Publishing your book open access greatly increases the opportunities for your work to be shared, discussed and debated, thus providing more opportunities for peer and public engagement. The Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) Open Access Toolkit lists the following as some of the benefits of publishing open access:
A Springer Nature white paper into the performance of open access books found "that OA books perform better than those published via the traditional, non-OA route, based on downloads (7 times more), citations (50% higher) and mentions (10 times more)."
(Emery, C., Lucraft, M., Morka, A., & Pyne, R. (2017). The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books? [White paper]. Springer Nature. https://resource-cms.springernature.com/springer-cms/rest/v1/content/15176744/data/v3. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence.)
Publishers use a variety of different business models to support open access book publishing. Some of these models require a fee to be paid, but many do not. Publishing services will vary depending on the publisher you choose. However, regardless of any fee, you should expect your book to be peer-reviewed and as a rule you should expect the same level of publishing service for your open access book as you would for a non-open access book.
|Book processing charge (BPC) / Open access fee
|A fee is charged by the publisher in order for the ebook to be made open access; usually all ebook formats (i.e. PDF, XML, EPUB) will be open access.
|Bloomsbury, Brill, CUP, De Gruyter, Elsevier, InTechOpen, MDPI, OUP, Springer Nature (incl. Palgrave Macmillan), Stockholm University Press, Taylor & Francis (incl. Routledge), University of California Press (Luminos)
|A version of the ebook is made open access or freely available at no charge to the author; the free access is subsidised by other revenue sources, such as sales of other e-formats, print sales, and/or library membership fees.
|OECD, Open Book Publishers, OpenEdition, Open Humanities Press, Punctum Books
|Library consortium ("Institutional crowdfunding")
|Libraries pledge a fee towards making a collection of books open access, covering some or all of the costs between them. Once enough libraries have confirmed participation and the target amount is achieved, the collection is made open access.
Knowledge Unlatched*, Transcript
(*Note: UWA Library is a member of Knowledge Unlatched. See the "Funding an OA book" section below for more information.)
|Libraries or other institutions pay an annual membership fee to a publisher that underwrites some costs of making books open access; the member institution and/or its authors may receive additional benefits such as discounts on book processing charges (BPCs).
|Open Book Publishers, Punctum Books, University of California Press (Luminos)
|Individuals pledge fees to make a book open access; once enough individuals have confirmed participation and the target amount is achieved, the book is made open access.
|Unglue.it (typically in collaboration with publishers, e.g., CUP, OBP), self-published authors.
This table has been adapted from the "Open access book models" table from the Business models for open access book publishing article in the OAPEN OA Toolkit.
When choosing a publisher for your open access book you should consider whether they publish high-quality work in your subject area, but also explore important issues including licensing, fees and discoverability. Some considerations include:
These considerations have been adapted from the How to choose a publisher for your open access book article in the OAPEN OA Toolkit. The Toolkit also contains guidance on finding open access book publishers.
The cost of publishing an OA book varies between publishers and Australian funding sources for OA books are limited compared to those available for OA articles. See the resources below for information about OA book funding sources.
Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB): "DOAB is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers."
Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) online library and publication platform: "OAPEN promotes and supports the transition to open access for academic books by providing open infrastructure services to stakeholders in scholarly communication. We work with publishers to build a quality-controlled collection of open access books and provide services for publishers, libraries, and research funders in the areas of hosting, deposit, quality assurance, dissemination, and digital preservation."
Knowledge Unlatched (KU): KU was established in 2012 and acts as a coordinator of the Global Library Consortium, providing libraries and institutions worldwide with a central place to support OA collections. The KU Open Research Library contains 14,000+ OA titles from various disciplines.
Open Access Australasia open book publishing directory: This directory is limited to Australian and New Zealand open access book publishers.
OAPEN Open Access Toolkit: "The OAPEN OA Toolkit aims to help book authors to better understand open access book publishing and to increase trust in open access books. You will be able to find relevant articles on open access book publishing following the research lifecycle, by browsing frequently asked questions or by searching with keywords."
Open Access Australasia (OAA): Previously known as the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG), OAA are committed to advocating for and raising awareness of open access in Australia and New Zealand through collaboration regionally and internationally. Their major focus is on open access to research publications – preprints, peer reviewed scholarly manuscripts, books, monographs and theses.
Information on this page has been used, with permission, from the Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) Open Access Toolkit: https://oabooks-toolkit.org/. The OAPEN content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence.