Exploring Usage of Open Access Books
KU Research Press Release 2 November 2017
Exploring Usage of Open Access Books Via the JSTOR Platform
By Lucy Montgomery, Neil Saunders, Frances Pinter & Alkim Ozaygen
More broadly this study will be of interest to librarians and research funders. It shows in depth the patterns of usage of OA books that are emerging, especially at the chapter level.
Amongst the conclusions this study shows that more so than journals, the book business has been driven by intermediaries throughout its history. Even in the transition to ebooks intermediaries continue to be important in the widespread distribution of book content. Thus, having book content available through the full range of discovery outlets is critical to ensuring access to research communities.
The high proportion of readers originating in North America and already on the JSTOR platform when they access the books examined in this study hints at the continued importance of multiple distribution pathways for OA books as a mechanism for ensuring that the key outputs of the Humanities and Social Sciences make their way beyond academia. Encouraging are the hints that users at institutions who might not otherwise afford access to publishers’ books (remembering that JSTOR customers subscribe to a wide range of different journal and book collections) are using OA books. These appear to include high schools and community colleges.