Dissertation to Book? A Snapshot of Dissertations Published As Books in 2014 and 2105, Available in Open Access Institutional Repositories

Authors: Anna Marie Johnson, Tyler Goldberg, Robert Detmering

INTRODUCTION: Graduate students sometimes express consternation about whether the presence of their dissertation in an open access institutional repository (IR) will harm their chances of being able to publish the manuscript as a book. Several studies have addressed the question from different perspectives, but the avenue of examining what had actually been published had not been explored.
METHODS: This study examines books published in 2014 and 2015 that were listed as dissertations in one large book vendor database. A list of books was downloaded and searched in both ProQuest’s Dissertations & Theses Global database and Google to identify a matching dissertation.
RESULTS: Only a small percentage of books published as dissertations were found in ProQuest and then subsequently in IRs. The number of libraries holding book titles with corresponding dissertations in IRs dropped between 2014 and 2015. The lists of publishers who published dissertations as books was very similar between 2014 and 2015 data and included large, commercial publishers.
DISCUSSION: Students should be aware that only a small percentage of the total number of dissertations produced in a year are subsequently published as books, that the time between dissertation and book publication is substantial, and that some subject areas are more likely to be published than others.
CONCLUSION: These findings provide nuance to the discussions of dissertations in open access repositories and a starting point to monitor trends in this area. They should also provide librarians who are providing supplementary guidance to graduate students with information about the publishing landscape.

SourceJournal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Citation: Johnson, A.M., Goldberg, T. & Detmering, R., (2017). “Dissertation to Book? A Snapshot of Dissertations Published As Books in 2014 and 2105, Available in Open Access Institutional Repositories”. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2177


A landscape study on open access and monographs: Policies, funding and publishing in eight European countries

Author: Eelco Ferwerda, Frances Pinter, and Niels Stern

Abstract: Knowledge Exchange is continously active in promoting Open Access by bringing together Open Access experts from all six KE-countries. This study was initiated by Knowledge Exchange and financed by Knowledge ExchangeFWFCRIStin and Couperin, and together with the skilled expertise of Eelco Ferwerda, Frances Pinter and Niels Stern, we can now publish the biggest landscape study on the conditions and potentials for Open Access books yet.

The field of OA monographs is still in its early evolution and therefore 73 in-depth conversations were conducted to understand the different developments among three stakeholder groups: Publishers, funders and libraries. The importance of author attitudes, scholarly reward and incentive systems is also raised throughout the study by numerous interviewees.

Our study shows that although the main OA policies do not include monographs, conversations about OA and monographs are surfacing and are expected to be accelerating over the next few years.

The general explanation for monographs not being included in policies is the global focus on journal publishing and the perception that monographs are more complex to deal with than journals. Some also point to a lack of demand yet from authors.

In general, OA book publishers will comply with gold OA policies from funders and institutions. This is not the case for green OA. It appears that the current self archiving policies from publishers for books are largely restricted to book chapters.

The report also points towards the fact that funding schemes for books are lagging behind schemes for articles and their availability to fund the publishing process is somewhat ad hoc across the countries we’ve surveyed. Nevertheless the authors are ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the prospects for OA and monographs.

The report creates an overview of both the OA monographs policies, funding streams and publishing models for all eight countries for the first time. This is used to point towards areas of future efforts.

Citation: Eelco Ferwerda, Frances Pinter, and Niels Stern. (2017). A landscape study on open access and monographs: Policies, funding and publishing in eight European countries.  Knowledge Exchange. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.815932.


