Everyone dealing with publications in one way or another must have noticed the fact that the publishing landscape is changing. The change, according to a relatively new dissertation is due to the demands from academia, financiers and other stakeholders (Laakso, 2014). Publishing models and peer review models are changing, there are demands on open access to both research results and research data and more and more funders are implementing these demands. Also, citation practices must change so that a citation leads to a full text publication. All these demands have almost exclusively dealt with scientific articles. Next step in the development of open access will be about books.
Books or monographs, aswell as book chapters are important for scientific publishing, especially within certain disciplines, e.g. Arts and Humanities. Books should not be forgotten when everyone wants to publish in Web of Science indexed scientific journals. There are some disciplines where research is published exclusively in journals, areas where 2/3 all publishing occurs in journals and areas where publishing in journals is only 1/3 of all publishing. Publishing habits change when resource allocation is based on the number of publications or citations – monographs or book chapters are no longer valued as high as before. Monographs, often by a sole author, are forgotten when bibliometric indicators are introduced to measure research.
There are a couple of ways to solve the questions concerning open access to books. One alternative is to exclude them from the demand and not work with the question at all. This is perhaps not the best alternative when the basic idea of open access is good – free access to research results which have been reached by using the society economic resources. Open access means visibility and access, which research published in monographs is excluded from. The other end of the spectrum is to publish a monograph as a pdf on a web site where anyone can access and download it. Other alternatives is to make the book available but not make it possible to copy it or download it, implement print-on-demand for more income or use the APC-model (article processing charge) also for book publishing. Whichever model is chosen and developed for publishing monographs open access it is important to start with the work now.