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The green attitude

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In my recent post I have discussed open access to academic book chapters. However, I was focused on one of its form only, which is organized by publishers. And similar to the case of academic articles, and also in the case of book chapters, other ways of making content open exists. It occurs when an author of a chapter submits a copy of his/her work that was originally published in toll access, to a freely accessible website. This is called ‘self-archiving’ or ‘green open access’ in the case of academic papers, and I think we can use these terms when considering academic book chapters.

Despite the fact that green open access to academic papers is a norm in some fields of research, not much is known about green OA in the case of academic book chapters. However, according to the Key Challenges of Research Communication De Gruyter Open Author Survey, among 454 researchers in our sample who published a book chapter in the last 3 years, 99 self archived an open copy of originally paywalled content. This means that 21.8% of book chapter authors have experience with green open access. Green OA works consist of 15.1% of all book chapters published recently by our respondents.

Among authors who published at least one toll access book chapter in the last 3 years, 13.5% archived green OA copies all of their works of this kind, while 74.6% archived none.

Interestingly, there is a positive correlation between the share of green OA book chapters in all chapters published recently by a researcher, and percentage of green OA papers in all his/her recent papers (Spearman 0.37). When we compare the shares of green open access works in the number of toll access works only, we will see that the correlation between choosing green open access in the case of papers and book chapters is even greater (Spearman 0.45).

We may say that an author with a preference to make his or her toll access papers open via the green route is likely to also have a similar preference in the case of book chapters, and the other way round. This kind of relationship does not occur in the case of gold open access (organized by publishers). Authors who choose to publish their papers in open access journals are no more likely than others to publish their book chapters in gold open access.

This supports my previous conclusion, that while green open access depends on immanent features of an author – his/her ethical beliefs and knowledge about copyright, which might be called together “the green attitude”, there is nothing like a “gold attitude”.

Feel free to verify my findings. The data from our survey is open!

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