OPEN ACCESS BOOKS
Open access publishing, in the recent times, has been in the limelight owing to its multiple benefits in terms of wider, unrestricted, and unlimited access to scientific publications. While journals have laid the foundation for open access publishing, considerable developments have also been made in the area of open access books and monographs.
The concept of open access books is gaining significant popularity, especially, due to the ongoing concern about the high prices of student textbooks. Furthermore, commercial publishers only accept books that have reasonable saleability and many scholars in the fields of arts, humanities, and social sciences find it very difficult to get a book published in the traditional way. Open access book publishing is gaining momentum and is a way to resolve this issue for aspiring book authors. Through open access publishing, books are likely to reach wider audience than through traditional book printing, in turn increasing the sales as well as usage.
Open access is a publishing model that is achieved by electronic versions of the documents, be it an article, a textbook or a monograph. Hence, it is imperative to publish open access books in the digital format, whether or not it is supplemented by a print version. As with the article writers, book writers are also interested in getting a wider audience to their publications and create a substantial impact of their published works in the scientific community. With this view in mind, some scholars have already started making their books freely available on the internet.
In addition to open access publishing by the researchers themselves, some traditional presses have started publishing open access books with considerable success. The National Academies Press in the US has been publishing its monograph series in a page-by-page format, for free access since 1996. In the recent years, it has also facilitated free downloads of whole volumes for atleast some books, if not all of its titles. Some university presses, such as the Australian National University Press, which are experimenting with open access publishing of books and monographs, have witnessed a significant increase in free downloads and usage.
As part of the research requirements for doctoral fellows and university students pursuing their dissertation, several libraries stock open access books to fulfill the demand by the increasing number of researchers and academic visionaries. Consequently, the scope for the books gets a boost from individuals belonging to various domains and practices. In order to seek the maximum affect of research, the authors tend to make their research works published through sources like open access books.
The methodology of reference and retrieval an open access books serves the need of the members of the scientific community. The books stipulate reference to the contents to the journal without the underlying costs or copyright protection. These books are compiled by authors under a regulatory framework for submitting the articles and research write-ups to print.
The authors of the open-access books follow the principles and standards that are demanded by the accepted norms for publishing books. The society publishers, academicians, researchers, and individuals are still in debate as to the modus operandi of open access books.