Knowledge Unlatched Research releases report on Open Access ebook usage
KU Research has released a study of Open Access ebook usage on JSTOR, commissioned and funded by four publishers: UCL Press, University of Michigan Press, Cornell University Press, and University of California Press. The full report is now available as a PDF download.
Among the findings are that the JSTOR platform accounts for the largest number of referrals to the Open Access ebooks; 34.1% of readers are already on the platform when they access the OA books. Institutions located in the Global South are relatively high users of OA books made available via the JSTOR platform when compared to institutions located in the US, UK, and Western Europe. In addition, the OA books are being used at institutions that might not otherwise afford access to publishers’ books, including high schools and community colleges.
The authors also made several recommendations for publishers and platform providers. Publishers that make Open Access content available on multiple platforms and in a variety of formats will ensure broad discovery and access. Publishers should consider working with organizations like JSTOR to develop industry standards for usage reporting for Open Access content.
JSTOR launched its Open Access ebook program in October 2016 with 63 titles, and one year later offers more than 2,250 OA titles from 24 publishers. Researchers can search all open content on JSTOR, including the ebooks and a range of journal content made freely available by our partner publishers. A 2017 Charleston Conference session on Open Access ebooks will provide further details on OA usage on JSTOR.