Previous Knowledge Exchange work on OA Monographs inspired experts Pierre Mounier (EHESS, OpenEdition, OPERAS), Graham Stone (Jisc) and Jeroen Sondervan (Utrecht University Library) to organise a community supporting investment in the OA Book infrastructure. In early 2021 they organised an online event that was facilitated by Knowledge Exchange and attended by key stakeholders, including representatives of cOAlition-S, SPARC-Europe, OASPA, OAPEN, DARIAH-EU, OpenAIRE, national funders, KE partner organisations and many more.
As a result, the position paper ‘Investing in the Open Access Book infrastructure – A call for action‘ has been published and is available as a PDF to download via Zenodo. There is also a Google doc version where we invite you to add your name to the growing list of signatories. We will update the PDF at regular intervals to ensure we have an up-to-date version of record.
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The position paper identifies three legs of a policy stool that together will support the full transition to open access for academic books by:
- Engaging people in a common place to discuss issues and share knowledge related to the development of open access books.
- Sustaining the technology needed to host, disseminate, index, preserve, ensure access and quality to open access books.
- Gathering knowledge to monitor the transition of the academic book towards open access under several perspectives and the implementation of open access book policies.
The paper discusses different challenges that need to be overcome around bibliodiversity vs scalability, and the lack of knowledge and awareness, support for open access books services, and interoperability across the system.
There are existing communities engaged and willing to meet these challenges but resources are lacking. We believe that this infrastructure needs to be strengthened to develop the capacity, expertise and support that will sustain and grow the publication, dissemination and usage of open access books. Immediate investment in the areas identified below, and the alignment of stakeholders will enable decentralised initiatives to contribute to a sustainable system, significantly increase open access book publishing across disciplines and countries, thus strengthening researcher trust and reader awareness.
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