While scholarly monograph publishing has been slower to adopt open access due to a number of factors, proponents of open access recognize the importance of expanding Open to include book publishing.
Benefits of Open Book Publishing
Publishing open access increases the visibility, accessibility, and geographic reach of your research, whether for books, book chapters or journal articles. A report published by Springer Nature found that “OA books have 10 times more downloads than non-OA books and 2.4 times more citations on average” (Pyne et al., 2020, p. 7). This was true across all five disciplinary clusters examined in the report (Humanities; Social Sciences; Business and Economics; Medical, Biomedical and Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Sciences).
OA books were also accessed from 201 countries, compared to 125 for non-OA books. Most of the additional countries accessing OA books are located in the Global South, where access to expensive subscription-based scholarly literature is more limited. Open access has the possibility to extend academic research to researchers and communities historically underserved by traditional academic publishing.
The Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) organised a one-day symposium on “Open Access Monographs: from policy to reality” which took place at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, on 2 October 2019. This is a video featuring the afternoon panel discussion. Chair: Patricia Killiard (Deputy Director, Academic Services, Cambridge University Library). Panelists: Name tbc (Cambridge University Press), Lara Speicher (UCL Press), Rupert Gatti (Open Book Publishers), Rosalind Pyne, (Springer Nature), Janneke Adema (Radical Open Access).
Presenters discuss reasons for considering open access and will address some of the main concerns of creating an open access book, including finding a publisher and choosing a publishing platform, reconceptualizing editorial responsibilities, dealing with production elements like layout, addressing universal design and accessibility issues, and marketing the finished publication.