Taking Open Access book usage from reports to operational strategy | Digital Science

By Christina Drummond

While the term “usage data” most often refers to webpage views and downloads associated with a given book or book chapter, scholarly communications stakeholders have identified a near future where linked open access (OA) scholarship usage data analytics could directly inform publishing, discovery, and collections development in addition to impact reporting.

In the 2020-2022 Exploring Open Access Ebook Usage research project supported by the Mellon Foundation, publisher and library representatives expressed their interests in using OA eBook Usage (OAeBU) data analytics to inform overall OA program investment, strategy and fundraising. A report summarizing a year of virtual focus groups noted multiple operational use cases for OA book usage analytics, spanning book marketing, sales, and editorial strategy; collections development and hosting; institutional OA program strategy, reporting, and investment; and OA impact reporting for institutions and authors to support reporting to their funding agencies, donors, and policy-makers.


Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science – Ithaka S+R

“Several recent studies have indicated that large numbers of researchers in many STEM fields now accept the value of openly sharing research data. Yet, the actual practice of sharing data—especially in forms that comply with FAIR principles—remains a challenge for many researchers to integrate into their workflows and prioritize among the demands on their time.[1] In many disciplines and subfields, data sharing is still mostly an ideal, honored more in the breach than in practice.[2]

The barriers to open data sharing are numerous.[3] However, sustained funding from federal agencies in the United States including the NSF and NIH and important initiatives in other countries such as Canada’s Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy and the European Union’s OpenAire, is creating a growing infrastructure for open sharing of research data, albeit one that highlights the tension between scientific research practices that are now regularly multi-national in scope yet exist within funding and regulatory structures determined largely by national entities.[4] In the US context, the most visible fruits of these efforts are the decentralized network of repositories that have become available to researchers in many fields and are now a vital infrastructure for data sharing across many fields. As incentive structures have slowly shifted, the number of researchers taking advantage of these resources has also grown.

The existence of these repositories are necessary enabling conditions for data sharing, but their ability to transform researcher’s practices around data depositing and sharing absent changes to incentive structures and the culture of research communities will remain uneven. Furthering the goals of open science requires convincing more researchers of the value of data sharing to themselves and to the community of researchers with whom they most tangibly identify. Creating and encouraging community norms that reward sharing is necessary because data sharing, especially FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) compliant sharing, is hard work. Absent strong incentive and reward structures, researchers are often reluctant to take on this “extra” labor. Successful data sharing ultimately depends on cultural and social infrastructures as much as on technical infrastructures….”

Opening the Future: How to Implement an Equitable Revenue Model for Open Access Monographs | Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

Eve, Martin Paul, Pinter, Frances, Poznanski, Emily, & Grady, Tom. (2022). Opening the Future: How to Implement an Equitable Revenue Model for Open Access Monographs (1.0). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6907707


COVID-19 has thrown many aspects of university research culture into acute relief. As the reality of the virus dawned and campuses worldwide went into lockdown, publishers scrambled to unpaywall their research. Publishers made topical works and more general material openly available, through their own sites and platforms such as Project Muse and JSTOR. Physical collections became inaccessible and demand for openly accessible research skyrocketed. It is unclear that it is desirable to return to the previous systems of scholarly communication in the book publishing world, in which physical copies may remain affordable, even while e-licensing agreements for libraries are not.

This has been recognised in several recent global policy announcements including the cOAlition S/Plan S guidelines, and the recent UKRI consultation on OA. The latter’s proposed measures include the possibility of zero-embargo green OA, more liberal open licensing, and the long- vaunted requirement for funded monographs to be in scope. This last element built on a longstanding policy history in the UK foreshadowing a mandate for OA monographs.

That said, the path to OA monographs is not free of obstacles. Among the many issues, the most frequently raised is the business model of Book Processing Charges (BPCs) and their apparent unaffordability, mostly due to distributional allocation of library resources. Happily, several recent reports have detailed non-BPC OA revenue and business models that presses could use to transition to OA – one of the most recent being COPIM’s Revenue models for Open Access monographs 2020.

That report describes a variation on the journal ‘Subscribe to Open’ model whereby members ‘subscribe to a backlist, with the revenue then used to make the frontlist openly accessible’. This constitutes a new business model for OA monographs that had not previously been implemented. We implemented this model, dubbed ‘Opening the Future,’ in a partnership between the COPIM project, the Central European University Press (CEUP), and Liverpool University Press (LUP). This model presents a potential route for the mass and sustainable transition to OA of many small-to-mid sized university presses.

This document sets out how we implemented this model, including the documentation of challenges, resources, timetables, and activities. It is intended as a roadmap for other presses that wish to implement an ‘Opening the Future’-esque model. Of course, this document is unlikely to cover everything, but the authors are happy to respond to individual queries where this will prove helpful.

COPIM’s toolkit for running an Opening the Future programme at an academic press | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

Grady, Tom, Eve, Martin P., & WP3 (2022). COPIM’s toolkit for running an Opening the Future programme at an academic press. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). https://copim.pubpub.org/pub/copim-toolkit-for-running-an-opening-the-future-programme

Step-by-step guide for presses that wish to implement an ‘Opening the Future’ model now published


Study on EU copyright and related rights and access to and reuse of data – Publications Office of the EU

European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Senftleben, M., Study on EU copyright and related rights and access to and reuse of data, Publications Office of the European Union, 2022, https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2777/78973

EU legislation in the field of copyright, related rights and sui generis database rights can have a deep impact on access to data resources for scientific research and the availability of data resulting from publicly funded research. To establish a copyright and related rights framework that offers appropriate data access and reuse opportunities for scientific research, it is necessary to identify potential barriers and challenges that may arise from EU copyright and related rights legislation and corresponding rights management. This study analyses the interaction between copyright and related rights law and data access and reuse for scientific research purposes. It proposes legislative and non-legislative measures to improve the current EU regulatory framework.

New COPIM Scoping Report Published on Archiving and Preserving Open Access Monographs | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

by Miranda Barnes

Work Package 7 of the COPIM Project has released their Scoping Report, identifying and examining the key challenges associated with archiving and preserving open access monographs, particularly those published by small and scholar-led presses.


The Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Systems | Ithaka S+R

Oya Y. Rieger, Roger C. Schonfeld, Liam Sweeney (2022) The Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Systems. https://doi.org/10.18665/sr.316990

Executive Summary

Our cultural, historic, and scientific heritage is increasingly being produced and shared in digital forms, whether born-digital or reformatted from physical materials. There are fundamentally two different types of approaches being taken to preservation: One is programmatic preservation, a series of cross-institutional efforts to curate and preserve specific content types or collections usually based on the establishment of trusted repositories. Examples of providers in this category that provide programmatic preservation include CLOCKSS, Internet Archive, HathiTrust, and Portico.[1] In addition, there are third-party preservation platforms, which are utilized by individual heritage organizations that undertake their own discrete efforts to provide curation, discovery, and long-term management of their institutional digital content and collections.[2]

In August 2020, with funding from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS), Ithaka S+R launched an 18-month research project to examine and assess the sustainability of these third-party digital preservation systems. In addition to a broad examination of the landscape, we more closely studied eight systems: APTrust, Archivematica, Arkivum, Islandora, LIBNOVA, MetaArchive, Samvera and Preservica. Specifically, we assessed what works well and the challenges and risk factors these systems face in their ability to continue to successfully serve their mission and the needs of the market. In scoping this project and selecting these organizations, we intentionally included a combination of profit-seeking and not-for-profit initiatives, focusing on third-party preservation platforms rather than programmatic preservation.

Because so many heritage organizations pursue the preservation imperative for their collections with increasingly limited resources, we examine not only the sustainability of the providers but also the decision-making processes of heritage organizations and the challenges they face in working with the providers.

Our key findings include:

The term “preservation” has become devalued nearly to the point of having lost its meaning. Providers are marketing their offerings as “preservation systems” regardless of actual functionality or storage configurations. Many systems marketed as preservation systems usually address only some aspects of preservation work, such as providing workflow systems (and user interfaces) to streamline the process of moving content into and out of a storage layer.
Because no digital preservation system is truly turnkey, digital preservation cannot be fully outsourced. Digital preservation is a distributed and iterative activity that requires in-house expertise, adequate staffing, and access to different technologies and systems. While it is possible to outsource key components of the digital preservation process to a system provider, no digital preservation system is truly turnkey. Today, it is neither feasible nor desirable for a heritage organization to outsource responsibility for its digital preservation program.
Heritage organizations select preservation systems within the context of marketplace competition. Many observers believe that heritage organizations should support not-for-profit solutions based on shared values and other common principles. But this has not always been the principal driver of organizational behavior. Providers compete within a marketplace that recognizes organizational values as one characteristic among many, such as the total cost of implementation and the feasibility of local implementation.
The not-for-profit preservation platforms are at risk. They tend to have limited capital and have comparatively ponderous governance structures. As a result, many have not been able to innovate quickly enough to keep up with the needs of heritage organizations. Their business and governance models are often ill-suited to the demands of a competitive marketplace, even if growth is not their primary objective. It seems reasonable to forecast additional mergers or buy outs (if not outright failures) among this category of providers.
The growing reliance on profit-seeking providers carries risks. The profit-seekers tend to pursue a growth strategy, and by this measure they are succeeding. Private capital and a decision to scale across multiple sectors has enabled this category of providers t

