June 30, 2022

Educopia Partnering with Curtin University and OAPEN to Create a Community Governed OA Book Analytics Service for Publishers

Press Release, Educopia Institute
BAD Project
Ready for release, June 30, 2022


With more than AUD $1M in support from the Mellon Foundation, we at Educopia are excited to be working with collaborative partners at Curtin University  and OAPEN on the Book Analytics Dashboard Project (2022-2025) to support the creation of a community-governed OA book analytics service for publishers.  This service is needed to safeguard and support diversity in the voices, perspectives, geographies, topics and languages made visible through OA books. In addition to scaling workflows, infrastructure and customer support, this Demonstration Project is developing a long-term plan for housing, maintenance and funding of the analytics service as a sustainable community infrastructure.

Designed to inform and empower small-to-medium book publishers worldwide, the Book Analytics Dashboard Project will serve the diverse array of presses that serve scholarly communication and academic authors and audiences. The project is being led by Professor Lucy Montgomery and Professor Cameron Neylon from the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative within Curtin University’s Centre for Culture and Technology; Niels Stern and Ronald Snijder of OAPEN; and Dr. Katherine Skinner of Educopia. The Book Analytics Dashboard project builds on an earlier Mellon-funded pilot initiative: Developing a Pilot Data Trust for OA eBook Usage (2020–2022).  

The project seeks to address a growing analytics capability gap that places the diversity of the scholarly book publishing system at risk. Digital usage of open-access books is recorded in radically different ways by each of the  numerous platforms publishers depend upon, making the tasks of gathering and interpreting the data time-consuming and technically complex.

“For small and medium publishers to effectively share underrepresented and marginalized voices, they need access to the latest technology that is available to the bigger competitors,” Project PI, Professor Lucy Montgomery said. 

“We cannot afford to let consolidation and power differentials yield a publishing environment where giant conglomerates have great business intelligence and visibility while smaller, mission driven and community-based publishers struggle to gather, clean, and use data to inform strategy,” said Katherine Skinner of Educopia. “Building strong, community-owned book analysis infrastructure and making it available to all publishers is a way to counter the domination of large commercial, multinational players and create a much more diverse and fair publishing environment.”

Lead data scientist Dr Kathryn Napier, from the Curtin Institute for Computation, said the project had identified a compelling demand for shared services that would be useful to publishers across the globe. “While the most immediate calls for support are in Europe and North America, and predominantly English-language publishers, we are focused on ensuring this digital infrastructure project will address broader locations and users to prevent any further inequities in scholarship,” Dr Napier said. 

“The analytics gap is not merely a technical gap, but also one of capacities and skills to interrogate information, including its completeness and quality, in making strategic decisions. We also developed the initial technical infrastructure and workflows needed to underpin these services with the ultimate aim of giving small and medium publishers the same level of digital competency.”

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was established in 1969 to support exemplary and inspiring institutions of higher education and culture to build just communities where ideas and imagination can thrive. 

For more information about the project please:

For more information about the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, visit here