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There is a lot to be excited about open access book publishing. It has been proven that publishing your book open access greatly increases the dissemination of your work. Publishers are exploring innovative ways to digitally enhance open access books like including audio or video files and more interactive imagery. And while some publishers are following the path of Book Processing Charges, there are a number of fully open access book publishers who are experimenting with creative business models.
The situation in regard to Open Access publishing of books and monographs remains fluid. To date, comparatively few scholarly books and book chapters have been published Open Access, but a need and interest in Open Access publishing of long form outputs is growing, and the range of options for making scholarly books and book chapters open access is increasing.
The Open Research team in Libraries & Collections at King’s can provide advice on your publishing options and compliance with your funder’s requirements. You can contact them via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a few different publishing models for open access books.
Book Processing Charge (BPC) – the publisher charges a fee in order to make the book openly available; usually paid by the author’s funding body or institution.
Freemium – a version of the book is available free of charge; usually this is subsidised by other revenue sources (sales of other formats, print sales, library membership fees). Examples: OECD, Open Book Publishers, OpenEdition, Open Humanities Press, Punctum Books.
Institutional crowdfunding – libraries pay a commitment fee to support making all the scholarly books published in the following year open access on publication; in return each supporting library is granted access to a backfile of the collection that they support. This open access publishing model allows authors to publish open access regardless of their institutional affiliation or funding. Examples of this model are the MIT Press Direct to Open (D2O) and the Opening the Future programme, both of which are supported by King’s.
Institutional subsidy (new university presses) – an institution subsidises publication with an open access press based at the institution; examples UCL Press, White Rose, Lever Press.
Diamond OA refers to platforms and other initiatives where a fee is not charged to either authors or readers but funds are obtained from a range of other sources, often HE Libraries. They are often community-driven, academic-led and owned.
Funders are starting to mandate open access for books and monographs.
Wellcome Trust – original monographs and book chapters authored or co-authored by Wellcome Trust funded authors must be made freely available via NCBI Bookshelf PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC within six months from publication. Authors can deposit to NCBI Bookshelf and Europe PMC using the funder’s deposit form. Wellcome will pay Gold open access fees (also known as Book Processing Charges) for compliant publications; where the funder pays the open access charges the output needs to be published under a Creative Commons licence (CC BY licence is preferred but not required). To read more about the policy, see Wellcome Trust webpages.
UKRI – the UKRI OA policy will now apply to monographs, book chapters and edited collections that are published after 1/1/2024. Monographs, book chapters and edited collections funded by UKRI must be made open access within 12 months from publication under CC BY licence. Trade books, scholarly editions, exhibition catalogues, textbooks and fiction books aren’t in scope of the policy. There is also an exception for authors with a contract signed before 1st January 2024 that prevents adherence to this policy. The details and FAQs of the UKRI open access policy.
REF – currently books and monographs are not included in the REF open access policy, but it is assumed that the UKRI policy will inform future REF open access policy, and so books may as well be included in the future.
List of publishers that publish open access books and monographs (via different publishing models):
Bloomsbury Open Collections – this is a pilot of a collective funding model that aims aim to make 20 frontlist titles in African Studies and International Development open access immediately upon publication. Participating libraries will receive a one year access to 194 backlist African Studies and International Development titles.
Cambridge University Press Flip it Open – a pilot programme which aims to fund the open access publication of 100 titles through typical purchasing habits. Once titles meet a set amount of revenue, CUP will make them freely available as open access books.
Central European University Press – CEU Press is a leading publisher in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, communism, and transitions to democracy. Via their Opening the Future model, they aim to make 25+ frontlist titles per annum OA on publication through a funding model that is based on an annual subscription to a package of 50 key backlist titles, converting to perpetual ownership after three years.
De Gruyter’s Purchase to open ebook pilot – participating libraries receive perpetual access to the selected packages. The number of titles published as open access is determined by the total funding achieved from all participating institutions.
Lever Press – scholarly press supported by over 50 participating institutions; publishes peer-reviewed open access monographs at no cost to authors.
MIT Press – operates under collective commitment model, where supporting libraries cover costs of open access for new publication in exchange for access to previously published titles.
Open Book Publishers – an independent open access book press run by scholars, publishing titles in social sciences and humanities. As the press is supported by the library membership programme, there are no book processing charges for authors.
Open Humanities Press – an international and scholar-led publishing collective. Their books are published via book series.
Peter Lang Greenlight – a collective purchase model; participating institutions purchase access to five titles, once the fundraising target is met, the titles are released as open access. Peter Lang also publish open access books in exchange for book processing charges (BPC).
Punctum Books – launched in 2011, Punctum Books is an independent and not-for-profit open access publisher devoted to academic and para-academic authors working in any field in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and architecture & design.
UCL Press – is an open access university press, launched in 2015 currently publishes over 50 titles per year; their primary outputs are scholarly monographs and edited collections across many disciplines.
White Rose – a non-profit, open access publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals and books, publishing across a wide range of academic disciplines. White Rose is run jointly by the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York but welcomes proposals from across the wider academic community.
A number of publishers allow Green Open Access for books and book chapters, which involves depositing the accepted manuscript in an institutional repository and making it openly available after a delay period. Below are permissions and restrictions for some publishers that allow self-archiving of books and book chapters:
Bloomsbury – the publisher’s self-archiving policy allows the deposit of one chapter from a monograph or an edited collection to be made publicly available 6 months from publication.
Brill – allows the author’s accepted manuscript from edited volumes to be shared in a non-commercial repository immediately on publication, as per their self-archiving policy.
Cambridge University Press & Assessment – allows allows the deposit of one chapter from a monograph or an edited collection to be made open access 6 months from publication; either the accepted manuscript or final version can be used; this green open access policy doesn’t apply to textbooks, professional or reference books.
De Gruyter – their repository policy allows the deposit of the final version in institutional repositories to be made openly available 12 months from publication.
Edward Elgar – allows the deposit of an accepted manuscript to be made open access 6 months from publication; this ‘reuse of your work’ policy applies to monographs, research handbooks and journals (and doesn’t apply to textbooks, books published primarily for teaching and for commercial legal market, and reference works).
Emerald – their self-archiving policy allows the deposit of an accepted manuscript of journal articles and book chapters immediately on publication.
Franz Steiner Verlag – their self-archiving policy allows the deposit of the final published version of contributions published in journals and scholarly anthologies on a personal website or institutional repository with a delay of 18 months from publication; full self-archiving policy is available here.
Hart – their policy is the same as Bloomsbury, please see above.
Oxford University Press – OUP’s self-archiving policy allows deposit of one chapter or up to 10% of a single authored or co-authored book, and a chapter from an edited book in an institutional or subject repository with a delay period of 12 months for Science and Medical titles, and 24 months for Academic, Trade and Reference works.
Palgrave – the policy is under the Springer Nature self-archiving and manuscript deposition policy which allows deposit of up to 10% of a authored works and textbooks, and one chapter from an edited volumes (including handbooks) in an institutional or subject repository with a delay period of 12 months; full self-archiving policy is available here.
Routledge/Taylor & Francis – their policy allows deposit of the final accepted manuscript of one chapter to be made openly available 18 months from publication for Humanities and Social Sciences, and 12 for STEM titles; further information can be found here.
Sage – their self-archiving policy allows each contributor to deposit the final accepted manuscript of one chapter per volume for handbooks and Sage Swift titles.
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