In a 2019 white paper published by Springer Nature (see https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.8166599.v1), we surveyed more than 2,500 academic book authors, who provided in-depth insights into attitudes towards open access (OA). We found book authors in the USA are particularly sceptical about the benefits of publishing an OA book. Lack of awareness, concerns about quality, and lack of funding are key barriers. Globally, OA books are starting to gain traction, with more than 29,000 academic peer reviewed books now listed in the Directory of Open Access Books, and a number of university presses focusing on OA monographs, including Luminos in the USA. There is also an increasing evidence base showing the benefits to authors in publishing their work OA. To tackle the challenge of low awareness, and misperceptions about the value publishing OA can offer, we will showcase a new resource that aims to help book authors better understand, increase trust in, and promote OA book publishing: the OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit. In 2020 Springer Nature, OAPEN and the University of Glasgow developed this new toolkit. This free resource was created following a series of workshops (R2R conference, and at the Universities of Oxford, Utrecht and Glasgow) and was co-written by a global group of stakeholders. In this presentation we will summarise the pain points that authors raised, showcase the new resource, and highlight ways institutions can further support authors in understanding the options and benefits of publishing their next book OA.
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