The OAPEN Foundation - 2023 in review

2023 was an eventful year for us at the OAPEN Foundation. We want to thank everyone who contributed to the OAPEN Library or used our services and look forward to continuing supporting our stakeholders and the transition to open access for scholarly books. Read on for a few highlights below.

Organisational Changes and Expansion

We ended 2023 as a team of ten, with four new colleagues being welcomed throughout the year, including: Sînziana Păltineanu (Project Manager), who joined us from the Berlin University Alliance, Silke Davison (Community Manager, North America & Europe), who joined us from Frontiers, Danny Kingsley (Community Manager, Southern Hemisphere), Visiting Fellow at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and Jordy Findanis (Project Manager), who has worked in scholarly publishing for more than fifteen years.

In June, we also announced that Kimmo Tuominen succeeded Bas Savenije as Chair of the OAPEN Board, and at the same time, OAPEN’s governance changed from a Board of Directors to a Supervisory Board, placing Niels Stern as Managing Director, beginning a new chapter of governance for OAPEN.

The OAPEN Library in Numbers

In 2023 we added over 5,000 publications to the OAPEN Library. The total number of publications exceeded 31,000 by the end of the year. There were over 13.5 million downloads (over 1 million downloads per month) and the map below shows where publications were downloaded the most.

It might not come as a surprise that English and German were the most common languages of books added to the OAPEN Library in 2023, but we also saw publications in Ukranian, Arabic, and Sanskrit, to name a few others.

Books Analytics Service (BAS)

Less than two years into the Book Analytics Dashboard (BAD) project, funded by the Mellon Foundation and in conjunction with Curtin University, Niels Stern and Laura Wilkinson headed to the Frankfurt Book Fair to spread the word about our new Books Analytics Service (BAS). BAS enables publishers to see the usage of their OA titles across a range of data sources, such as OAPEN, JSTOR, and Google Books.

Projects and Partnerships

A major milestone was reached in the European Union-funded project, PALOMERA (Policy Alignment of Open Access Monographs in the European Research Area), of which, OAPEN is the Scientific Coordinator. In November the 1st Policy Brief was published, demonstrating the need for a specific and urgent commitment to a unified set of principles for OA book policies.

Many exciting partnerships continued, enabling the enhancement of the services we offer our stakeholders. Notably with Penn State University Libraries, who have collaborated with us on metadata, converting OAPEN’s MARCXML records into MARC – the metadata format favored by libraries worldwide – cleaning them up so they’re readily available for download and use; and CLOCKSS, that now provides preservation services for small publishers and presses that have fewer than five OA books listed in the OAPEN Library.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up to the OAPEN Newsletter and the DOAB Newsletter to hear the latest news and announcements throughout the year. Our 2023 Stakeholder Report will be published in a few months so don’t miss out on being the first to know!

We look forward to an amazing 2024 at OAPEN, working with all our stakeholders, project partners, and providing seamless services for open access books.

The OAPEN team