OAPEN-UK is a four-year research project that is exploring an OA model for publishing HSS monographs in collaboration with publishers, research funders, learned societies, researchers and institutions. JISC and the AHRC have provided funding for the OAPEN-UK project. The project is exploring open access scholarly monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences. It is an innovative and highly consultative project – working in an area where little research exists and connecting with all the key stakeholders to identify and discuss concerns, challenges, perceptions and opportunities related to a transition to open access monographs. OAPEN-UK recognises that open access will require changes to current working practice as well as cultural change and that resistance to change is inevitable. By working with each stakeholder and sharing findings between stakeholders, the project promotes understanding and knowledge and enables stakeholders to make informed decisions based on evidence, rather than assumptions.
We are piloting the model used by the OAPEN project which was an EU project whereby a grant is paid to the publisher who publish a PDF of the monograph available under a creative commons licence but can also generate revenue through sales of print and ebook device friendly editions such as epub.What we have done though is set up two groups in our pilot – the open access group and the control group. Publishers were invited to submit titles for inclusion in the pilot but they had to submit pairs of titles matched on subject area, publication date, sales etc. The pairs were then selected by the project’s Steering Group and one from each pair randomly selected to go into the experimental group and one into the control group.The titles in the OA pot are made available under a CC licence from the publishers website, the OAPEN Library website and IRs. The control group titles are made available for sale under the publishers normal route such as for sale to libraries as part of packages, via aggregators.All the titles, whether OA or Control are available for purchase in print format and some are also available in epub or specific e-formats such as amz. We have 58 tiles from Palgrave Macmillan, Taylor & Francis, Berg Publishers, Liverpool University Press and University Wales Press and over the next three years we will gather and compare sales and usage data for each group to measure the effects on OA.The pilot is just one part of OAPEN UK, we are also running a large programme of researchExperiment with 29 pairs of titles to track differences in sales and usage between OA and control group titles - identify what happens in a real-world scenario where traditional publishers attempt to incorporate an OA model into their existing workflows- explore the difference between sales and usage of OA and control group books to inform business model development- explore effects on both front- and back-list titles to see whether OA can reinvigorate usage and sales of older books - openly accessible information (which would usually be considered commercially sensitive by publishers) about sales and usage to inform new market entrants including university and researcher presses and consortia as well as traditional publishers who are considering offering an OA model for researchers to use - templates and protocols for data collection established, baseline, 6 month and year 1 data collected- further rounds of data collection and analysis at end of years 2 and 3.
- inform development of other work packages- ensure project remains agile within rapidly-changing environment- maintains awareness of wider developments in related areas e.g. electronic publishing, university presses, open access policies- centralised, open resource for anyone interested in open access monographs- supports other projects and experiments in this area e.g. Knowledge Unlatched- first iteration available on project website - all relevant literature plus blogs, tweets, news articles etc tagged in OAPEN UK diigo group (openly-available resource) on regular basis- next iteration of literature review will be made live in June 2013
2: Annual benchmarking survey Annual survey of project participants (authors and steering group) to track attitudinal changescapture perceptions and views of participants as project progresses, particularly in reaction to data collected through other work packagescontinuing evaluation of the project as it progresses, allowing us to make adjustments evaluation of multi-stakeholder approach and identification of different opinions within stakeholder groups shows progress of views by range of stakeholders involved in a collaborative OA monograph project, suggesting key messages for anyone trying to change attitudes or practice around OA monographs First year complete and results on the project website. Second year released in March 2013 following February advisory group meeting.
