November 28, 2015

New Article: “Do Developing Countries Profit From Free Books? Discovery and Online Usage in Developed and Developing Countries Compared”

Here’s an article from the new issue (16.1) of The Journal of Electronic Publishing.


Do Developing Countries Profit From Free Books? Discovery and Online Usage in Developed and Developing Countries Compared


Ronald Snijder


The Journal of Electronic Publishing
Vol 16 No 1
Summer 2103


For years, Open Access has been seen as a way to remove barriers to research in developing countries. In order to test this, an experiment was conducted to measure whether publishing academic books in Open Access has a positive effect on developing countries. During a period of nine months the usage data of 180 books was recorded. Of those, a set of 43 titles was used as control group with restricted access. The rest was made fully accessible.

The data shows the digital divide between developing countries and developed countries: 70 percent of the discovery data and 73 percent of online usage data come from developed countries. Using statistical analysis, the experiment confirms that Open Access publishing enhances discovery and online usage in developing countries. This strengthens the claims of the advocates of Open Access: researchers from the developing countries do benefit from free academic books.

Direct to Full Text Article

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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