The OAPEN-NL project (our sister project in the Netherlands) yesterday published its final report and it is essential reading for all those interested in OA monograph publishing.
OAPEN-NL has explored the opportunities and possibilities for the open access business model for monographs and compared open access costs and impacts to conventional publishing. Between June 2011 and November 2012, fifty Open Access monographs in various subject areas were published in Open Access by nine participating publishers. For every Open Access title, the publishers provided a similar title that was published in the conventional way. Data were collected about usage, sales and costs, to study the effect of Open Access on monographs.
OAPEN-NL developed four models for cost recovery, used by the participating publishers. OAPEN-NL found no evidence of an effect of Open Access on sales. Neither was there evidence of the effect of Open Access on citations. But there was a clear effect on online usage. Online usage improved for the Open Access books.
The exploration resulted in recommendations to improve Open Access for monographs, and are aimed at all stakeholders in academic book publishing: funders, libraries, publishers and authors. Additional there are overall recommendations and recommendations for future research and for OAPEN.