Open Access Books

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Status Report 2006

By Peter Suber at

"2006 saw continued progress toward OA and near-OA books. The Google Library Project turned two years old, and still has lawsuits pending against it from some author and publisher groups. Last year I predicted that it would have trouble recruiting new members until the lawsuits were resolved, but it proved me wrong, recruiting the University of California (the first to work with both Google and the OCA), Complutense University of Madrid (the first outside the English-speaking world), the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Virginia. Moreover, it lifted its restrictions on printing and downloading the public-domain books it scans. The Open Content Alliance (OCA) also recruited new members: the Boston Library Consortium, Indiana University, University of Alberta, University of Georgia, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As of December 2006, the Internet Archive was hosting more than 100,000 OA books, most digitized by the OCA. It also received a $1 million grant from the Sloan Foundation to support its digitization projects for the OCA. Microsoft continued its OCA-connected book scanning and launched its own Live Book Search to complement its Live Academic Search (another 2006 launch). The American Council of Learned Societies recommended that university presses join the OCA. A handful of university presses launched new OA branches or imprints: the University of Tennessee, Georgetown University, Rice University, and the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. OA textbook providers multiplied and OA textbook adoptions began spreading. The European Library made progress, both in scanning books and in consolidating its operations and laying the foundation for the next five years of digitization." (

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See our entries on Open Access and the Book Commons