'Don't close the definition of "open" for books' | Research Information
peter.suber's bookmarks 2018-10-31
"Open access began about 20 years ago – with the formal definition, justifying O and A capitalisations, being largely settled by 2003. Since then this definition of open access has been most successfully applied to journal articles.
Now books are getting focused attention. Some research funders, particularly in Europe but elsewhere too, are determined to radically increase the pace at which open access grows. Research they fund that is published as books may in many cases need to become open access. However, current approaches to open access for journals cannot work for books at a large scale.
If we apply open access to books in the way it is applied to journals, we will fail. If the failure is simply that books do not become more ‘open’, that would be one thing. But it is possible that academic researchers will find themselves required to publish books in ways that will be unsustainable for academic publishers. For Cambridge University Press, where I work, if our books earned only a few percentage points less revenue than they do now, our books programme would become loss-making. Academic books are a vital part of many researchers’ lives and careers. We must not put them at risk....
A definition of ‘open’ for books will therefore need to focus on content being freely readable while relaxing the requirements for allowing re-distribution and re-use. ..."