The SCOAP3 for Books project is now in its implementation phase, which will convert to Open Access a number of 102 books of worldwide relevance for the study and research in the field of Particle Physics. The University of Coimbra is one of the Portuguese organisations that support the program, together with more than 200 institutions around the world, making the acquisition and negotiation of books through the project possible. In Portugal, the initiative is also supported by the Scientific Computing Unit (FCCN) of the FCT, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.
The SCOAP3 for Books initiative was launched in 2019 with the aim of expanding the content available in Open Access from relevant books in the field of Particle Physics and related disciplines. The program is part of the SCOAP3 project - Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics - which, since the beginning of its activities in 2014, has achieved the primary objective of converting all scientific articles in the area to Open Access. Since then, SCOAP3 has managed to publish in OA more than 35,000 scientific articles in 11 of the main journals in the field worldwide.
In 2019, the project's governing council approved the expansion of the initiative's scope so that it would also include relevant books in the area. The availability of these books will allow students, researchers and professors around the world, as well as the general public, to have full access to these texts.
The initiative's working group, composed of librarians and specialists from the target disciplines, identified initially a list of 78 relevant titles in the area and developed a strategy for purchasing the books. Through a direct negotiation between the program and the publishers, six of them, from an initial list of 17, sent their proposals: Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis and World Scientific.
Collectively representing the majority of the titles on the original list, the six proposals provided pricing for 29 titles on that list; four of the proposals also included a list of additional titles to be considered for inclusion. After an evaluation process that took into account the titles, their costs and the overall value offered to the program, 102 books were selected for conversion.
The recommendation for the acquisition was approved in May this year and is currently in the implementation phase. A total of 386K euros were raised with more than 200 partner institutions around the world, among them the University of Coimbra, for the acquisition and conversion of the titles.
Books included in the program are converted to CC-BY or CC-BY-NC open licenses, ensuring perpetual and borderless availability, and are made available on the respective publishers' websites, on the SCOAP3 repository, on the INIS repository, and on OAPEN. The list, in progress, of the updated books can be found at this link. Titles will be included as well in the Directory of Open Access Book (DOAB) and disseminated through major web discovery services such as Google Scholar, ProQuest Serial Solutions, and others, and preserved in perpetuity through independent platforms.
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