A Pilot Data Trust for Open Access Ebook Usage (2020-2022)

Project Description

The pilot project, Developing a Pilot Data Trust for Open Access Ebook Usage (January 2020 to March 2022) was a two-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, led by Kevin Hawkins at the University of North Texas.

Curtin University was one of several partners in this project. Our contribution focussed on the development of open source code and workflows; as well as the delivery of technical infrastructures.

Formal Project Title: Developing a Pilot Data Trust for Open Access Ebook Usage

Short Title: The OAeBU Project

Duration: Jan 2020 – April 2022

Funder: Mellon Foundation


Partner Organisations
University of North Texas
Book Industry Study Group
Curtin University
Educopia Institute
University of Michigan

Principal Investigators
Kevin Hawkins (Lead PI)
Lucy Montgomery
Cameron Neylon
Brian O’Leary
Katherine Skinner
Rebecca Welzenbach

Technical Team
Kathryn Napier 
Richard Hosking 
Alkim Ozaygen
Rebecca Handcock 
Aniek Roelofs 

Project Management and Support
Christina Drummond (Educopia Institute)

Advisory Board:
Yvonne Campfens (OA Switchboard)
Jon Elwell (EBSCO/GOBI)
Jill Emery (COUNTER, Portland State University Library)
Eelco Ferwerda  (OAPEN, OASPA, and OPERAS through 12/2020)
Andrew Joseph (Wits University Press)
Jennifer Kemp (Crossref)
Jo Lambert (JISC)
Roxanne Missingham  (ANU Press)
Samuel Moore (Cambridge University and Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM))
Peter Potter (Virginia Tech and Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME))
Ros Pyne (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Wendy Queen (Project MUSE)
Gimena del Rio Riande (IIBICRIT, CONICET)
Brian Scrivener (University of Calgary Press)
John Sherer (University of North Carolina Press)
Niels Stern (OAPEN, Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB))
Charles Watkinson (University of Michigan Press)
Maria Zucker (De Gruyter)

Technical Advisors:
Javier Arias (Open Book Publishers)
Susan Doerr (University of Minnesota Press)
Paul Groth (University of Amsterdam)
Dimitris Pierrakos (OpenAIRE)
Stefanie Haustein (University of Ottawa)
Michael Taylor (Digital Science and University of Wolverhampton)
Francesco de Virgilio (Ubiquity Press)

What Our Team Did

During the 2020-2022 pilot project the Curtin team developed systems for gathering information about open access books and their usage from multiple data sources. Data relating to the uses of open access books was captured and presented in a series of online interactive visualisation dashboards, which we developed in collaboration with five publishers; and one OA book platform.

We worked with the following partners to develop and test pilot dashboards:
The University of Michigan Press
Wits University Press
UCL Press
ANU Press

Data sources captured during the pilot included general bibliographic data from public datasets (Crossref and OAPEN) and usage data from multiple platforms (OAPEN, JSTOR, Google Books, Google Analytics, UCL Discovery). Data from these sources is integrated with publisher data via the book-specific metadata standard, ONIX.

Scalable, automated workflows were developed in order to allow data to be continuously refreshed within the dashboards.

The online dashboard enables pilot project dashboard partners to see the usage of the books they have published in terms of views, downloads and online mentions and events. Pilot project dashboard partners can also view which countries and institutions are using their books, and which subjects are represented in their open access book collections.

During the pilot dashboard partners were only able to see data relating to their own books and collections. However, the University of Michigan Press has chosen to share their dashboards publicly.

Link to the public dashboards embedded in the University of Michigan Press website:

Direct link to the University of Michigan Press public dashboards:

More Information

More information about this pilot project is available at:

Useful Documents

  • Quigley, Niamh, Hosking, Richard, Handcock, Rebecca N., Ozaygen, Alkim, Diprose, James P., Roelofs, Aniek, Napier, Kathryn R., Chien, Tuan-Yow, Lange, Rebecca, Mata, Sandra, Neylon, Cameron, Montgomery, Lucy. (April, 2022). Developing a Pilot Data Trust for Open Access Ebook Usage (2020-2022) - Data Inventory (Version 0.6). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6474480