Open-access monograph

An open-access monograph (open-access book or OA books) is a scholarly publication usually made openly available online with an open license.[1][2] These books are freely accessible to the public, typically via the internet. They are part of the open access movement.[3]


Open access is when academic research is made freely available online for anyone to read and re-use.[4] As with open access journals, there are different business models for funding open-access books, including publication charges, institutional support, library publishing, and consortium models.[5] Some publishers, like OECD Publishing, uses a freemium model where the ebook version is made available for free, but readers have the option to purchase a print copy. Sales of the print version subsidise the cost of producing the book.[5] There is some evidence that making electronic editions of books open access can increase sales of the print edition.[6]


While open access to journal articles has become very common, with 50% of articles published in 2011 available as open access,[7] open access to books has not yet seen as much uptake at this time.[8] However, some dedicated open-access book publishers, such as Open Book Publishers, Punctum Books, and others who publish both books and journals like Open Humanities Press,[9] have been launched.

Gradually, academic publishers and university presses have also adopted an open-access monograph approach, offering this publishing option alongside journal articles. Major publishers of open-access books include, for example, Taylor & Francis,[10] MDPI,[11] and MIT Press.[12] The OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) online library and publication platform provides access to thousands of peer-reviewed academic books, mainly in the humanities and social sciences. The OAPEN Foundation[13] also provides a directory of open access works via Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).[14]

A report released in 2015 by the UK's main funding body for research, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, states the importance of open access monographs:[15] "Monographs are a vitally important and distinctive vehicle for research communication, and must be sustained in any moves to open access."[16] A 2019 survey has shown that a majority of authors agree that all future scholarly books should be made available via open access.[17] A 2023 study found that, out of 396,995 open access books analyzed, only 19% were archived, raising concerns about the longevity and accessibility of many OA books distributed online.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ OAPEN (14 December 2021). "The difference between open access and non-open access books". OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Springer open access books | Springer — International Publisher". Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  3. ^ Suber, Peter (2012-07-20). "1. What Is Open Access?". Open Access. doi:10.7551/mitpress/9286.001.0001. ISBN 9780262301732.
  4. ^ "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities". Max Planck Open Access. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b Ferwerda, Eelco (2014). "Open access monograph business models". Insights. 27: 35–38. doi:10.1629/2048-7754.46. ISSN 2048-7754.
  6. ^ Suber, Peter (2012). Open access. MIT Press. p. 107. ISBN 9780262517638. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  7. ^ Archambault, Eric; Amyot, Didier; Deschamps, Philippe; Nicol, Aurore; Rebout, Lise; Roberge, Guillaume (August 2013). "Proportion of Open Access Peer-Reviewed Papers at the European and World Levels—2004-2011" (PDF). Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  8. ^ Collins, Ellen; Milloy, Caren (2012). "A snapshot of attitudes towards open access monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences – part of the OAPEN-UK project". Insights. 25 (2): 192–197. doi:10.1629/2048-7754.25.2.192.
  9. ^ Bonn, Maria. "Free exchange of ideas Experimenting with the open access monograph". College & Research Libraries News. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Routledge & CRC Press Open Access Books - Taylor & Francis OA Books". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  11. ^ "MDPI Books | Publisher of Open Access Books & Book Series". Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  12. ^ "Open Access Books". MIT Press. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  13. ^ "Organisation". OAPEN. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Directory of Open Access Books". Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  15. ^ "Monographs and open access: A report to HEFCE" (PDF). August 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Monographs and open access". August 2013. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  17. ^ Pyne, Ros; Emery, Christina; Lucraft, Mithu; Pinck, Anna (2019-06-01). "THE FUTURE OF OPEN ACCESS BOOKS: FINDINGS FROM A GLOBAL SURVEY OF ACADEMIC BOOK AUTHORS". Copyright, Fair Use, Scholarly Communication, Etc.
  18. ^ Laakso, Mikael (2023-01-01). "Open access books through open data sources: assessing prevalence, providers, and preservation". Journal of Documentation. 79 (7): 157–177. doi:10.1108/JD-02-2023-0016. ISSN 0022-0418. S2CID 259300771.

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