UCL Press, the UK’s first fully open access university press, has announced that one million copies of its books have been downloaded around the world.
The announcement comes as the publisher celebrates its third anniversary since launching in 2015. Its academic books – which feature monographs, edited collections and textbooks – have reached readers in 222 of a possible 223 countries and territories.
While traditionally published scholarly monographs sell an average of 250 copies per title, UCL Press’s open access monographs are downloaded free-of-charge approximately 12,500 times per title.
The first title in the 11-book Why We Post series has been downloaded 227,336 times since it was published in early 2016.
Professor Margot Finn, Chair in Modern British History at UCL, and published UCL Press author, said: 'Our East India Company at Home volume was co-produced by academics, museum and heritage professionals and independent historians, and making the book open-access is essential to our dissemination plans. It’s a delight in this context to see that the book has already been downloaded in Algeria, Argentina and Azerbaijan as well as China, India and Japan.'
UCL Press’s pioneering publishing programme spans many of the major academic disciplines, from history to philosophy and the sciences to anthropology. It has published 80 titles and launched eight journals since its inception, doubling its year-on-year output of scholarly monographs with the introduction of 36 titles last year and expanding its staff head count to six.
Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost at UCL Library Services, said: 'Institutional open access publishing is transformative, being a completely new model of how universities engage with readers and with Society. In the fifteenth century, the invention of moveable type printing in the West transformed Europe. In the 21st century, open access publishing can do the same.'