Publishing in an Open Access model is still more popular for journals than it is for books. The latter often end up scattered around different repositories and websites, making them very difficult to find because of poor visibility on the Internet. However, there may be a solution to this issue – a brand new project, which aims to increase discoverability of OA books – the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).
The DOAB is designed as a platform to connect publishers and readers. On one hand, it is a service that publishers and aggregators can use to submit books published in an OA model to help increase their visibility on the Internet. While at the same time, it also acts as a space for readers and Internet users to find, read or download OA books. The website of the Directory of Open Access Books website outlines its approach as follows:
Academic publishers may provide metadata of their OA books to DOAB and it will be harvestable in order to maximize dissemination, visibility and impact. Aggregators can integrate the records in their commercial services and libraries can integrate the directory into their online catalogues
At present, there are almost 1252 Academic peer-reviewed books available from 34 publishers, featuring among others, Amsterdam University Press, ANU E Press and De Gruyter. (You can find the complete list here.)
A reader looking for an OA book can use the DOAB search engine, which uses filters such as “Fields”, “Title”, “ISSN/ISBN”, “Author”, “Keywords”, “Abstract” or “Publisher”. By clicking on the resulting entry, the user is then redirected to the original source of the book.
Services like the Directory of Open Access Books have various positive outcomes. The DOAB assists authors and publishers in making their books more discoverable, as well as increasing their impact. As for readers, it helps them find the content they are looking for. In fact, the DOAB was named Best New Product by this year’s Reader’s Choice Awards in the Charleston Advisor – a well-deserved accolade!