Scholarly content that is freely available to the public or Open Access (OA) is often talked about in the context of journal publishing. However, the Open Access movement is also having significant effect on academic book publishing.
On February 13th, UTSC's Centre for Digital Scholarship, in collaboration with the UTSC Library's Digital Scholarship Unit, hosted a two hour seminar Open Access Books: Trends & Options that introduced how new publishing partnerships and digital technologies are transforming scholarly book publishing.
The afternoon got off to a lively start with a lunch sponsored by the Centre for Digital Scholarship and opening remarks and acknowledgements from UTSC faculty member Leslie Chan.
The first speaker Dr. Lucy Montgomery then told the story of the Knowledge Unlatched project through a co-ordinated Skype and PowerPoint presentation. This new project strives to create a sustainable route to Open Access by leveraging the combined power of libraries to secure long-term cost savings for their own institutions. A copy of Lucy's slides and talking points are posted on SlideShare. I'm happy to report back that in the days following the presentation that the University of Toronto Libraries has signed on as a charter member of this innovative approach to opening up access to a pilot collection of humanities and social science monographs through Creative Commons licences.
The second speaker, Pierre Mournier joined us in person on route to the Interrogating Access conference. He shared a brief overview of the Open Access landscape in Europe, his take on economic OA models for books and the OpenEdition ecosystem and their approach to creating sustainable Open Access publishing. Of particular note is the OpenEdition Books platform for books in the humanities and social sciences which now includes 1225 titles - more than half of which are openly accessible to all in HTML format with additional services and formats through OpenEdition's Freemium model for subscribing libraries and institutions.
Watch the complete video of the seminar: