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OAPEN-UK recognises that sales of monographs (particularly backlist) are not increasing and wishes to explore the open access model, which may be a route to increase readership and dissemination. OAPEN-UK also recognises, that in light of budget pressures, publishers and librarians may not be able to rely on e-book purchasing / subscription models to sustain their monograph programmes and that open access could possibly offer an alternative model. OAPEN-UK is not seeking to destroy current business models, it is looking to explore possibilities and provide all stakeholders with useful data that will inform future decisions.

The aims of OAPEN-UK align with those of publishers and researchers – to promote high quality research to the widest possible audience.

OAPEN-UK will partner with publishers, research councils, researchers and institutions in a practical, real-time pilot called ‘Noah’ that will gather qualitative data on the open access business model and quantitative data on the attitudes, perceptions and reach of open access scholarly monographs.

The key objectives of the project will be to:

  • undertake a pilot to explore the open access business model
  • discuss with publishers the business model for open access publishing and how to ascertain the costs associated with it
  • evaluate the Noah pilot by measuring the impact on publishers print and e-book sales, their costs and their attitudes towards open access
  • evaluate the Noah pilot by measuring the impact on readership and reach of the research monographs
  • gather information on the attitudes and perceptions of the authors, researchers, publishers and readers to open access scholarly monographs
  • gather information on impact to help research councils develop their policies
  • explore potential roles for libraries in an open access monograph environment
  • promote awareness of the issues and challenges of open access monographs
  • monitor the scholarly monograph and e-book landscape and share information will stakeholders
  • share the results of OAPEN-UK and disseminate the findings at an international level

The ideal would be to discover that an OA business model is not only feasible and sustainable but that the free availability of scholarly monographs results in positive impacts for all stakeholders, especially researchers. How likely we are to reach this ideal can only be found out through research and exploration.

OAPEN-UK website can be found at http://oapen-uk.jiscebooks.org/

For further information, please contact Caren Milloy c.milloy@jisc-collections.ac.uk