Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More on OA at U. Pittsburgh Press

Peter Murray, Online Editions of Out-of-Print Books Results from Library/Press Partnership at Univ of Pittsburgh, Disruptive Library Technology Jester, May 26, 2009.

... Earlier today, I had a conversation with Rush Miller, library director at the University of Pittsburgh, about the joint effort between the university press and the university library system. Cynthia Miller (press director) and Rush arrived at approximately the same time 15 years ago at the University of Pittsburgh. Over the course of that time, the two have shared many discussions about open access content. A few years ago, they established a model for working together: the press would clear the rights for books (the press generally had the rights to publish in paper, but not digital) while the libraries would digitize the books, mount them on library servers, and do the graphic design work for the online site. With this model, they mounted 15 titles from the pressí Latin American series. The libraries also supplied the Chicago Digital Distribution Center (CDDC) with the digital scans for the Bibliovault print-on-demand service. The library has seven full-time people in the digital services department, plus support from systems analysis and developers from elsewhere in the library.

They had been closely studying the usage and sales data with the trial content and had found that online access didnít necessarily cannibalize print sales. In fact, one title sold about 100 copies last year while having near zero sales the previous few years. (Adoption for a course is the suspected reason, and the item was probably found because the digital edition was online). Books that have been out of print for 20 years are now getting use as soon as the digital editions are available.

With the initial success, the libraries and press moved forward with digitizing and mounting the 500-title backfile represented by this announcement. This was a significant effort on the part of the press to clear the rights for all of these titles ó about a yearís worth of work. The partners are already looking forward to another round of titles to be digitized and mounted online. ...

See also our past post on the recent announcement.