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In this section, we list a number of recommendations for further work in the area of centralised services that can support and encourage the publication of OA peer-reviewed monographs. These recommendations are all supported by the OAPEN-UK final report.

Good practise guidelines

The work in WP 2 (Publisher information) and WP3 (Metadata), resulting in the two short guides ‘Publisher information for OA book publishers’, and ‘Metadata for OA monographs’, could be extended to cover other essential aspects of OA book publishing.

From the workshop and from other work carried out by both OAPEN and Jisc, we know that there is a need among publishers, especially new university presses and conventional presses starting to publish OA books, for practical information about the various aspects of OA book publishing. This was also a goal in WP 1 (Knowledge exchange).

The idea would be to cover each of these aspects or areas in a similar way as the guides for Metadata and Publisher information: short, two to three page guides , referring to other, more extensive sources where available. Other areas that could be covered are:

  • Author agreements
  • Licensing
  • Self-archiving (green OA)
  • Funder requirements
  • Peer review
  • Metrics
  • Dissemination and discovery

Such a guide, or toolkit for OA book publishers, could be developed in a relatively short period. As in WP2 and 3, OAPEN could prepare a first draft for each of these topics. Jisc and OAPEN could organise editorial rounds with invited stakeholders to produce the first edition of the guide.

This recommendation aligns with  current findings from the Jisc landscape survey of New University Presses and Academic Led Presses. It also supports the current lessons learned from Jisc’s institution as e-textbook publisher project.

Aggregation and dissemination

There are by now around 450 OA monographs (including edited volumes) from UK publishers that we know of, either because they are full text available through OAPEN Library, or because they are listed in DOAB (or both). An unknown number of OA books from the UK is not part of these collections.

As we can expect the number of OA books to grow at an increasing pace, it is time to consider setting up a central workflow to aggregate these books. Aggregation would make it possible to enrich and normalise metadata, to ensure dissemination through specific channels such as libraries, and to improve discoverability and visibility of OA books. Aggregation would aslo enable systemic improvements, such as adding DOIs and ORCIDs, introducing metrics to measure usage and impact, or introducing the use of new tools such as CrossMark.

A first step could be in the form of a project to carry out the work in WP4, to aggregate OA books from UK publishers:

  • Add the OA books in DOAB and other OA books from the UK to the OAPEN Library
  • Enhance and normalise metadata, based on the metadata model (WP3)
  • Identify valuable dissemination channels and add these to the OAPEN Library

A central goal of the project would be to establish if and how aggregation provides added value for OA books, their publishers and to libraries, by monitoring the discoverability and usage of OA books, and by carrying out benchmarks.


(Alt)metrics to measure usage, citations and impact are an essential component of the transition to digital and OA. If books are to make the transition to OA, they need to catch up in this area.

As mentioned in WP5 (Impact/reporting), work is being carried out in this area. The OPERAS consortium is currently preparing an H2020 project, which aims to develop  a number of central services to be implemented across different platforms for OA books. One of these services concerns (Alt)metrics.

As a number of UK players are already involved in this project (Knowledge Unlatched, Ubiquity Press and Open Book Publishers are taking part, also OAPEN), and the services that are to be developed will become available to all, not just the OPERAS members, it may not be necessary to initiate other projects in this area. However Jisc could consider joining the OPERAS initiative to stay in touch wich the work being done around OA books.

Green OA

The round table discussion led to three potential solutions to achieve (delayed) OA without book processing charges: The Embargoed Version of Record Model; the Trigger Model; and the Direct Publication Model.


Each of these potential solutions will need to be explored further to find out if they could work for the different stakeholders. Our recommendation is that these potential solutions should be considered by the UUK subgroup on OA monographs.


Last updated: February 2017