Working simultaneously on six screens, the team defined commands which GPT then executed chapter by chapter to create the first version of the manuscript
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. After the Hack Day, the authors and Springer Nature’s editorial team further checked, corrected and supplemented the text
  5. The team then linked the relevant data sources to ensure proper attribution

https://tinyurl.com/4x7nvvks

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"JSTOR releasing First 100 Path to Open Books"


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.

https://tinyurl.com/2p92439j

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Ithaka S+R: Print Revenue and Open Access Monographs: A University Press Study


Key Insights

  • 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.

https://doi.org/10.18665/sr.319642

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"Internet Archive Appeals Loss in Library Ebook Lawsuit"


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.

https://tinyurl.com/ysp8m558

"Finding the Right Platform: A Crosswalk of Academy-Owned and Open-Source Digital Publishing Platforms"


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.

https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:59231/

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Paywall: "A Study on Copyright Issues of Different Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) Modes"


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.

https://doi.org/10.1177/09610006231190654

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"Judgment Entered in Publishers, Internet Archive Copyright Case"


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.

https://tinyurl.com/p3yaszd9

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"Judge Finds Revived Amazon E-book Monopoly Suit Should Proceed "


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.

https://tinyurl.com/7pru9f4m

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"Big Ten Open Books"


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.

https://tinyurl.com/37y66ccw

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The Anti-Ownership Ebook Economy: How Publishers and Platforms Have Reshaped the Way We Read in the Digital Age


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.

https://tinyurl.com/4762bbyv

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"Open Access Books through Open Data Sources: Assessing Prevalence, Providers, and Preservation"


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.

https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-02-2023-0016

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"Beyond BPCs: Reimagining and Re-infrastructuring the Funding of Open Access Books"


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.

https://bit.ly/45yZsXQ

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