Launching in beta on April 12, 2012 (see the press release) with 756 monographs from 22 publishers from around the world, the DOAB is a service of the OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) Foundation in cooperation with the software development company SemperTool. Its purpose is to provide a conduit of discoverability for peer reviewed, open access monographs usable by scholars, libraries, and commercial aggregators.
The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers are invited to provide metadata of their Open Access books to DOAB. Metadata will be harvestable in order to maximize dissemination, visibility and impact. Aggregators can integrate the records in their commercial services and libraries can integrate the directory into their online catalogues, helping scholars and students to discover the books. The directory will be open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these publications are in Open Access and meet academic standards. (from the DOAB website)
Requirements for inclusion in the Directory include academic books that are “available under an Open Access license (such as a Creative Commons license),” and “subjected to independent and external peer review prior to publication.”
The Directory can be searched or browsed by broad subject categories. Of special interest to scholars in religious studies is coverage in Religion and Philosophy. (Keyword searching will bring up relevant titles organized in other categories. For example, a title on Greco-Roman religion published by Brill, is categorized under History.)
The Directory of Open Access Books is an exciting development. It is sure to become an important tool to encourage further open access monograph publishing even as it will help individual scholars—especially scholars in the Humanities—gain greater exposure for their research in book form.