Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, October 29, 2007

University press issues OA editions of its OP books

The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is publishing OA editions of its out-of-print books.  From today's announcement:

The Libraries of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles (EUB), its publishing imprint, collaborate to provide free online access to recent books published by EUB which are out of print. The e-books are available on the Digithèque web site, the collection of  digital copies of printed books created by the Libraries.

Providing online open access to EUB recent books is valuable

  • For the public, who can freely read the books online,
  • For the authors, whose books are offered a second life,
  • For the publisher, whose collections become more visible.

Around 20 books are already available online, related to political science, sociology, European law, history, history of religions, statistics, environment…

The agreement between the EUB and the Libraries is part of the ULB policy as signatory of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

Other open access initiatives of ULB include: The Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe commissioned by DG Research-European Commission; BICTEL/e, the Directory of electronic theses and dissertation; the Digithèque, its digitization program  of ancient books from the Libraries’ collections and their online full-text availability; its Institutional Repository, under development, which aims to collect and provide online open access to publications and scientific works by ULB professors and researchers....

Comment.  This is an excellent idea. Instead of letting OP books disappear from view, the original publishers should issue OA editions.  One day presses will routinely publish monographs in dual OA/TA editions, and use the OA editions to increase the visibility and sales of the TA editions.  But for presses reluctant to adopt that model today, creating an OA edition of an OP book is a small investment with large gains for the author, for readers, and for the press.