Academic publishers should take note of a recent report from Springer Nature that shows there is a tangible benefit to publishing academic books using immediate open access (OA) models. Springer Nature brought this interesting information to us in their article, “Open access academic books downloaded, discussed and cited far more than traditional books.”

Among the research findings, they discovered that there are just under 30,000 chapter downloads per OA book within the first year of publication, which is 7 times more than for the average non-OA book. Add to that, citations are on average 50% higher for OA books than for non-OA books, over a four-year period.

Increased visibility and a wider dissemination of research are the most popular motivations behind both publishing and funding OA books. Readers should not only be able to read publicly-funded research, but should also have equal access to knowledge. This is not new news to many. Authors who were interviewed also stated that a benefit of OA is the ease in sharing books via direct links to encourage a wider readership.

Melody K. Smith

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