Open access for academic books is deemed to be a relatively underdeveloped area. To help evaluate to which point this assumption is true and to understand the landscape, Knowledge Exchange ran a project on open access academic books between 2016 and 2019. Project research outputs included a landscape study, a survey report and a high-level stakeholder workshop in Brussels. This early focus on the topic of academic books in open access led to a better understanding on an European level both with regard to the current situation and what aspects of the landscape need further development and attention.
As open science seems to have reached a “tipping point” in the academic community, it is clear that there is still much to do on open access books. This endeavour is necessary if we don’t want the scientific communities that use the academic book as the golden standard for publishing to be left out. As evidenced by many of the recent reports, not least the recent Knowledge Exchange work in this area, there is a will in the community to make progress and better serve researchers’ needs. This needs to be supported in a coordinated manner both by research performing and funding organisations.
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