Studies and Reports

Understanding books and their communities


Research Studies

We are pleased to have taken a lead role in the following study:

A Landscape Study on open access and monographs: Policies, funding and publishing in eight European countries

The primary goal of the Landscape Study is to gather comparable data and analysis of the Knowledge Exchange (KE) countries (Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark) plus Norway, Austria and France (who joined KE after te project began). This includes the costs of OA books; the fees being charged for OA books; the range of non-BPC models; the adoption of OA policies for books by funders (both public and private), universities, and publishers. An overview of OA book publishing will be presented through a typology of book publishers, their business models, and OA book publishing models and policies that brings out the various national differences as well as similarities.

Eelco Ferwerda (OAPEN), Frances Pinter (Knowledge Unlatched) and Niels Stern (Nordic Council of Ministers) are acting as joint Principal Investigators, with support from Lucy Montgomery (Knowledge Unlatched/Curtin University) and Ronald Snijder (OAPEN).

Landscape Study

link to the Landscape Study

Financial support for the study comes from Knowledge Exchange (KE), the Current Research Information System in Norway (CRIStin), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), and the French library consortium Couperin.

Knowledge Unlatched Research part of European Union funded Open Access project: OPERAS-D

KU Research is delighted to be part of the European Commission eInfrastructure Science Cloud project Design for Open Access Publications in European Research Areas for Social Sciences – OPERAS-D. The European Union has committed €408,000 to this important initiative, commencing in January 2017.

KU Research is one of five partner organisations involved in the OPERAS-D project, working with the National Centre for Scientific Research (France); the National Hellenic Research Foundation (Greece); the OAPEN Foundation (Netherlands and the Foundation German Humanities Institutes Abroad (Germany). Together, these partners are working towards robust e-infrastructure for Open Access publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
The OPERAs Project

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731031.

UCL Press Usage Study

Knowledge Unlatched Research has been working with UCL Press and a team of researchers based at the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University to explore the dissemination and impact of UCL Press books.

In May 2016 UCL Press invited KU Research to carry out a preliminary study of the dissemination and impact of UCL titles. The study, carried out in partnership with the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University, explores the digital footprint of UCL Press’s open access books in their first year online. The project focuses on what usage data can tell us about where and how UCL Press books are being read; the efficacy of digital distribution approaches currently being used; and the impact of key events on the use of OA titles.
Pre-print of the publicly available journal article

Surveying the Scalability of OA Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences

In June 2016 the University of Michigan Library (U-M Library) and Knowledge Unlatched Research began a collaboration “to study and overcome remaining obstacles to the spread of Open Access (OA) scholarly publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).” We are now very pleased to announce that one product of this partnership will be a survey of academic librarians in the United States conducted by Christopher Barnes, PhD, a fellow at U-M Library and an LIS student in the School of Information.

The survey, released at the end of November 2016, targeted librarians involved in the decision-making process behind participation in OA initiatives targeting monographs in the HSS. Librarians currently considering joining an OA initiative, or who have declined to join, were also encouraged to participate. The goal was to determine the major impediments to the scalability of initiatives like KU from the perspective of collections staff, both in terms of increasing the number of participating libraries and the percentage of OA HSS monographs in their collections. Financial and budgetary concerns also featured prominently in the study, alongside issues like discoverability, preservation, and workflow.

Dr. Barnes conducted a series of follow-up interviews in early 2017 to add context and nuance to the survey responses. He presented his findings at the American Library Association in July 2017 along with a poster.

Exploring Usage of Open Access Books via the JSTOR Platform

JSTOR’s Open Access Books platform launched in October 2016. The first four publishers to submit content to the platform were UCL Press, University of Michigan Press, Cornell University Press and California University Press. The four presses commissioned KU Research to analyse this data in order to gain a greater understanding of the potential of open access to reach wide audiences. This will not only help inform the individual presses’ strategy but will also serve the wider scholarly community in providing concrete information about the benefits of open access publishing. The study will allow publishers to better understand how their OA content is being used, especially at the chapter level. Findings will be available towards the end of 2017.