London Online Information 2013


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This presentation begins with a brief overview of some of the policy developments that are prompting the publishers of scholarly books to begin taking open access seriously.

It then touches on why open access challenges for books differ from those associated with journal articles.

Before focusing in on the open access monograph project that I am involved with: Knowledge Unlatched.

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  • Everyone is going open. Funding agencies from around the world are endorsing OA – including for HSS. Progress is not even – but the trend is clear.
  • I am going to begin this presentation by providing some context to the Knowledge Unlatched project. As I will explain, the challenges associated with achieving open access for books are not identical to those facing journals. Libraries have an especially important role to play in helping to create sustainable markets that include open access books.
    I will then go on to outline the goals of the Knowledge Unlatched project and take you through the way that the model works
    Finally, I will introduce the 2013 Pilot collection, which we are now inviting libraries to sign up for, and provide you with some information about what will happen in the next phases of Knowledge Unlatched.
  • Funding administered by Research Councils in the UK. Seven subject divisions. Arts and Humanities Research Funding relatively small budgets.
  • The Arts and Humanities fall within the Science definition in Europe. Science Europe position statement – not quite a mandate, but strong encouragement for going Open on the same principals – Publically Funded Research must be made publically available.
  • Horizon 2020 – now 70 billion Europs – 2014 – 2020 – also following the same principles. Consensus among research funders that publically funded research must be available as OA.
  • Global Research Council – representing research councils from all over the world – also promoting, endorsing and encouraging a shift to OA.
  • Even the ministers of science at the G8 meeting met in London endorsed OA. We couldn’t get a picture from inside the meeting – but we managed to find this image from outside.
  • All of this means that the open access challenge has arrived at a moment when the global systems that have traditionally supported specialist scholarly books are already under pressure.
    Digital technologies are presenting scholarly communities with opportunities to widen access to content and increase the impact of their work.
    At the same time, more and more research funders are requiring open access. And many authors would like open access options for their books.
    However, the question of how thigh quality publishing for open access books should be paid for has yet to be resolved.
  • Although monographs remain a key output for many researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences sales of this kind of book have declined dramatically. Some estimates suggest that sales have fallen by as much as 90% over the past 20 years.
    Monograph publishers have found themselves caught in a negative cycle: Declining sales have resulted in higher prices, as the costs of publishing a book are spread across a smaller number of copies. This, in turn, is limiting the market for specialist scholarly books even further.
    No one is winning.
    Monograph publishing is marginally profitable at best and, in many cases, has to be subsidized.
    Libraries are struggling to afford books.
    Authors are finding it harder to get published.
    And readers are struggling to access the knowledge and ideas that specialist scholarly books contain.
  • There are many reasons for the challenges facing specialist scholarly books, and we don’t have time to go into all of them now.
    But one important factor has been the role of libraries as the key market for monographs.
    The role that libraries play as the main purchasers of specialist scholarly books has left monographs vulnerable to contractions in library budgets.
    Library book budgets have not kept pace with growth in the number of authors publishing new books. And sharp increases in the costs of maintaining journal subscriptions have left little money to support monographs.
  • But the budgets that support monographs are stretched and there is little bandwidth for experimentation that might lead to innovation.
    Furthermore, the models being developed to support open access for journal articles are unlikely to work for book-length publications.
    The costs of publishing a 70,000 — 100,000-word book are simply much higher than they are for a 5,000 – 10,000 word journal article.
    High costs of publishing mean that ‘gold’ routes to open access are not a practical option for most authors of monographs.
    If the value of monographs is to be amplified rather than lost in a digital world creative approaches to supporting their publication are needed.
    We need to find ways to use limited budgets more effectively so that the key outputs of the Humanities and Social Sciences don’t remain locked behind paywalls in a world where journal literature is moving towards open access.
  • KU has an office in London, but we are very much an international project.
    Our partners include Jisc Collections in the UK and the Max Planck Society in Germany. In the United States we have worked closely with the New York Public Library to develop and refine the model, and we are working with LYRASIS to sign up libraries in North America.
    OAPEN is a deposit service dedicated to Open Access peer reviewed books and it will host the books that become open access through the Knowledge Unlatched program.
    We have also received key early support from the Big Innovation Center, the British Library Trust, the Open Society Foundation and three founding Australian libraries.
  • Knowledge Unlatched has now launched its first Pilot Collection of 28 new titles from 13 publishers.
    The collection is focused on Literature; History; Politics; and Media & Communication.
    We are now seeking support from at least 200 libraries from around the world so that the collection can become open access.
    We are inviting libraries to pledge a capped maximum of $1,680 towards the collection. This works out to an average of $60 per title.
    However, if more than 200 libraries sign up for the collection, the cost for each library will be less.
  • We hope that the books included in the Pilot Collection will appeal to libraries on their own merits.
    However, the Knowledge Unlatched Pilot is also an important step in engaging libraries in the project and creating a framework that will help them to shape its future.
    Libraries that help unlatch the Pilot Collection will become members of Knowledge Unlatched. As members they will gain governance rights that provide them with a voice in shaping future collections, as well as in helping to steer Knowledge Unlatched towards a successful future.
    Knowledge Unlatched will establish a Library Steering Committee and a Collections committee in early 2014.
    We also plan to build on work that we have already carried out on bringing together libraries and publishers interested in the challenge of open access for books by establishing a joint Library/Publisher forum.
  • This is a list of the publishers that have included titles in the Pilot Collection. We are already signing up publishers for our next rounds and actually have a waiting list.
    A full list of the publishers that have indicated they would like to offer titles in future rounds is available on the Knowledge Unlatched website – and we are continuing to update it.
  • This slide provides you with a snapshot of the cover images that publishers have supplied us with to date. We are still waiting on design departments to finalise a couple of images for forthcoming books – but this slide should give you a general sense of the Pilot Collection.
  • And from 2014, this project becomes all about developing the role of library governance in Knowledge Unlatched and scaling up. We already have a waiting list of publishers interested in offering books to libraries through KU in 2014 – and we are aiming to provide libraries with more titles, more selection options (including single titles and single subject packages) from next year.
    The cost savings to libraries associated with this model will increase as the number of libraries taking part in the initiative grows, and as the volume of titles flowing through the system expands.
    So, to ensure that the cost per library goes down, we will continue encouraging libraries to take part in the program and work to offer them high quality books that are relevant to the communities they serve.
    Knowledge Unlatched South is a project that will explore how KU might work with publishers in developing country markets.
    We are also eager to explore opportunities for Knowledge Unlatched to encourage diversity in monograph publishing. We will be working with the Library Steering Committee, the collections committee and the Library/Publisher forum to identify the best approach to this challenge.
  • As I mentioned, a key goal of Knowledge Unlatched is developing a model that is sustainable in the long term. In order to do this we will ultimately need to ensure that we are not dependent on grants to cover KU’s core running costs.
    So from 2014 Knowledge Unlatched will apply a 5% surcharge to Title Fees, to cover the consortium’s operation. We believe that this percentage figure can be brought down as the volume of titles increases. We will work with the Library Steering Committee to review the 5% surcharge as the project develops.
  • London Online Information 2013

    1. 1. Open Access For Scholarly Books: Policy and Practice Dr Lucy Montgomery
    2. 2. This Presentation • Policy Landscape: Mandates and Open Access • Open Access Challenges for Books • Knowledge Unlatched
    3. 3. Open Access Mandates • • International trend towards OA funding mandates So far mandates have focused on OA for journal articles, not books But… • • • Awareness of OA is growing OA Journal Literature but Closed Books? Books likely to be next…
    4. 4. Research Funding RCUK Strategic Partnership Body Between Research Councils Total £2.75 Billion AHRC £98m BBSRC £500m EPSRC £800m ESRC £167m MRC £760m NERC £370m STFC £494m
    5. 5. RCUK OA Policy • July 2012: Finch Report on Expanding Access to Publically Funded Research • OA required for RCUK funded journal articles. • ‘Green’ and ‘Gold’ OA both accepted, but preference for Gold • Block funding for costs of gold OA publication provided
    6. 6. REF • HEFCE intention to require outputs submitted to the post2014 REF to be openly accessible • Consultation on how this should be achieved now underway
    7. 7. Open Access for Books? • The Open Access challenge has arrived at a moment when markets for monographs are struggling to cope with the wider effects of digital disruption • Digital technology is providing opportunities to widen access and increase impact • • • Research funders are beginning to require Open Access Many authors would like Open Access options But how should OA books be paid for?
    8. 8. Context: A Troubled Market • Sales of academic monographs have declined by 90% over 20 years • • • • • Prices have increased beyond inflation Publishers are struggling to cover their costs Libraries struggling to afford books Academics are struggling to get published Readers have limited access to the books they want
    9. 9. Why Are Books In Trouble? • • • • • A very small market (libraries) • Journals have become (much) more expensive Library budgets under pressure The number of monograph titles has increased Print runs for each title have decreased Publishers must spread the costs of publishing each title over a smaller number of copies
    10. 10. Book Specific Challenges • The cost of publishing a 70,000 – 100,000 word monograph higher than the cost of publishing a 5,000 – 10,000 word journal article • • • HSS research budgets are small Some authors aren’t attached to a research budget at all Author-side payment approaches being taken up by journals won’t work
    11. 11. Knowledge Unlatched
    12. 12. What is Knowledge Unlatched? • Not-for-profit • Helping libraries from around the world to share the costs of making books open access • Front-list titles • CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND
    13. 13. Partners Founding Libraries Jisc Collections Max Planck Society Queensland University of Technology New York Public Library The University of Melbourne LYRASIS The University of Western Australia OAPEN Key Supporters Big Innovation Centre British Library Trust Open Society Foundation
    14. 14. Our Goals • A sustainable route to OA for HSS monographs (long-form publications) • Spread costs of OA across many institutions globally • Ensuring that HSS long-form publications are as accessible as OA science journals • Help libraries to maximize the positive impact of spending on books
    15. 15. How Does it Work? • KU is helping libraries from around the world to coordinate their monograph purchases • Libraries can choose to jointly make a Title Fee payment to publishers by pledging to unlatch a collection via KU • In return, publishers make a PDF version of titles available on an OA license • Hosting: OAPEN
    16. 16. What is a Title Fee? • The Title Fee represents the basic cost of publishing a book   • Payment of the Title Fee allows publishers to feel confident that they will break even on each title • Because the Title Fee is a fixed amount as the number of libraries pledging increases, the cost per library decreases
    17. 17. Title Fee Examples
    18. 18. The Pilot Collection • • • • • October 2013 – February 2014 • Maximum cost per library: $1680. This is an average of $60 per title • If more libraries pledge, the cost for each library will be less Proof of concept for Knowledge Unlatched 28 new books from 13 publishers Literature; History; Politics; Media & Communications At least 200 libraries from around the world need to sign up so that the collection can be made OA
    19. 19. An Opportunity to Help Shape Knowledge Unlatched • Libraries that help unlatch the Pilot Collection gain governance rights • They will be able to help shape the future of Knowledge Unlatched through: • • A Library Steering Committee and a Collection Committee KU also plans to establish a joint Library/Publisher forum in early 2014
    20. 20. Pilot Collection Publishers
    21. 21. Next Steps: 2014 • • • Review results • • Continue recruiting more libraries to lower costs further • Help foster diversity in the monograph landscape Develop library role in governance Repeat the cycle again with more books, more publishers (signing up now!) single subject packages and individual title options KU South: an exploration of ways in which KU might work with publishers in developing country markets
    22. 22. Making Knowledge Unlatched Sustainable Set-up and Pilot Grants and library partnerships cover set-up and running costs From 2014 Increase the number of publishers and books KU will take up to 5% of Title Fees to cover costs, reducing as volume goes up
    23. 23. Open Monograph Models – OA edition + sales from print and/or e-books NAP, Bloomsbury Academic – Institutional Support for Press World Bank, Amherst – Library-Press collaboration Mpublishing/Michigan – Library Publishing Library Publishing Coalition (USA) – Funding body side publication fee NOW Netherlands, FWF Austria, Wellcome UK, Max Planck Society, Germany – Author side publication fee SpringerOpen Books, Palgrave Open, Manchester University Press OA – Library consortium Knowledge Unlatched
    24. 24. What is Different About KU? • • • • • • • • Spreads costs across many institutions Globally coordinated Retains a market element Minimally disruptive Draws on established funding pools Distanced from University politics Applications for developing countries Conducting research around the model
    25. 25. Thank You!