Vol. 14 No. 2 (2023)

Books in a bubble.: Assessing the OAPEN Library collection

Ronald Snijder
OAPEN Foundation

Published 2023-05-15


  • Open access,
  • OAPEN Library,
  • Library assessment,
  • Books ,
  • Book impact

How to Cite

Snijder, Ronald. 2023. “Books in a bubble.: Assessing the OAPEN Library Collection”. JLIS.It 14 (2):75-92. https://doi.org/10.36253/jlis.it-498.


Open access infrastructure for books is becoming more mature, and it is being used by an increasing number of people. The growing importance of open access infrastructure leads to more interest in sustainability, governance and impact assessment. The assessment of the OAPEN Library – containing over 20,000 titles – fits within this trend. How well does the collections meets the needs of its stakeholders: readers, libraries, funders and publishers?

The composition of the collection is measured using subject and language. Both dissemination and the content-related aspects are paired to the number of publications. The average number of downloads per title is relatively similar for all subjects. However, the mean downloads of titles in English is roughly twice as much compared to German and the other languages. Combining subjects and languages shows that the dissemination of books in languages other than English is less predictable. This assessment has illustrated the composition of the collection and how its readers make use of it. The visualisation helped to tell a complicated story in a simple way; a powerful instrument to guide the further development of this open access infrastructure.


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