3: Initial focus groups 6 focus groups with key project stakeholders identified through initial project mapping: researchers, institutions, publishers, aggregators, funders, learned societies identify key issues and challenges of OA monographs for different stakeholder groups, including areas of conflict/crossoverinform development of other work packages, especially WP4brought a clearer focus upon learned societies and their concerns about OA open resource outlining perceptions, attitudes and concerns of different stakeholder groups for other projects or bodies moving into this areaclear delineation of areas of conflict, misconception or confusion about OA books among various stakeholders for other projects or bodies moving into this area
4: In depth surveys, interviews and case studies HSS researcher survey: 690 usable responses from HSS researchersverify and expand on focus group findings to test wider extent of knowledge, concerns, behaviours, benefits and aspirations for open access monograph publication and views on the wider scholarly environment inform development of later work packages e.g. WP11raise profile of project with academics and other stakeholders unique insight into the views and values of HSS researchers, openly available to any bodies, projects or institutions who could use it to inform work with researchersif we can re-run it, as we hope to do, evidence about the change in attitudes and opinions among HSS researchers during the period of RCUK mandate implementationFirst iteration fully complete and available on the project website. We would like to repeat at the end of the project (Y3&4)
Learned society case studies: 2 case studies, each involving 6 interviews with learned society officers across a range of functions responding to need identified in WP3, improving the project’s understanding of the role of learned societies in monograph publishing, and possible impact of OA on their business modclear message that this project is consulting with learned societies in an area (OA) where they have previously felt less involved than they would likeinform development of later work packages e.g. WP7 provides unique in-depth evidence base about learned society operations and how publishing interacts with other disciplinary support activities which can be used by other bodies seeking to work in this area- increased clarity for anyone working in this area without a clear understanding of how learned societies operate- information that should help protect learned societies and their business models in future- offers participant societies an opportunity to reflect upon and develop their approach to OA - Royal Historical Society case study with interviewees for approval and will be published mid-MarchRegional Studies Association interviews in progress and case study will be published in AprilMay broaden findings with a survey of HSS learned societies, depending upon outcome of case studies and steering group advice
Institutional case studies: 4 case studies of institutions from different mission groups, interviewing 4-6 individuals from different parts of the institution in each case - better understanding of the environment that researchers are operating within, policies and messages that they will be receiving from employers- Understanding challenges and potential blockages within institutions which may prevent successful implementation of OA monographs or policies about OA monographs- inform the development of later work packages e.g. WP7 - explore the possibility of Green OA for monographsidentify areas for national or international collaboration or support services to improve efficiency, discoverability and long-term availability for OA monographs case studies which can be used by other institutions addressing similar issues to inform their own policy and development; in particular, areas where people from different parts of the institution need to join up their thinking and actions- increased clarity for researchers seeking to publish an OA monograph on the issues their employing institution might be facing- institutions identified, interviews will commence in April
Publisher interviews: interviews with 8-10 publishers, including open access publishers and university presses: 1-3 people within each publisher - move beyond the publishers in the pilot to take account of the broader publishing environment- understanding the attitudes and processes that might prevent a viable open access monograph publishing route for researchers who want or need to take it- explore the possibility of Green OA for monographs- inform development of later work packages e.g. WP7identify areas for national or international collaboration or support services to improve efficiency, discoverability and long-term availability for OA monographs - open resource identifying good and bad practice so that new market entrants (OA publishers, university presses) can provide sustainable OA monograph routes for researchersidentification of cross-industry issues where other players need to develop their systems in order to permit effective OA (e.g. retailers, aggregators) - publishers identified, interviews will commence in April
Funder interviews: with HeFCE, AHRC, ESRC, Wellcome Trust, EU and NEH - ensure project remains agile in view of developing funder interest in this area- discuss and capture aspirations for OA monographs within policy developments- opportunity to reflect on processes for implementationinform development of later work packages e.g. WP7 openly-available information for all stakeholders on funder priorities for OA monographs to inform policy and practice funders identified, interviews will begin in May
Experiment with 29 pairs of titles to track differences in sales and usage between OA and control group titles- identify what happens in a real-world scenario where traditional publishers attempt to incorporate an OA model into their existing workflows- explore the difference between sales and usage of OA and control group books to inform business model developmentexplore effects on both front- and back-list titles to see whether OA can reinvigorate usage and sales of older booksopenly accessible information (which would usually be considered commercially sensitive by publishers) about sales and usage to inform new market entrants including university and researcher presses and consortia as well as traditional publishers who are considering offering an OA model for researchers to use templates and protocols for data collection established, baseline, 6 month and year 1 data collected- further rounds of data collection and analysis at end of years 2 and 3. identify areas where third parties (especially aggregators and retailers) need to adapt systems and processes to support an OA model transparent view of the challenges of implementing an OA stream into a publisher’s existing workflow, and overview of how to do this successfully, useful for any new market entrants including researcher and university presses
10: Infographics Workshops and survey with authors and publishers to map monograph publishing process from start to finish- address issues identified in WP3 about lack of clarity for different stakeholders about their relation to other stakeholders in the publishing process- identifies key differences between OA and traditional publishing processes- provides information for researchers and institutions considering setting up their own OA presses, identified as necessary in WP3may provide additional information to support development of WP7transparent view of activities of authors and publishers towards producing a monograph- shows new market entrants (researcher and institutional presses) what must be done and where to focus their efforts if seeking to publish books- shows traditional publishers areas where OA presses are gaining efficiencies (if any), thereby potentially reducing APCs - initial workshops with researchers and publishers run and findings analysed- verification planned through publisher interviews and open online review- verified information will be used to create an infographic
11: Creative Commons guide Short guide for researchers seeking to publish OA monographs on CC licences address issues identified in WP3 and WP4 (researcher survey) around researcher lack of awareness and concern about CC licencesbring Creative Commons into the stakeholder group for the project widely-available resource which may have value beyond monographspromote understanding of CC through a quick reference guide which can help raise the profile of CC and OA more generally key areas identifiedQ&A’s to be written and answered, reviewed by researchers and legal experts, and then designed and publishedlaunch at OA monograph conference