Access, ethics and piracy

Author: Stuart Lawson

Abstract: Ownership of intellectual property rights for a large proportion of the scholarly record is held by publishers, so a majority of journal articles are behind paywalls and unavailable to most people. As a result some readers are encouraged to use pirate websites such as Sci-Hub to access them, a practice that is alternately regarded as criminal and unethical or as a justified act of civil disobedience. This article considers both the efficacy and ethics of piracy, placing ‘guerrilla open access’ within a longer history of piracy and access to knowledge. By doing so, it is shown that piracy is an inevitable part of the intellectual landscape that can render the current intellectual property regime irrelevant. If we wish to actively construct a true scholarly commons, open access emerges as a contender for moving beyond proprietary forms of commodifying scholarly knowledge towards the creation of an open scholarly communication system that is fit for purpose.

Citation: Lawson, Stuart (2017). Access, ethics and piracy. Humanities Commons. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M62V24


A genealogy of open access: negotiations between openness and access to research

Author: Samuel Moore

Abstract: Open access (OA) is a contested term with a complicated history and a variety of understandings. This rich history is routinely ignored by institutional, funder and governmental policies that instead enclose the concept and promote narrow approaches to OA. This article presents a genealogy of the term open access, focusing on the separate histories that emphasise openness and reusability on the one hand, as borrowed from the open-source software and free culture movements, and accessibility on the other hand, as represented by proponents of institutional and subject repositories. This genealogy is further complicated by the publishing cultures that have evolved within individual communities of practice: publishing means different things to different communities and individual approaches to OA are representative of this fact. From analysing its historical underpinnings and subsequent development, I argue that OA is best conceived as a boundary object, a term coined by Star and Griesemer (1989) to describe concepts with a shared, flexible definition between communities of practice but a more community-specific definition within them. Boundary objects permit working relationships between communities while allowing local use and development of the concept. This means that OA is less suitable as a policy object, because boundary objects lose their use-value when ‘enclosed’ at a general level, but should instead be treated as a community-led, grassroots endeavour.

Citation: Moore, Samuel (2017). A genealogy of open access: negotiations between openness and access to research. Humanities Commons. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6NF75


Institutional Repositories and Academic Social Networks: Competition or Complement? A Study of Open Access Policy Compliance vs. ResearchGate Participation

Authors: Julia A. Lovett, Andrée J Rathemacher, Diana Boukari, and Corey Lang

Abstract: The popularity of academic social networks like ResearchGate and Academia.edu indicates that scholars want to share their work, yet for universities with Open Access (OA) policies, these sites may be competing with institutional repositories (IRs) for content. This article seeks to reveal researcher practices, attitudes, and motivations around uploading their work to ResearchGate and complying with an institutional OA Policy through a study of faculty at the University of Rhode Island (URI).

Citation: Lovett, J.A. et al., (2017). Institutional Repositories and Academic Social Networks: Competition or Complement? A Study of Open Access Policy Compliance vs. ResearchGate Participation. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2183


Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Author: Jefferson Pooley

Abstract: Much of the rhetoric around the future of scholarly communication hinges on the “open” label. In light of Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress and the announcement that, owing to high fees, an established mathematics journal’s editorial team will split from its publisher to start an open access alternative, Jefferson Pooley argues that the scholarly communication ecosystem should aim not only to be open but non-profit too. The profit motive is fundamentally misaligned with core values of academic life, potentially corroding ideals like unfettered inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and cooperative progress. There are obstacles to forging a non-profit alternative, from sustainable funding to entrenched cynicism, but such a goal is worthy and within reach.

Citation: Pooley, Jefferson. “Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too.” LSE Impact Blog. August 15, 2017.


Source: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2017/08/15/scholarly-communications-shouldnt-just-be-open-but-non-profit-too/

Fresh Perspectives on the Future of University-Based Publishing

Author: Amy Brand

Abstract: Academic libraries are taking on more active roles in support of research dissemination. Does a diminished role for university presses necessarily follow? It does not. I’ll discuss the distinctive and increasingly urgent functions of the university press, and the challenge of balancing the imperatives of sustainability and openness. How do we meet the differing requirements of professional, text, and trade authors? How do we fulfill our mission to make our publications available, discoverable, and searchable in digital form now, and in perpetuity? I will also cover strategies to promote productive partnerships, and the significant benefits of closer coordination among presses, libraries, and the academic departments within their institutions.

