How Much Traction do Open Access / Open Educational Resources have in the Classroom?

“Open Access (OA) monographs and Open Educational Resource (OER) textbooks are works that are ‘openly licensed’ — that is, they can be used and distributed for free. In a world of $200 textbooks, OA/OER plays a fairly high-profile role in efforts to reduce the cost of education.

But free circulation makes it difficult to track classroom adoption, which in turn makes it difficulty to understand the shape of demand for OA/OER work–either overall or with respect to particular subjects. The link between supply and demand established in the commercial book market by a sale doesn’t exist in the OA/OER world. Our thought is that this delinking is one reason–and maybe a significant reason–for the relatively low rate of adoption of OA/OER in teaching, despite over a decade of efforts. It’s still too hard to characterize demand for these titles to faculty, curricular designers, publishers, and investors. It’s hard to tell what’s popular and what’s been effectively adopted in peer institutions.

So we’re eager to see what happens when we partially close this information loop by measuring demand via syllabi. Here’s a normalized US trendline for OA/OER adoption based on the OS collection (drawing on catalog information from the Open Textbook Library and the Directory of Open Access Books). It shows rapid OER textbook growth in recent years–but from a very low baseline. In 2017, roughly 1 in 300 classes used OER textbooks and around 1 in 400 assigned an OA monograph (the lighter blue is for textbooks; darker for monographs)….”

Full article: Dismal Results from a Print Periodical Usage Study

“Print periodicals have been a cornerstone of libraries for over 100 years. Over the past 20 years print periodicals have been eclipsed by online journal databases and individual e-journals, but most libraries still subscribe to some print journals. In 2019 Tennessee Technological University  undertook a thorough study of the usage of the current print periodical subscriptions by attaching survey forms to the covers of recent issues. The results showed that most newspapers and scholarly print periodicals were not used at all and the majority could be cancelled. Popular magazines showed slightly higher usage, but many of them could be dropped as well….

As a profession we need to make data driven decisions. Even though libraries have been cutting print periodical expenditures for many decades, it may be time to cut even more. It may be common knowledge that print periodical usage is down, but it may not be common knowledge that usage is zero.”

COARD (Collaborative Open Access Research and Development)

“COARD develops and applies technology and analysis tools that provide insight into the usage and impact of open access scholarly content. We work with publishers, communities and users of scholarly content with the goal of supporting and sustaining a diversity of actors involved in creating and disseminating open access scholarly content….

COARD, standing for Collaborative Open Access Research and Development is the trading name of Knowledge Unlatched C.I.C. a community interesting company registered in the UK. Founded by Frances Pinter, Knowledge Unlatched was focused on developing funding models for open access books. Following several successful pilot rounds that demonstrated the concept the funding operations, name and trademarks of Knowledge Unlatched C.I.C. were transferred to Knowledge Unlatched Gmbh which continues to act as a funding intermediary for open access scholarly books and content….”

More Readers in More Places: The benefits of open access for scholarly books | Zenodo

“Open access to scholarly contents has grown substantially in recent years. This includes the number of books published open access online. However, there is limited study on how usage patterns (via downloads, citations and web visibility) of these books may differ from their closed counterparts. Such information is not only important for book publishers, but also for researchers in disciplines where books are the norm. This article reports on findings from comparing samples of books published by Springer Nature to shed light on differences in usage patterns across open access and closed books. The study includes a selection of 281 open access books and a sample of 3,653 closed books (drawn from 21,059 closed books using stratified random sampling). The books are stratified by combinations of book type, discipline and year of publication to enable likewise comparisons within each stratum and to maximise statistical power of the sample. The results show higher geographic diversity of usage, higher numbers of downloads and more citations for open access books across all strata. Importantly, open access books have increased access and usage for traditionally under-served populations.”

Diversifying Readership Through Open Access | Open research | Springer Nature

“Diversifying readership through open access: A usage analysis for OA books is a new white paper by Springer Nature and COARD based on usage data for 3,934 books, including 281 open access books.

This white paper presents the analysis of that data, exploring what effect, if any, publishing OA has on the geographic usage of books. The findings will be of interest to researchers, authors, librarians and publishers alike. …”

Diversifying Readership through open access: A usage analysis for open access books | Corporate Affairs Homepage | Springer Nature

“Open access (OA) books are reaching more countries and have greater usage and higher citation numbers than non-OA books. A new analysis collaboratively produced by Springer Nature and COARD (Collaborative Open Access Research & Development) presents these and other key findings in a new white paper that explores how OA affects the geographical diversity of readers. 

It shows that OA books have substantially more readers in low-income and lower-middle-income countries and that OA also helps to increase attention to scholarship about these countries. The study is to date the largest and most comprehensive of its kind; the underlying dataset is based on 3,934 books published by Springer Nature, including 281 OA books.

Confirming previous research looking at the potential usage benefits of OA, this analysis shows more downloads and more citations for every type of book, in every discipline, in each of the three years of publication (2015, 2016, 2017) included in the sample. The report finds that OA books on average achieve ten times more downloads and 2.4 times more citations than non-OA books. Furthermore, download numbers from the open web are generally around double those from institutional network points….”

PLOS and LibLynx partner to develop open access analytics | EurekAlert! Science News

“The Public Library of Science (PLOS) and LibLynx announced a partnership today to develop ground-breaking analytics that better communicate the usage and impact of Open Access (OA) content.

A critical component in the development of sustainable funding models for OA is the ability to communicate impact in ways that are meaningful to a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders, including institutional partners, funders, and authors.

While traditional paywall publishers can take advantage of industry-standard COUNTER reports to communicate usage to subscribing libraries, no similar standard exists for OA content….”

The never-ending story | Research Information

“At the same time, the REF open access mandate had just been announced, stating journal articles and some conference proceedings had to be publicly accessible within three months of acceptance for publication in order to be eligible for submission for the post-2014 research excellence framework. Given the double-whammy of easier depositing and REF urgency, WestminsterResearch saw self-deposits rocket from less than one per cent to more than 99 per cent while practice-based/non text-based entries mushroomed by 246 per cent.

‘The Haplo repository and REF open access mandate came at a similar time and the combined power of both led to this massive increase in self-deposits,’ highlights Watts. 

‘The mandates really helped people to comply to open access,’ she adds. ‘And we believe that factors contributing to more practice-based research included vastly improved templates and fields for these outputs… in the past, the repository just couldn’t take this content.’

Following these results and the looming REF2021, WestminsterResearch switched to a full Haplo open source-set up in 2018, and entries have continued to rise. As Watts put it: ‘I don’t think we’d have been able to support the increase in open access deposits without this rise in self-depositing.’…”