Accelerating Social Impact Research: Libraries at the Intersection of Openness and Community-Engaged Scholarship

“The social impact of research, whether it is examining educational and economic disparities, developing new medications, or understanding environmental challenges, is a developing, but key, component of higher education and research institutions. Critical to accelerating this impact and advancing public good is the broad adoption of open research principles and practices, which have been shown to benefit the individual researcher through increased citations and scholarly impact, to spur scientific advancements, and to provide more equitable access to research and a deep commitment and engagement with the local community or the communities that are engaged in or using the research. As educators and stewards of the scholarly and scientific record, research libraries have a significant interest in accelerating open research and scholarship within their institutions, and are ideally situated to support the institutional mission to serve the public and their communities. Within higher education, research library leaders have a unique position on campus, supporting every discipline with services, expertise, collections, and infrastructure. To move forward together, ARL piloted a six-month cohort program for members to accelerate the adoption and implementation of open science principles at the intersection of social impact of research and scholarship….”

Accelerating Social Impact Research: Libraries at the Intersection of Openness and Community-Engaged Scholarship—An ARL Report – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published the first report of a six-month pilot cohort program from 2021, Accelerating the Social Impact of Research (ASIR). The pilot engaged small teams from eight ARL member libraries who wanted to share strategies to accelerate the adoption and implementation of open-science principles for social-impact research and scholarship. The report, Accelerating Social Impact Research: Libraries at the Intersection of Openness and Community-Engaged Scholarship, sets the context for this confluence, draws examples from the participating members of the cohort, and identifies the opportunities available for research library leaders. The next installments of this publication series will include additional profiles of the cohort libraries and how they are advancing open scholarship and community engagement….”

Open Access Barcamp 2022: Where the Community Met | ZBW MediaTalk

by Hannah Schneider and Andreas Kirchner


This year’s Open Access Barcamp took place online once again, on 28 and 29 April 2022. From 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on both days, the roughly 50 participants were able to put together their own varied programme, and engage in lively discussions about current Open Access topics.



Teaching and Learning with Open Educational Resources (OER) | Achieving the Dream

“Based on promising findings from the multiyear Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative, ATD and SRI Education have conducted a study to examine whether the use of OER can transform teaching and learning and how open content can enable more equitable, culturally responsive teaching practices.

Teaching and Learning with Open Educational Resources is the first report of its kind, presenting findings from this study and examining how instructors are using OER to advance equity in the classroom….”

Publizieren und Open Access in den Geisteswissenschaften: Erkenntnisse aus dem Projekt AuROA zu den Stakeholdern im Publikationsprozess (Publishing and Open Access in the Humanities: Findings from the AuROA Project on Stakeholders in the Publication Process) | AuROA – Autor:innen und Rechtssicherheit für Open Access

Projekt AuROA (2022): „Publizieren und Open Access in den Geisteswissenschaften: Erkenntnisse aus dem Projekt AuROA zu den Stakeholdern im Publikationsprozess“. Essen.

Abstract (English version via deepl.com): In a survey and two workshops, the AuROA project gathered insights into the stakeholders in the humanities and social sciences publishing process and their perspectives. These complement the findings from other events and a large number of personal interviews. The main topics of the workshops were hurdles and possible solutions in OA publication processes for and between the different stakeholder groups. The survey looked in particular at authors’ publishing experiences and their positions on OA, publishing reputation and publishing services. The focus was more on the humanities than on the social sciences.

Humanities scholars and social scientists are primarily experienced in the classic forms of publication such as monographs, collective works and journal articles. The latter do not have the same prominent status as in the STM field. The forms of publication used do not necessarily coincide with those that are considered particularly prestigious. The respondents have a very positive

The respondents are very positive about OA, but in practice they are not yet very familiar with the concrete possibilities of publishing OA.

It is important for the stakeholders to distinguish themselves from the framework conditions in the STM sector, whose broad solutions they do not consider to be effective. Among the reasons are the very small-scale publishing and disciplinary landscapes in the humanities and social sciences. Which publishers are seen as particularly prestigious has little to do with the services they provide. Instead, publishers are judged on the basis of a traditional brand name and a historically
Instead, publishers are judged on the basis of a traditional brand name and a historically grown market position, but also on the basis of subject-relevant publications and well-known editors. Even among renowned publishers, however, there is a high rate of dissatisfaction with the services actually provided.

With regard to financial components and legal advice, the responses of the humanities scholars and social scientists in the survey differ from the responses of the heterogeneous stakeholder groups in the workshops: From their personal perspective as authors, humanities scholars and social scientists do not weight the reputation of a publisher according to the costs of the publication, neither with regard to the financial components nor with regard to legal advice, neither in terms of the fees charged nor the price of the product. From a broader perspective on the field of publishing, however, participants in the workshops name the financing of publications as one of the most pressing current issues. The same applies to legal advice: authors rarely receive legal advice from publishers. However, this topic plays a central role for authors, publishers and libraries – especially for the latter, which in many cases provide legal advice.

