ORA offers a valuable service for the authors of books, book chapters and other book sections. Authors are free to choose (rights permitting) whether or not to make the full text, a section of the text or none of the text of the book or book section available via ORA. The full text can be stored in ORA and authors can embargo access to that text for any length of time. Even if the author chooses for the full text of the book to be restricted in this way (a copy can be retained but not visible), there are advantages for the author in making a record for the item available in ORA (see below).
High visibility for your work
ORA is heavily crawled by Google. Users are finding items in ORA this way and ORA items are ranked highly in lists of Google search results.
Advantages for authors depositing books & book sections in ORA
- Book title can be easily discovered, especially via Google, resulting in wide publicity for your book
- Book chapters which often are ‘buried’ within an edited volume become easy to find, giving the author and their work additional publicity (see examples above)
- Extra publicity for your book even if you include a record for the book together with a section (a chapter, ‘snippet’ or other section). There can be a live link to the publisher’s website
- Extra publicity for your book even if you include only a record (with or without abstract) for the book with a link to the publisher’s website
- Persistent URL that will not ‘die’ and can be used as the author wishes (eg for sharing with colleagues or on a personal webpage)
- Digital preservation of the content
- Easy access to your work for readers when the full text or sections are made freely available in ORA
- All items include a live link to the publisher’s website
Out of print titles
If permission can be obtained from the rights holder(s), ORA is an excellent method to continue to offer access to out of print works.
Preservation of your work
ORA staff are working to ensure the long-term digital preservation of the content held in the archive. This is not a service offered on personal and departmental websites and varies between publishers. Even if full text cannot be made freely available, depositing a copy in ORA will mean the content can be preserved at Oxford.
Some additional benefits
As well as the publicity and preservation offered by ORA authors can benefit from the following services:
- Link your book or chapter to other items either in ORA or externally. If the related item is in ORA, a two-way relationship can be easily expressed. You might want to link two items on similar topics (both by yourself or another work by a colleague), or some supplementary material that was not published within the book, or there may be tables, additional diagrams or an extended version of the text.
- Live links. If you have included URLs to websites in your book or chapter, they can be made live in the online ORA version so that readers can click on them to access the websites.
- Updating lists of publications and live search. You can include a live search for your items in ORA direct from your personal website or other location. ORA can be used to automatically update website lists of publications and other materials it holds. We are working on ways to make extraction of details from ORA as flexible and as easy as possible.
- Full text search. Even if full text of your work is not made freely available, depositing a restricted copy in ORA will enable full text search of the work.
If the copyright holder grants you permission to deposit and make your book or chapter available via ORA, you might not be permitted to deposit the publisher’s PDF version. They may insist you deposit your own version (which may be created using MSWord or other application). However, there will be a link to the publisher’s website. Work at the London School of Economics has revealed that users often use archives such as ORA to find and read content, but then tend to take the trouble to obtain the ‘published’ version when citing the work.
- Detrimental effect on small publishers. ORA is not designed to jeopardize small publishers of books. In fact, making a record or a section of the book available acts as additional publicity for the book. Our experience has been that publishers often allow a chapter of the book to be made freely available in ORA.
- Loss of royalties. As above, making a record or a section of the book available acts as additional publicity for the book.
- Copyright. Unfortunately publishers do not tend to have a blanket policy on inclusion of content in archives like ORA (as they do for journal articles). Therefore, each item has to be copyright cleared on a case by case basis. ORA staff are happy to help if you require assistance.
- Third party copyright. In the same way that authors need to obtain permission to include content in their book or chapter where copyright is held by a third party (such as for images), clearance needs to be obtained in order to make such material freely available on the Internet via ORA. ORA staff are happy to help if you require assistance.
- Pre-publication. If the content of your book or chapter was previously made available in ORA as your thesis, you may or may not encounter problems when wanting to publish your thesis as a monograph. Publishers vary on this matter and should be individually checked.