This week, Springer Nature published a report called ‘The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books?’
This report is the first major comparative analysis of usage data for open access (OA) and non-OA scholarly books. Our findings establish that there is a performance benefit from publishing a book OA as they are downloaded seven times more, cited 50% more and mentioned online ten times more.
The interviews we conducted with authors and funders also revealed some common themes around why they publish and fund open access books, from increased visibility and wider dissemination to ethical motivations.
Part 1 of the report presents the findings of the quantitative analysis. The average performance of OA books, as measured by usage, citations and online mentions, was compared to the average performance of non-OA titles.
Part 2 presents feedback from authors and funders who were interviewed about their experiences and perceptions of OA book publishing with Springer Nature. Interviews focused on: the impact of OA on books; OA book metrics that are of most relevance to authors and funders; and authors’ and funders’ expectations and experiences of, as well as motivations for, OA book publishing.