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News & Press: General Announcements

BISG Issues Two Grant-Related Calls for Proposals

Sunday, March 8, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brian O'Leary

In 2018, the Book Industry Study Group joined a Mellon-funded project, led by the University of Michigan and accompanied by the University of North Texas, Curtin University, and Educopia, to study how usage analytics for open access (OA) monographs might be improved. That year-long project culminated in the publication of a BISG white paper that summarized the work and six recommended next steps.

Earlier this year, the Mellon Foundation announced its support for a two-year follow-on project that will result in the development of a data trust that will capture and support the analysis of usage data from multiple commercial and nonprofit sources. This project is led by the University of North Texas, with continued involvement from all of the partners who were involved in the initial Mellon grant.

As part of the project team, BISG is charged with securing and managing consultants in two areas: a business model consultant who will help develop a business plan that will sustain the maintenance and growth of the data trust; and a supply chain consultant who will document the supply chain for OA monographs and inform efforts to improve its efficiency and efficacy, including support for discovery of published OA works.

Calls for proposals in both areas are open now. Consultants or firms with experience in business modeling, supply chain modeling, and more generally issues and opportunities in open access publishing are encouraged to review the two calls for proposals. Responses to the business model assignment are due to BISG by April 10, while responses to the supply chain review are due to BISG by April 17. All responses will be reviewed by the project team on a timeline described in the summary documents.

As noted above, 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 OA book usage.

The new data trust, to be created with funding 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 OA works.

OA materials are free to read online and are distributed without licensing restrictions. Allowing unrestricted access to scholarly research enables students, researchers, and the public to use the most up-to-date and relevant information for their work.

OA to scholarly literature has developed more slowly for academic books than for journals. 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.

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.

Questions about the project or the two open calls for proposals can be directed to BISG executive director Brian O'Leary at


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