OAPEN-UK research underway with first round of focus groups

The research plan which will support the aims and objectives of OAPEN-UK has been agreed by the Steering Group and is underway with focus groups planned for November 2011.

OAPEN-UK is exploring the issues impacting upon the publishing of scholarly monographs in the humanities and social sciences. The research strand of the project will investigate whether an open access model for scholarly monographs could take hold in the minds of humanities and social sciences scholars, what funding policies and technical processes would need to be developed to support an open access model and what the impacts of an OA model would be on key stakeholders.

The three main questions we are exploring are:

  1. How does the general research environment – policies, systems, technical products, attitudes and so forth – need to change if OA monographs are to become more common? This will be explored through a series of focus groups, interviews and surveys with various stakeholder groups.
  2. What is the measurable impact of choosing to publish a monograph in open access on sales, usage and citations? This will be established by comparing data for the matched pairs of books.
  3. How has participation in the project affected attitudes towards OA monograph publishing? This will be examined using an annual benchmarking survey, which tracks the opinions of all those who come into contact with the project and its findings.

In November 2011 we will be holding three focus groups, one with representatives from institutions, one with monograph publishers and one with researchers. The focus groups will be discursive and we are looking to identify key issues and concerns regarding OA monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences.

The focus groups will be an excellent opportunity to share your views and experiences, and to influence the future direction of the OAPEN-UK. If you are interested in attending a focus group please see the details on the events page.