May 17, 2022

Full Text, Open Access Books: OAPEN Launches on a New Platform

OAPEN provides access to, “over 12,000 OA books and chapters, from more than 300 publishers from all parts of the world.”


[The] new platform, [is] based on DSpace, the open source repository system.


The move to DSpace is part of a wider project, OPERAS-P, to support the development of OPERAS (Open Scholarly Communication in the European Research Area for Social Sciences and Humanities), which is funded by the European Commission in the Horizon 2020 framework. The redevelopment also involves DOAB (the Directory of Open Access Books), to secure both OAPEN and DOAB as open infrastructures, and DOAB as a central service for OPERAS.


With the migration to a new platform, we were able to introduce several new features and improve existing ones. We introduced new browsing options based on license or publication type (book or chapter), and improved our metadata offerings in MARCXML and MARC 21, based on feedback from libraries. We added a REST search API for systems to search the OAPEN Library.

A custom feature that we will make available as an open source addition to DSpace is ONIX import. Publishers use the ONIX XML standard to exchange information about their titles. We created an import script that converts ONIX XML to new records for the OAPEN Library in DSpace. The ONIX metadata now also contains chapter descriptions linked to books.

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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.