Diversifying Readership Through Open Access

This post is part of the BoOkmArks: Open Conversations About OA Books series. A live session will be held via this Zoom link on October 6th at 16:00 BST / 17:00 CEST, when we will interview Ros Pyne, Director of Open Access Books and Book Policies at Springer Nature, and Cameron Neylon, Professor of Research Communications at the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University and researcher at Collaborative Open Access Research and Development (COARD), about the paper discussed in this post. If you have any comments or questions for Ros and Cameron, please add them to the comments section below so they can be included in the conversation on October 6th — and join us at the event if you can!

This event has now taken place — you can view a recording of the discussion here.

By Ros Pyne, Director of Open Access Books and Book Policies, Springer Nature

A few years ago, we did some work looking at the effect of open access (OA) on downloads and citations of scholarly books. Our authors were excited to hear about the impact that OA could have on their work, but the next question was always along the lines of, ‘But where are those extra downloads coming from? Is OA actually helping books to achieve a more diverse audience?’ A survey of book authors’ attitudes to OA that we conducted last year confirmed this concern: we found that reaching a broad readership – and reaching non-academic audiences such as policymakers and practitioners – ranked high in book authors’ motivations. Reaching readers in low-income- and lower-middle-income-countries (LICs and LMICs) was particularly important to authors who had published an OA book. Continue reading “Diversifying Readership Through Open Access”