January 19, 2022

SpringerNature Releases “The Future of Open Access Books: Findings From a Global Survey Of Academic Book Authors”

From the News Release

The majority of book authors support the idea that all future scholarly books should be open access (OA). This is one of the key findings of a new white paper presented by Springer Nature at the OAI-11 conference at CERN this week. Based on the responses of 2,542 book authors who were surveyed by Springer Nature in February and March 2019, the white paper provides a global view of book authors’ attitudes towards OA.

The survey looks at researchers’ motivations for publishing a book, and analyses the parameters and key drivers which influence academics to publish OA or not. The white paper also identifies major obstacles to OA publication which book authors still face: from a lack of awareness of OA publishing options and low funding, to concerns about how OA books are perceived. The white paper is freely available for download.

The findings reflect the views of OA and non-OA book authors alike: out of the 2,542 participants, 407 authors had previously published at least one OA book, 2,037 authors had not published an OA book, and 98 authors did not know whether they had published an OA book previously.

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Key Findings

The majority of book authors support the idea that all future scholarly books should be open access

Pro-open access attitudes are stronger among junior researchers, researchers based in Europe and Asia, and previous open access book authors

Ethical reasons (equality in access), and reaching a larger audience are identified as key motivations for choosing open access for books

Lack of awareness, concerns about quality, and lack of funding are barriers to OA publication

The majority of book authors want more financial support from funders for open access book publication

Gold open access is the most preferred policy for open access books

Reputation of publishers matters less to open access book authors but is still the deciding factor for publication.

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Additional Resources

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.