November 27, 2012
Enhanced OA Books: Sound and Vision at the Service of the Text
Most books being published in Open Access exist in digital format only, although on occasions they are also available in print. The e-format has not become the new standard by chance – not only does it correspond to the evolution of modern communication technologies, but it also reduces costs while increasing the availability of publications through online dissemination. Of course, these are not the only advantages of digital publishing. Authors may use this format in other ways to increase the attractiveness of their book or article.
The benefits of placing hyperlinks in the content are well documented. It suffices to say that by using the links and content search capabilities, authors have the opportunity to increase the visibility and citation count of their work. However, enhancing the content does not limit itself to these two elements. An increasing number of OA publishers offer authors the option of adding different forms of media to their publication. Rather than plain images, graphics or tables, the digital format allows for the addition of more sophisticated elements, such as audio and video.
For instance, the author of a monograph does not have to rely solely on photography. Instead, the publication can include video footage, such as interviews or archival documents, as well as audio recordings of scientific comments or historical radio broadcasts.
These types of digitally enhanced publications are becoming increasingly popular, especially within education. As a result of development in new technologies (such as smartphones and tablets), an increasing amount of authors and publishers are now taking advantage of the opportunity to add audio or video elements to digital books. There are numerous companies (including giants like Apple) that already offer this type of service. So overall, there are no contraindications in publishing books like these in an Open Access model.
The use of audio-visual elements in OA books allows authors to increase the attractiveness of their publications, which may contribute to better visibility on the Internet, as well as a higher rate of downloads and citations. Therefore, it is worth considering the addition of extra materials in the form of audio or video when preparing a book for publication.