Newsletter July, 2010


OAPEN Seminar “Promoting Open Access for Academic Books”

Amsterdam,  June 10, 2010

Over 40 experts from Europe and the United States came together in Amsterdam on invitation of OAPEN to discuss ideas and initiatives to promote Open Access for Academic Books. As influential stakeholders in scholarly publishing, researchers and authors, publishers, librarians, and research funders exchanged their experiences and expectations and explored ways to collaborate to promote Open Access publishing, especially for monographs.

All stakeholders in scholarly communication are aware of the ongoing transition in scholarly book publishing towards digital forms of communication and publishing. It presents challenges to all, especially within the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) where the sustainability of monograph publishing is being threatened due to declining print runs, mainly caused by insufficient acquisition budgets of libraries.

The OAPEN publication model was presented by Saskia de Vries of Amsterdam University Press, coordinator of OAPEN. The publication model aims to improve access to monographs, but also to reduce the economic barriers facing traditional monograph publishing. The model is based on ‘author pay’ (publishers charge publication fees for OA editions), consisting of an approach to calculate the costs of OA publications and mechanisms to fund these publications. The model is therefore based on the collaboration of academic presses publishing in Open Access and academic institutes providing publication funds. In this model, academic publishers provide services to scholars, faculties and academic consortia, taking on specific tasks and roles in knowledge creation and distribution. Shana Kimball of the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan’s Library and Saskia Franken of Igitur, the Utrecht Publishing & Archiving Services presented already existing examples of such service providers. It is obvious that these transitions have to take into account the paramount importance of quality assurance and of effective dissemination and access to knowledge, as was ascertained by Gerhard Lauer of the Göttingen Center for Digital Humanities, representing the researcher’s perspective.

During the day it became clear that research funders are in a special position to play a pioneering role to explore and promote these new publication models. With dedicated funds and in close cooperation with scholarly publishers, they can help ensure effective dissemination and scientific quality and set rules and standards in scholarly dissemination. Jos Engelen of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) explained NWO’s motives to promote Open Access publications and Doris Haslinger from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) presented the recently introduced Open Access policies including funding opportunities for Open Access books. Eelco Ferwerda of Amsterdam University Press presented OAPEN’s collaboration with NWO to conduct a pilot for Open Access book publishing in the Netherlands. A similar pilot is being prepared in the UK, providing national playgrounds to experiment with publishing models for Open Access monographs and exchange knowledge to establish a European framework.

The ongoing debate on Open Access publishing will be continued at the 2nd Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing, 22-24 August in Prague ( OAPEN will chair a session on academic books and possible forms of collaboration. We look forward to seeing you.

More information on the OAPEN Seminar, the programme, speakers and their presentations click here.

For more information, contact Eelco Ferwerda (Project Manager OAPEN, Amsterdam University Press) e-mail JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING