University press issues OA editions of its OP books

October 30, 2007 at 5:37 pm | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Monographs, Open Access | Leave a comment

Peter Suber comments thus on ULB’s decision to issue OA editions of its OP books:

 This is an excellent idea. Instead of letting OP books disappear from view, the original publishers should issue OA editions.  One day presses will routinely publish monographs in dual OA/TA editions, and use the OA editions to increase the visibility and sales of the TA editions.

(Via Open Access News.)

OA + POD for Cornell out-of-print and rare books

April 26, 2007 at 8:19 am | Posted in Monographs, Open Access, Print on Demand (PoD) | Comments Off on OA + POD for Cornell out-of-print and rare books Library partnership

A selection of rare and out-of-print historical materials at Cornell University Library is only a click away for readers using a new print-on-demand service.

The library partnered with BookSurge, a subsidiary of, in June 2006 to make available some of its unique non-copyrighted holdings — collections ranging from historical mathematics and agriculture texts to anti-slavery pamphlets.

(Via Peter Suber.)

LJ Periodical Price Survey 2007

April 18, 2007 at 10:54 am | Posted in Institutional Repositories, Journals Publishing, Open Access | Leave a comment

Library Journal‘s Periodical Price Survey 2007 is now available. Overall price rises for 2008 renewals are expected to be in the range of 7 to 9%. There is also an interesting analysis of the impact of Open Access and Institutional Repositories.

Subscription model faces threat from self-archiving

December 6, 2006 at 11:47 am | Posted in Institutional Repositories, Journals Publishing, Open Access | Leave a comment

Information World Review reports on a recent study conducted by the Publishing Research Consortium in which 400 librarians worldwide were surveyed:

Librarians are likely to cancel journal subscriptions in favour of free access to peer-reviewed research via open access repositories … The study found that librarians are sensitive to the embargo period: with a 24-month embargo, just over 50% prefer the paid-for version of a journal article.

Chris Beckett, director of Scholarly Information Strategies said: “The sooner publishers develop alternatives to enable OA, the better.”

Open Access books increasing sales of print editions

September 6, 2006 at 8:13 am | Posted in E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Monographs, Open Access, Print on Demand (PoD) | Leave a comment

An interesting report blogged by Peter Suber:

More evidence that OA books increase sales of print editions: David Glenn, Yale U. Press Places Book Online in Hopes of Increasing Print Sales, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 8, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:

[Jack M. Balkin’s] Cultural Software: A Theory of Ideology (Yale University Press, 1998)…was widely discussed in the late 1990s, but the book is now eight years old, and its sales have dwindled. So Mr. Balkin, a professor at Yale Law School, has concocted a new strategy for promulgating the spread of his own memes: He has persuaded the Yale press to release a free version of the book online. Anyone with Internet access can visit his Web site and download a high-resolution (but nonsearchable) PDF file of each chapter.

The idea, says the author, is that a small portion of the readers who sample Cultural Software online will decide to buy a printed copy of the book, producing a net increase in revenue for the press. (The online version has been issued under a license developed by Creative Commons….)

‘If this experiment succeeds,’ Mr. Balkin says, ‘it may change the way that university presses make money off their backlists. … What we are doing with Cultural Software may be a new and inexpensive way to create interest in the ‘long tail’ of scholarly works that sell only a few copies a year and would otherwise be a drag on profits.’

The director of the press, John E. Donatich, says Mr. Balkin’s experiment is one of several new explorations of electronic publishing there. Yale is among the six presses participating in the Caravan Project, a new program financed by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that will allow publishers to release books simultaneously in print-on-demand cloth, paperback, digital, and audio formats…..

The Balkin project follows on the heels of Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, which Yale published in May. Mr. Benkler, who also teaches at Yale Law School, released his book in a free online format together with wiki pages that allow readers to criticize and annotate his text. Mr. Donatich says he is confident that Mr. Benkler’s online playground has not cannibalized sales of the printed book. On the contrary, the press director reports….

