From the Program Announcement (via JISC):
The academic monograph is under threat. Increased costs and lower print runs are impacting on the principle means by which researchers share their knowledge and disseminate their findings. The gold standard for academic excellence in many disciplines, the effective dissemination of the monograph has major implications for the UK’s research base and its international standing.
JISC Collections is embarking on a new project called OAPEN-UK to explore the issues impacting upon the publishing of scholarly monographs in the humanities and social sciences. Funded by JISC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the project is taking a collaborative and real time approach to addressing the challenges, risks and potential opportunities of unfettered online access to scholarly monographs
Palgrave Macmillan, Taylor & Francis, Berg Publishers, Liverpool University Press and University Wales Press are also project partners. Each has submitted pairs of similar monographs for the project pilot. With one title in each pair randomly assigned to either the experimental group (available through open access) or the control group (available through the publishers’ standard routes to market) the pilot will, over the next three years, gather and compare sales and usage data for each group. The resulting data will provide an invaluable evidence base for the use of monographs under contrasting modes of access.
Read the Complete Announcement