Electronic monographs are not as straightforward as journals. As a librarian assisting students in their research, ebooks don’t come up as frequently and when they do it usually involves resolving issues that come with difficult user interfaces. Disparate platforms and constricting digital rights management (DRM) result in poor usability of scholarly ebooks. Nearly all journal articles come to us in neat and tidy pdf form but monographs have pdf, epub, and wide range of proprietary formats. This lack of standardization can complicate ebooks and it is for this reason that I feel open access is the ideal publishing model for scholarly ebooks. It solves both challenges. Continue reading
Many librarians in the UK (and as a profession, librarians have a long standing tradition of Open Access advocacy) find it galling that the term ‘ Open Access’ is increasingly met with either a stifled yawn or a rant about the inequities of article processing charges, publisher profits and the bureaucratic hoops that academic staff are expected to jump through to meet funder mandates. This response is also true of some librarians. Continue reading
“I thought open access was about academic journals – why are you talking about books?” This is a common refrain that I hear when begin talking about the importance of open access books, one that I myself made not long ago, and I suspect this remains the case for many other librarians as well. This open access week, while my colleagues continue to market and educate our researchers, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on how we – the OA educators, or alternatively, “those librarians asking more of us!” – are learning about open access. Continue reading
 As an early-career librarian, I am fortunate to have come into a world of academic libraries that already values Open Access. I learned about open access in my courses and discussed it at length with my peers over coffee in the student lounge at graduate school. I had the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant with librarians at the University of Toronto, who were doing great work to advance knowledge and practice of Open Access, and I was able to participate in that work. And yet, every time I engaged in one of these conversations, I had a very clear picture in my head: a simple PDF of a journal article. Continue reading
The Royal Library of Belgium : a place of history
The Royal Library of Belgium’s collections have been growing since the XVth century. Throughout its history, from the Library of the Dukes of Bourgogne to the present day, the Royal Library (its official name since 1837) has continuously built its collections by means of valuable acquisitions. With a collection of more than 7 million documents the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) constitutes the literary and scientific memory of Belgium. Besides collecting Belgian publications through legal deposit, the institution owns materials of great historical and cultural importance. Continue reading
Electronic books, better known as e-books, first arrived in the early 1970s as digital versions of their print counterparts (Loan, 2015). Since then, they have become an invaluable component of the publishing market as publishers and similar providers have offered e-books to consumers on a variety of platforms. For academic libraries, electronic books have been a resource to offer specific materials to patrons at their point of need, but there have also been have been concerns about these formats (Mune, 2016). For instance, providers have used proprietary software that requires additional effort on the part of the user in order to read them. Also, software could be required for specific devices that could limit how a patron can access a specific item for reading purposes. Continue reading
The University of Nottingham has a long history of supporting open access publishing to further extend the reach and impact of our academics’ research. It is also a global institution with campuses in the UK, Malaysia and China. Since 2014, we’ve shared the cost to help ‘unlatch’ the first two collections offered by Knowledge Unlatched. A natural extension of this was to become a Library Member of Open Book Publishers. Continue reading
Institutional Repositories (IR) have become a staple of most academic libraries. They are generally populated by Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs
)and faculty peer-reviewed manuscripts, also known as post-prints in the parlance of green open access.
The IR managed by Western Libraries at The University of Western Ontario, Scholarship@Western, aspires to host the complete intellectual output of the institution. It is the home to faculty articles, working papers, over 25 open access journals, as well as several conference proceedings, and some digitized materials such as photographs, music scores, and historical university course calendars. Continue reading
Kathryn Rudy’s latest book Piety in Pieces, details the activities of medieval book owners who personalised their books by inserting new pages, drawings, and notes. These personalisations ranged from minor modifications such as placing loose images between leaves, or adding notes to blank pages, to larger changes that necessitated rebinding. Immediately on first looking at the book I realised that there are parallels between the way medieval people treated their books, and open access, and particularly the way Creative Commons licenced material can be adapted.
For many years, Villanova University’s Digital Library has been providing open access to out-of-copyright books, journals, newspapers, and other content. From the beginning, this content was provided in the form of scanned images of the original materials, sometimes augmented by computer-generated OCR. While this approach provides an informative view of the historical artifacts and allows some degree of searchability, there are some barriers to discovery and consumption of the content. Continue reading