Over the summer there have been some great discussions taking place and new technical developments in the open access scholarly monograph arena. Here is a quick overview with some links:
1. If you are interested in how to establish and maintain the quality of open access monographs and what impact Creative Commons has then I really recommend that you read the discussion that took place recently on the DOAB email list which has been put up on the DOAB blog. Some of the questions being asked and the comments / ideas / suggestions are really enlightening and show a variety of viewpoints. This really demonstrates the difficulties that will be faced in a transition to OA monograph publishing. You can join the mailing list at: https://listserv.gwdg.de/mailman/listinfo/doab
2. There have been a lot of blog posts about monographs, peer review processes, publishing, funding models and new trends. We are capturing these all at our Diigo OAPEN-UK Group. I think my favourite at the moment is the LSE Impact of the Social Sciences blog which has had a great range of guest bloggers and some extremely fascinating discussions.
3. I’m hoping that you will have all seen the results of the researcher survey that we undertook with HSS researchers – we had 690 responses and it is fascinating data. Three of my highlights (Warning! my interpretations) are:
- The major push for CC BY (as we have seen in STEM) is going to be met with some major resistance in the humanities and social sciences only a tiny percentage of researchers would be happy to publish their monograph under this licence. 90% prefer the most restrictive CC licence.
- Researchers do not want to have to do marketing and promotion, dissemination etc and rely heavily on their publishers to provide these services. In fact, it’s what they are most happy with their publishers about. Which begs the question – if they are so happy with the marketing and promotion and dissemination efforts of their publishers, and primarily pick them for their expertise at getting books to the right readers – is there really a monograph crisis (given the reported decline in sales) or do researchers not really care once their book has been published? Is this really about what academics want or what we think that they want? I’m being flippant and controversial here but this really does need some further exploration!
- Core university funds underpin the majority of HSS research so if we are to move to a Gold OA model, then central pots of money to support HSS research will be critical. Pro VCs of research and senior management have to engage now for OA monographs to progress
4. The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) has 1146 academic peer-reviewed books from 31 publishers and has just released a new search box tool which you can drop into a website and allow you to search DOAB and access the books directly from your website. They have also just released MARCXML metadata to enable easier incorporation into library catalogues.