Abstract (German original): In einer Umfrage und zwei Workshops hat das Projekt AuROA Erkenntnisse zu den Stakeholdern im geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Publikationsprozess sowie ihren Perspektiven gesammelt. Diese ergänzen die Erkenntnisse aus weiteren Veranstaltungen und einer Vielzahl von persönlichen Gesprächen. Die wichtigsten Themen der Workshops waren Hürden und Lösungsansätze in Open-Access-Publikationsabläufen für und zwischen den verschiedenen Stakeholdergruppen. Die Umfrage beleuchtete insbesondere Publikationserfahrungen von Autor:innen sowie deren Positionen zu Open Access, Verlagsrenommee und Verlagsdienstleistungen. Der Schwerpunkt lag hierbei stärker auf den Geistes- als auf den Sozialwissenschaften.

Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftler:innen sind dabei vor allem in den klassischen Publikationsformen wie Monographien, Sammelwerken und Zeitschriftenartikeln erfahren. Letztere haben dabei nicht den herausragenden Status wie im STM-Bereich. Die genutzten Publikationsformen stimmen dabei nicht unbedingt mit jenen überein, die als besonders renommiert eingeschätzt werden. Open Access stehen
die Befragten sehr positiv gegenüber, sind in der Praxis aber noch nicht sehr vertraut mit den konkreten Möglichkeiten, Open Access zu publizieren.

Wichtig ist den Stakeholdern die Abgrenzung von den Rahmenbedingungen im STM-Bereich, dessen breite Lösungen sie als nicht zielführend ansehen. Zu den Gründen gehören d

Wallace (2022) A Culture of Copyright: A scoping study on open access to digital cultural heritage collections in the UK | Zenodo

Wallace, Andrea. (2022). A Culture of Copyright: A scoping study on open access to digital cultural heritage collections in the UK. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6242611


This report was commissioned by the Towards a National Collection programme (TaNC) to better understand the ways in which open access shapes how the UK’s digital cultural heritage collections can be accessed and reused. The study was undertaken by Dr Andrea Wallace in 2021. The recommendations presented are the authors own and their report form part of the evidence that Towards a National Collection continues to gather to determine the future policies it will recommend.

Andrea Wallace gives a focused discussion on how the UK Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum (GLAM) sector fares in the global open GLAM landscape and what potential is possible with a digital national collection. Four types of information inform this report:

Existing empirical data on global open GLAM activity, policies and data volume;
New empirical data on UK GLAMs, public domain collections and rights management, including:

A dataset of 195 UK GLAMs containing information on online collections, rights statements and reuse policies, technical protection measures, publication platforms, open access engagement, commercial licensing practices, data volume and other data points;
An in-depth review of the rights statements and reuse policies of 63 GLAMs selected from that sample;
30 one-hour open ended interviews with TaNC project investigators, UK GLAM staff, external platform staff and open GLAM advocates;

A review of relevant case law and policy developments in the UK and elsewhere; and
A literature review of scholarly writing on copyright and open access to digital heritage collections.

The findings indicate there is no consensus in the UK GLAM sector on what open access means, or should mean. There is also a fundamental misunderstanding of what the public domain is, includes and should include. Indeed, staff perspectives and GLAM policies can vary widely, even within a given institution. Accordingly, this study aimed to discern and outline what support is necessary to address systemic barriers to open access, starting with copyright itself.

Copyright generally protects creative expressions during the creator’s lifetime and an additional 70 years after death. During the copyright term, the public pays the rightsholder a fee to reuse the work. The idea is that these economic benefits will incentivise creators to make new creative works, over which they will enjoy a limited monopoly from which they may profit and exert control. Once copyright expires, the work enters the public domain and is available for anyone to reuse for any purpose.[1] In this way, the public domain is a central part of the copyright bargain and its availability produces a wider benefit to society: public domain works can be reused to create new knowledge and cultural goods that enrich social welfare and invigorate the local economy. Considering these aspirations align with public missions, GLAMs around the world are in the process of updating digital remits and strategies to feature these goals for digitised public domain collections. Yet new questions can arise related to the presence or absence of copyright in digital surrogates of public domain works and collections data as a result. This study thus aimed to understand how the UK GLAM sector fared in the global open GLAM landscape and what new potentials are enabled by the digital national collection

[1] The focal point of this report is limited to copyright. Other intellectual property rights, like a trade mark or publication right, can impact digitisation, availability and use. These are secondary to the main question about whether the digital materials should be in the public domain and are not addressed here.