Those instances are hardly the first in which readers have been encouraged to browse books online in the hope that they will buy printed copies. Most university publishers participate in the licensed browsing programs operated by Amazon and Google that allow readers to look at a finite number of pages. More ambitiously, the National Academies Press and the Brookings Institution Press have released free texts of many of their books online, often in an unusual format that lets the reader view the books page by page but does not permit the wholesale downloading or printing of chapters.

‘Our experience indicates that for many titles, free online access acts as a driver for increased sales,’ writes Michael Jon Jensen, director of Web communications for the National Academies, in an e-mail message to The Chronicle. ‘We still are seeing increased online sales and stable overall print sales.’…

‘The real question,’ Mr. Balkin says, ‘is what the vocation of academic publishing is. Academic publishers saw themselves as trying to spread knowledge’— high-quality knowledge’— as far and wide as they could … not just as a service that they provide to the universities that they’re associated with. Well, now they can promote that vocation even better than they could before. And they may even be able to make money off of it, which would be all to the good.’

(Via Open Access News.)

Rice University new digital university press

July 17, 2006 at 11:17 am | Posted in Creative Commons, E-Books, Electronic Publishing, Monographs, Open Access, Print on Demand (PoD) | Leave a comment

Rice University has announced an interesting scheme to publish books online open-access and print-on-demand:

As money-strapped university presses shut down nationwide, Rice University is turning to technology to bring its press back to life as the first fully digital university press in the United States.
Using the open-source e-publishing platform Connexions, Rice University Press is returning from a decade-long hiatus to explore models of peer-reviewed scholarship for the 21st century. The technology offers authors a way to use multimedia — audio files, live hyperlinks or moving images — to craft dynamic scholarly arguments, and to publish on-demand original works in fields of study that are increasingly constrained by print publishing….

Charles Henry, Rice University vice provost, university librarian and publisher of Rice University Press during the startup phase, said, ‘Our decision to revive Rice’s press as a digital enterprise is based on both economics and on new ways of thinking about scholarly publishing. On the one hand, university presses are losing money at unprecedented rates, and technology offers us ways to decrease production costs and provide nearly ubiquitous delivery system, the Internet. We avoid costs associated with backlogs, large inventories and unsold physical volumes, and we greatly speed the editorial process. ‘We don’t have a precise figure for our startup costs yet, but it’s safe to say our startup costs and annual operating expenses will be at least 10 times less than what we’d expect to pay if we were using a traditional publishing model,’ Henry said….

Users will be able to view the content online for free or purchase a copy of the book for download through the Rice University Press Web site. Alternatively, thanks to Connexions’ partnership with on-demand printer QOOP, users will be able to order printed books if they want, in every style from softbound black-and-white on inexpensive paper to leather-bound full-color hardbacks on high-gloss paper. ‘As with a traditional press, our publications will be peer-reviewed, professionally vetted and very high quality,’ Henry said. ‘But the choice to have a printed copy will be up to the customer.’…

Authors published by Rice University Press will retain the copyrights for their works, in accordance with Connexions’ licensing agreement with Creative Commons.”

(Via Peter Suber, Open Access News.)

RCUK revised position statement on access to research outputs

June 28, 2006 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Institutional Repositories, Open Access | Leave a comment

The RCUK has just released their revised statement at:

The fundamental principles remain the same:

• Ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research must be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable.

• Published research outputs must be subject to rigorous quality assurance, through effective peer review mechanisms.

• The models and mechanisms for publication and access to research results must be both efficient and cost-effective in the use of public funds.

• The outputs from current and future research must be preserved and remain accessible for future generations

but they tread cautiously around the question of limitations imposed by publishers’ copyright and licensing policies.

