G. R. Evans raises some important questions in her letter about open access books (Letters, 29 May). Happily, the survey that she mentions is just one small element of OAPEN-UK, a five-year research project currently addressing a number of them. The project’s main aim is to provide an evidence base so that the publishers, academics and other organisations experimenting with open access for monographs do so with a proper understanding of what will and will not work in the humanities and social sciences.
OAPEN-UK is running several strands of qualitative and quantitative research, working with academics, universities, publishers, librarians, learned societies and other stakeholders to understand how – if at all – open access books might take root.
We haven’t yet drawn any final conclusions, but the issues about funding and business models for open access books that Evans raises have come up in every aspect of our work, and will be a central theme in our final report. Findings to date are available on the project website.
Head of projects (acting), Jisc Collections