Directory of Open Access Books
Open access books
Publishing open access books
Open access books are freely available online to be read and reused by anybody with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. Publishing your book open access enables a wider and more diverse readership and can increase visibility and impact of your research. You can make your book open access by publishing open access on the publisher website or by depositing a copy into a repository (self-archiving), normally a Creative Commons licence will be applied.
On this webpage we refer to open access publishing of scholarly monographs, book chapters and edited collections, but open access can also apply to textbooks and other student teaching materials (Open Educational Resources).
Open access book publishers
Publishers that offer open access book publishing options include specialist full open access book publishers, which only publish open access books. Hybrid publishers offer open access publishing following payment of a fee. Some publishers do not yet offer open access book publishing options as standard but may be able to provide this upon request. Read more about finding an open access book publisher on the OA Books Toolkit.
Open Book Environment Dashboard provides information about open access book publishing options with a range of publishers.
Funder open access requirements for books
Many funders now require open access to long form output types arising from their funding, including UKRI (monographs, book chapters and edited collections, within 12 months), Wellcome Trust (scholarly monographs and book chapters, within six months) and Horizon Europe (immediate open access via a "trusted repository" to all peer-reviewed outputs).
Your funder may pay open access book publishing costs, visit the funder policy webpage.
Funding to publish open access
Where the publisher charges a fee to publish an open access book, this may be referred to as a Book Processing Charge or BPC. These start at around £5,000 and can be as high as £10,000 plus VAT. Fees charged vary greatly between publishers, we recommend considering the relative costs when choosing where to publish.
When publishing a book chapter, check the publisher’s self-archiving policy, as many publishers allow allow you to deposit a copy of your chapter into a repository, free of charge. You may wish to include a Rights Retention statement in your chapter at submission, to ensure you can make the accepted manuscript version immediately open access in ORE under CC BY licence.
Contact the Open Research team before signing a publishing contract to discuss your options for making your monograph, chapter or edited collection open access.
Open access monograph initiatives
Book Processing Charges can present a barrier to publishing open access, as most authors do not have access to funding to pay. The University supports alternative business models, where publishers offer open access book publishing options without charging author fees:
- Open Book Publishers library membership scheme supports open access book publishing without author fees.
- OpenUP ECR monographs and University of London Press New Historical Perspectives "supporter membership" funds open access publishing opportunities for Early Career Researchers (ECRs), without the financial barrier of publishing fees.
- Liverpool University Press Opening the Future and MIT Press Direct to Open "Collective Action" diamond open access monograph publishing models, we subscribe to get access to the monograph backlist and the publisher uses that income to fund open access publication of new books, without authors having to pay.
- Through JSTOR Path to Open we pay to access to "gated" titles, which will become open access three years after publication, flipping 1,000 titles over three years.
Third party copyrighted content in open access books
Ideally, open access versions should include all images, figures, illustrations and other supporting content. However, Third Party Copyrighted materials within an open access book may be subject to a more restrictive licence. Find more information about copyright and open access books in the UKRI and JISC guides linked on the right hand side of the page. Or, visit the Copyright Toolkit.