Tag Archives: PLoS

Open Access E-books Part One, from Eric Hellman

No Shelf Required: E-books in LibrariesI’ve been working on on a book chapter for a book edited by No Shelf Required‘s Sue Polanka. My chapter covers “Open Access E-Books”. Over the next week or two, I’ll be posting drafts for the chapter on the blog. Many readers know things that I don’t about this area, and I would be grateful for their feedback and corrections. Today, I’ll post the introduction, subsequent posts will include sections on Types of Open Access E-Books, Business Models for Open Access E-Books, and Open Access E-Books in Libraries. Note that while the blog always uses “ebook” as one word, the book will use the hyphenated form, “e-book”.

Open Access E-Books

As e-books emerge into the public consciousness, “Open Access”, a concept already familiar to scholarly publishers and academic libraries, will play an increasing role for all sorts of publishers and libraries. This chapter discusses what Open Access means in the context of e-books, how Open Access e-books can be supported, and the roles that Open Access e-books will play in libraries and in our society.

The Open Access “Movement”

Authors write and publish because they want to be read. Many authors also want to earn a living from their writing, but for some, income from publishing is not an important consideration. Some authors, particularly academics, publish because of the status, prestige, and professional advancement that accrue to authors of influential or groundbreaking works of scholarship. Academic publishers have historically taken advantage of these motivations to create journals and monographs consisting largely of works for which they pay minimal royalties, or more commonly, no royalties at all. In return, authors’ works receive professional review, editing, and formatting. Works that are accepted get placement in widely circulated journals and monograph catalogs. Continue reading