December 5, 2021

Report: “Promoting and Nurturing Interactions with Open Access Books: Strategies for Publishers and Authors”

Promoting and Nurturing Interactions with Open Access Books: Strategies for Publishers and Authors was published online this week by COPIM. An introductory blog post is available.

From the Report’s Introduction:

This report explores how publishers and authors can promote, nurture, and facilitate interaction with openly available books. Open access (obviously) opens up scholarship, but it also offers scope to enhance interactions between books, scholars, publishers, resources, librarians, and of course readers. This might take the form of creating communities and conversations around books, of gathering comments and hyperlinks, or of enabling updating, remixing and reusing, translating, modifying, reviewing, versioning, and forking of existing books. Open access, in short can create additional value and new avenues and formats that go beyond openness, by changing how people interact with books. Research shows that making books available in open access enhances discovery and online consultation (Snijder, 2019), but the short outline above makes clear that there is still a lot to be done to stimulate, explore, and practice the full range of book interactions made possible by open access.

The first part of this report provides a literature overview that identifies the opportunities that digital technologies and enhanced interactions with open access books can provide for scholarship; it outlines some of the main types of interactions around scholarship—and around and as part of open access books more in particular—that scholars are involved in; and it showcases some of the experiments within humanities book publishing with reuse and remix; finally it presents some of the main (technological and socio-cultural) inhibitions that have prevented further uptake of these practices. The second part of this report more closely explores the technical dependencies that the introduced interactions and affordances rely upon. Doing so, it outlines and showcases various open source tools,undefined software, technologies, platforms, infrastructures, guidelines and best practices, that lend themselves to being adopted by publishers and authors (or by publishers and authors working in collaboration with each other) to facilitate interaction around their book(s). The third part of this report then summarises the findings of the previous parts and provides recommendations, guidelines, and strategies (again, both socio-cultural and technological) for publishers and authors to further open up their books and collections to community interaction and reuse.

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This report has been written as the second research report coming out of COPIM’s work package 6 (WP 6), which focuses on Experimental Publishing and Reuse and looks at ways to more closely align existing software, tools and technologies, workflows, and infrastructures for experimental publishing with the workflows of open access book publishers. To do so, it is co-producing several pilot projects of experimental books (which we are currently developing with communities of scholars and technologists and partner presses Open Humanities Press, Mattering Press, and Open Book Publishers), which are being developed with the aid of these new tools and workflows. As part of these pilot projects, relationships will be established with open source publishing platforms, software providers, and projects focused on experimental long-form publications, and outreach activities will be conducted with open access book publishers and authors to further promote experimental publishing opportunities.

The report is organized into the following sections:

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.

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