New COPIM Report: Promoting and Nurturing Interactions with Open Access Books

Two weeks ago we released a new COPIM research report: Promoting and Nurturing Interactions with Open Access Books: Strategies for Publishers and Authors. The report has been written by Samuel Moore, Tobias Steiner, and myself.

This three-part research and scoping report has been created as a (evolving) resource for the scholarly community, especially for publishers and authors interested in fostering more engagement with open access books. Many of the types of interaction and interactive practices we explore within this report — such as open annotation, open peer review, versioning, and data mining — have seen wider adoption within the STEM fields where their uptake is also more widely researched. The arts, humanities, and social sciences in general have lower adoption rates where it concerns these types of practices and also have field-specific preferences (as well as prejudices). These preferences and prejudices are further discussed in this report as are strategies and guidelines for publishers and authors to further promote, nurture, and facilitate interaction with openly available books within the these fields.

The first part of this report provides a literature overview to identify the opportunities that digital technologies and enhanced interactions with open access books can provide for scholarship; it outlines some of the main types of interactions around open books that scholars are involved in; and it showcases some of the experiments within humanities book publishing with reuse, remix, and more interactive features; finally it presents some of the main (technological and socio-cultural) inhibitions that have prevented further uptake of these practices.

The second part then more closely explores the technical dependencies that the introduced interactions and affordances rely upon. Doing so, it outlines and showcases a variety of open source tools, software, technologies, platforms, infrastructures, guidelines and best practices, that lend themselves to being adopted by publishers and authors (or by publishers and authors working in collaboration with each other) to facilitate interaction around their book(s).

The third part summarises the findings of the previous parts and provides recommendations, guidelines, and strategies (again, both socio-cultural and technological) for publishers and authors to further open up their books and collections to community interaction and reuse.

The report has itself been published in an experimental way. Making use of the advanced versioning functionalities offered by PubPub, we will iteratively update this document over the remainder of the project, thus allowing us to incorporate user feedback and new technological developments. Hence, we would be really grateful for constructive feedback from the communities out there who are already experimenting with new forms of interaction. Please don’t hesitate to leave comments either here on the PubPub version (account and login required), or get in touch via email at

The report is available here in the form of a PubPub book, while a PDF version will be made available through Zenodo in the next couple of days.

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