In the past year, Tampere University Press (TUP) has profiled itself as a peer-reviewed open access publisher of scientific books; among other things, TUP now only publishes electronic books.
Already for some time, promoting the openness of research and open access publication have been a megatrend in the scientific community encouraged by the Open Science and Research initiative of the Ministry of Education and Culture and increasingly also by the financiers of research. Moreover, open access and open science are at the core of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme.
“Open access publishing and the openness of research data are included in the strategies and action plans of the University of Tampere and the University Library. From the point of view of the University, it is worthwhile to invest in open access because the dissemination of research results as widely as possible also improves the reputation of the University,” says Kati Mäki, head of services at the University Library.
Mäki thinks that investment in open research and the classification of TUP in the highest place of the Finnish Publication Forum make TUP a strong contender when researchers make decisions on who should publish their research.
“Very few researchers make money with scientific publications. It is therefore important the publications attract as many readers as possible and that the publication channel is prestigious and reliable,” Mäki adds.
The first proper open access publication of TUP, a compilation of articles on Finnish social policy called Sosiaalipolitiikan lumo edited by Antti Halmetoja, Pertti Koistinen and Satu Ojala was published in the spring of 2016. By January 2017, the book had been downloaded around 1,270 times.
“Compared to the sales of printed books, this is quite good publicity,” Mäki says.
According to Satu Ojala, one of the editors of the volume, open access is a good thing but systematic marketing is also needed in order to arouse the interest of more readers.
“Accessibility as such does not guarantee that people will find the book. We organised a press conference, wrote small stories on the book’s themes and cooperated with the University’s Press and Information Office in order to gain more publicity but we could have utilised outside help more extensively and made a more systematic marketing plan,” Ojala says.
The authors also considered spending their own money to print the book but that was found too laborious and expensive.
The books published by TUP are available electronically in the TamPub publication repository and the OAPEN Library portal. Because of the advent of open access, TUP no longer sells new printed books; all new books are currently published online.
Strategies are also planned in order to increase the international visibility of the books.
“TUP mainly publishes books in the Finnish language. In the future we could publish more books in English,” Mäki says. This spring, ten new volumes will be peer-reviewed by TUP.
Text: Hanna Hyvärinen
TamPub – institutional repository of the University of Tampere