DENTON (UNT), Texas — The University of North Texas is leading a team with members from around the world to create an international data trust improving the measurement and analysis of open access book usage.
The new data trust, funded through a $1.2 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will be the first of its kind for scholarly publishing, enabling universities and publishers to share and analyze data on open access works.
As a pioneer for open access, UNT was the first public institution in Texas to adopt a policy in support of open access and has hosted an annual Open Access Symposium since 2010.
“Advancing accessibility to research is a priority for UNT as a Tier One research university,” said Diane Bruxvoort, dean of UNT Libraries. “We are proud to remain on the forefront as leaders in open access.”
OA materials are free to read online and are distributed without licensing restrictions. Allowing unrestricted access to scholarly research enables students, professors and scholars to use the most up-to-date and relevant information for their work.
Currently, there are no systematic practices for collecting data on how and where these materials are used. The two-year project, led by UNT librarian Kevin Hawkins and conducted in partnership with the Educopia Institute, Curtin University, University of Michigan and the Book Industry Study Group, is designed to facilitate academic data sharing by compiling ebook usage data and standardizing analysis and reporting tools.
“Open access to scholarly literature has developed more slowly for academic books than for journals,” said Hawkins, who serves as assistant dean for scholarly communication at UNT Libraries. “The data trust will be designed to ensure responsible use of ebook metrics and will be a vital source of insight into the ways scholarly books are being accessed and used, and the impact of the knowledge they contain.”
In an effort to be transparent and inclusive about decision-making, the project team is seeking individuals to serve on its advisory board. Nominations are due by Feb. 14.