The issue of making Open Access books discoverable was discussed in nearly all of our focus groups that we held earlier this year as part of the OAPEN-UK project. It’s not just about putting the PDF onto a platform and hoping that readers will find it, it’s about getting metadata out into the web, search and library systems where the users are. The 29 Open Access titles in our pilot are available on the OAPEN Library platform which also provides MARC records for libraries, exposes its metadata and is joining up with library discovery services. But our 29 titles are just a small part of the whole, how then do readers find out about all the other Open Access books available?
In the journals market we have the Directory of Open Access Journals to help and now, thanks to OAPEN, we have the Directory of Open Access Books – a central place where users can search and discover Open Access books by publisher, subject area or by keyword search. This is a great step forward for the discoverability of Open Access books.
I’m particularly encouraged that this marks a further step forward in allowing UK researchers a way in to open access resources from across Europe. During our recent OAPEN-UK focus groups, what was clear in all three groups was the awareness that issues are often at a local level, while in an open access model, it has to work at an international level also. Publishers publish authors from across the globe and authors want to be published by publishers who are based outside the UK. Whatever the model, the need for infrastructure and funding models to take account of this was made apparent by the groups.
Discoverability is just one aspect that will affect the future of the monograph. If you are a humanities and social science researcher interested in that future, can you spare twenty minutes to help us understand your views? You could win one of several £100 Amazon vouchers by completing the OAPEN-UK Researcher Survey.
For more information on the directories or to get involved, please contact Eelco Ferwerda, director of the OAPEN Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, +31(0)629565168.