Citation: Amy Brand. 2017. Fresh Perspectives on the Future of University-Based Publishing. CNI Spring 2017 Membership Meeting, Closing Plenary. Retrieved from https://www.cni.org/events/membership-meetings/past-meetings/spring-2017/plenary-sessions-s17

Fresh Perspectives on the Future of University-Based Publishing from CNI Video Channel on Vimeo.

Open Access Mandates and the Seductively False Promise of Free

Authors: Bhamati Viswanathan & Adam Mossoff

Abstract: CPIP has published a new policy brief entitled Open-Access Mandates and the Seductively False Promise of “Free.” The brief, written by CPIP Legal Fellow Bhamati Viswanathan and CPIP Director of Academic Programs & Senior Scholar Adam Mossoff, exposes the lack of evidence or justification for the proliferating legal mandates by federal agencies that coerce authors and publishers to make their scholarly articles available for free to the world.

Citation: Viswanathan, Bhamati & Mossoff, Adam. Open Access Mandates and the Seductively False Promise of Free. Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property. April 2017.


Passing a Campus Open Access Policy

Author: Chealsye Bowley

Abstract: On March 31, Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) Faculty Senate passed an Open Access policy! The Open Access Archiving Policy ensures that future scholarly articles authored by FGCU faculty will be made freely available to the public by requiring faculty to deposit copies of their accepted manuscripts in the university’s repository, DigitalFGCU.

As Scholarly Communication Librarian, I worked with my supervisor, library administration, the university’s Provost, and Faculty Senate to write and pass the policy. Typically in the United States, Open Access policies are passed through the Faculty Senate as a faculty level policy rather than a “university policy” that requires a different approval process. Policies are usually proposed to a Faculty Senate team or committee, such as Faculty Affairs, and then proceeds to Faculty Senate for voting.

Although each institution will be different, in this blog post I’ll share some of the key decisions and learnings that allowed our team at FGCU to pass an Open Access Policy quickly.

Citation: Bowley, C. “Passing a Campus Open Access Policy.” OpenCon2017 Blog, May 05, 2017, www.opencon2017.org/passing_a_campus_open_access_policy.


Source: OpenCon2017 Blog


Looking into Pandora’s Box: The Content of Sci-Hub and its Usage

Author: Bastian Greshake

Abstract: Despite the growth of Open Access, potentially illegally circumventing paywalls to access scholarly publications is becoming a more mainstream phenomenon. The web service Sci-Hub is amongst the biggest facilitators of this, offering free access to around 62 million publications. So far it is not well studied how and why its users are accessing publications through Sci-Hub. By utilizing the recently released corpus of Sci-Hub and comparing it to the data of  ~28 million downloads done through the service, this study tries to address some of these questions. The comparative analysis shows that both the usage and complete corpus is largely made up of recently published articles, with users disproportionately favoring newer articles and 35% of downloaded articles being published after 2013. These results hint that embargo periods before publications become Open Access are frequently circumnavigated using Guerilla Open Access approaches like Sci-Hub. On a journal level, the downloads show a bias towards some scholarly disciplines, especially Chemistry, suggesting increased barriers to access for these. Comparing the use and corpus on a publisher level, it becomes clear that only 11% of publishers are highly requested in comparison to the baseline frequency, while 45% of all publishers are significantly less accessed than expected. Despite this, the oligopoly of publishers is even more remarkable on the level of content consumption, with 80% of all downloads being published through only 9 publishers. All of this suggests that Sci-Hub is used by different populations and for a number of different reasons, and that there is still a lack of access to the published scientific record. A further analysis of these openly available data resources will undoubtedly be valuable for the investigation of academic publishing.

Citation:  Greshake B.Looking into Pandora’s Box: The Content of Sci-Hub and its Usage.” F1000Research 2017, 6:541. (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11366.1) .