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Open Access Books

Welcome - Open Access for Books

Whilst still in its infancy in comparison to Open Access (OA) in the academic journal space, studies have shown that the OA book movement has seen considerable advancement in recent years with real benefits for society such as increased access and usage across all disciplines and across different types of text whether that be the scholarly monograph or textbook, especially across countries and continents that are disadvantaged in respect of access to scholarly material. Typically, OA books are accompanied by more downloads and higher and more diverse citation rates than their non-OA equivalents (Huang, et al. 2024Neylon, et al. 2021). Major research funding organisations, spurred on by Plan S, have begun to support OA for monographs and other long form output types via their OA policy requirements. That said, the transition is demanding, not least because of the costs involved for Gold OA but also due to an absence of awareness of OA books in the academy. Historically, there has been a lack of options for researchers in relation to the number of publishers, bibliodiversity, and alternatives to Book Processing Charges (BPCs). However, that is changing and there are now a wealth of options out there for authors wanting to make their long form texts OA. 

Different types of Open Access book

A monograph is defined by UKRI as a "long-form publication (such as a book) that communicates an original contribution to academic scholarship on one topic or theme and is designed for a primarily academic audience. It may be written by one or more authors."

Book chapters and Edited collections are sometimes grouped with Monograph outputs in discussions and policies from funders relating to OA.

This guide will give you more information about how to achieve OA for long form publications such as the scholarly monograph, edited collection, and book chapter. Here you will also find information on where to locate quality OA books. 

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Free open book with heart shaped pages photo, public domain CC0 image. |  English Department

Open book with heart shaped pages photo.

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