They also recognize that different approaches are appropriate to different disciplines and they devolve responsibility for providing specific guidance to the individual councils. AHRC aims to finalize amendments of its guidelines by the end of 2006:

AHRC guidelines

‘Report vindicates JISC’s Open Access funding’

June 13, 2006 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Institutional Repositories, Journals Publishing, Open Access | Leave a comment

Information World Review notes that a report by Key Perspectives ‘vindicates JISC’s Open Access funding’:

Funding for publishers willing to trial open access (OA) publishing has allayed concerns about the OA business model, according to JISC …

Cambridge University Press changes

May 19, 2006 at 9:34 am | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing, Open Access, Print on Demand (PoD) | Leave a comment

An interesting article appears in Issue 224 of Information World Review. Snippets follow:

[Ian] Banbery believes it is inevitable that print will eventually disappear, particularly in STM publishing, but the picture has been muddied by the issue of VAT in Europe. “In the US, there is a much larger move to the online world,” says Banbery. It’s a move he sees as inexorable, particularly given the pressure on most university libraries over the amount of physical storage space they have available, but he does acknowledge that there is still some hesitation about getting rid of paper completely.

As CUP continues its drive to expand its journals business, it faces a number of challenges. Like all STM publishers, the CUP faces a degree of uncertainty over the issues of open access and repositories. But it is already responding to these issues and plans to launch 10 journals in the next year on the hybrid publishing model, as well as looking to find more backing for open access

Like other houses, CUP is digitising its back files and making journals available online. Technology is also making it possible to move towards a more economic way of producing information. “In the end, we will probably see journals move towards print-on-demand,” points out Banbery.

RCUK-sponsored journal study

April 27, 2006 at 8:28 am | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing, Open Access | Leave a comment

The RCUK has announced an Analysis of data on scholarly journals publishing. It would appear that the results of this study of the journal publishing aspects of the scholarly communications process and its costs will be analysed before RCUK release the long-awaited final version of its policy on Open Access:

This study got off the ground in mid-April 2006 and should conclude by the middle of summer.’ It is being undertaken on behalf of the three joint funders by Electronic Publishing Services Ltd (EPS), in association with Loughborough University Department of Information Science.’ The aim is to assist in UK domestic policy-making, by reviewing information about scholarly journal publishing, assessing the data available about the process and the reliability of that data. The main purpose of the study is to gain more reliable information about the operation of the journal publishing aspects of the scholarly communications process and its costs.’ The study focuses specifically on journal publishing, but it should be viewed in the context of a projected body of work involving all key stakeholders in the context of the scholarly communications framework.’ This is likely to include related but separate studies of other aspects of scholarly communications, including for instance the development, funding and viability of digital repositories.

The key objective of the project is to provide the three sponsors of the study, and other stakeholders in the scholarly journals industry, with an accurate review of reliable and objective information about the journals publishing process….

Scholarly journal publishing is a key component of the spectrum of functions and activities that form part of the scholarly communications process.’ This has been the focus of much interest lately, in particular because of the considerable interest generated by recent debates on open access.’ Although this level of debate has provided a welcome opportunity to consider challenges relating to the dissemination of research outputs, it has also been characterised by a degree of mutual suspicion and misunderstanding stemming from the often conflicting positions of the different actors and stakeholders with an interest in these issues. There has also been tension over the quality and completeness of the information and data that the different stakeholders have used in support of their respective positions.’ As a result of these tensions and suspicions, it has been difficult to achieve a consensus on how best to exploit the potential of new technology for enhancing the scholarly communications process and its cost-effectiveness.’ This has had implications for the development of public policy, as evidenced by the debates surrounding the Wellcome Trust’s policy on open access, and the delay in agreeing a definitive RCUK position statement.

In this context, there is a clear need for objective information that all stakeholders can agree upon as a means of defining and achieving common goals in scholarly communications.’ The DTI-sponsored Research Communications Forum has provided a useful arena for the exchange of information and views.’ The recently-created scholarly communications group facilitated by the RIN will work collaboratively to identify key issues in scholarly communications and gaps in our understanding, and to develop a better, evidence-based understanding of these issues – for instance, the development, funding and viability of digital repositories – as a basis for informing public policy.’ This group includes representatives of all the key stakeholders (notably the Research Councils, the library community, publishers, the RIN and key Government Departments such as the DTI and OST).’ The current study, focused on scholarly journal publishing – which has been the focus of some of the more lively debate – will be timely contribution to the development of understanding in the field of scholarly communications as a whole.

(Via Open Access News.)

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