A milestone for open access – the Directory of Open Access Books now includes over 50,000 open access books published in 90 languages by 560 academic book publishers. The directory, representing scholarship from authors and publishers around the globe, is openly available to the scholarly community and the general public at large.
With a notable contribution to the visibility of academic publishers and their catalogues, the SciELO Books collection celebrates 10 years of operation with the development of state-of-the-art infrastructure and capabilities for publishing digital academic books.
Upon completing 10 years, the SciELO Books collection operates in network with 20 active publishers. The collection comprises around 1,600 books, of which 62% are open access. There are more than 13,000 chapters in open access. In the past ten years, open access books have served an annual average of more than 1 million downloads.
SciELO Books is an integral part of the SciELO Program led by FAPESP, with support from CAPES and CNPq and relies on the sponsorship of the Associação Brasileira de Editoras Universitárias (ABEU) and the Asociación de Editoriales Universitarias de América Latina y el Caribe (EULAC). It is also a member of the Directory of Open Access Books Trusted Platform.
The books from SciELO Books are available in the main commercial eBook stores like Amazon, Google, Kobo, and in search engines (Discovery Services) such as OCLC WorldCat, ExLibris, EBSCO, DOAB, OpenLibrary, and Internet Archive.
The event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of SciELO Books is intended as a forum for the recognition of advances and challenges and, above all, for a debate on the future of the digital book in the light of open access and open science.
By Gilberto Hochman, Researcher at Fiocruz, Scientific Editor at Editora Fiocruz and Assistant Editor of Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, social midia is applauding the franchise of open access to books, book chapters, data and encyclopedias in all areas of knowledge by traditional foreign university publishers, bases such as JSTOR and Project Muse, and various publishers. The necessary policies of social isolation, and even quarantine, led to the closure of research institutions, universities, libraries and archives. And, with that, the drastic reduction of knowledge access channels, particularly in countries outside the 21st century central circuit of science. The offer is worthwhile and should be celebrated and enjoyed. However, this open access has an expiration date: the end of the pandemic.1 Regardless of its duration, after the international health emergency, access will again be paid for, either by individuals, educational and research institutions and by government agencies, with a huge burden for the countries of the Global South. Anyone who has tried and enjoyed, should pay to continue having access. Open access to scientific knowledge is not a routine or a commitment by publishers, but a business and an exception like during the pandemic. In that sense, SciELO Books is more important now than ever.