Do books have to comply with any OA policy? Will my funder cover costs?
REF 2021 and RCUK do not require books and book chapters to be made open access.
Wellcome Trust open access policy applies to all scholarly monographs and book chapters written by its grant-holders as part of their Trust-funded research. The extended policy became effective for holders of grants from October 2014. It does not apply to textbooks, ’trade’ books, general reference works or works of fiction, or to collections edited but not authored by Trust grantholders. It would not affect, for example, a non-fiction work written by a medical historian aimed at a general audience and published by a commercial publisher. For more information see their guidance Ensuring compliance for monographs and book chapters.
Publication costs: RCUK and Wellcome/COAF open access block grants do not cover Book Processing Charges (BPCs), so please include costs in your grant application.
European grant holders: ERC and Horizon 2020 policy applies to peer-reviewed monographs & book chapters as well as journal articles, requiring deposit in a repository and to be made open access within 6 months of publication for Science & Medicine (or 12 months for Social Science & Humanities). Publication costs can be included in your grant application.
Further information on ERC policy and its preferred repository OAPEN for monographs, book chapters and other long-text publications is available on the OAPEN-ERC deposit pages.
Where can I find more information about monographs and open access?
Some suggested reading:
OA monographs in the UK (JISC briefing paper, 2018).
Open Access monographs. A report by the Universities UK Open Access Coordination Group, 2018.
Landscape study of open access and monographs: policies, funding and publishing in eight European countries (Knowledge Exchange, 2017).
Guide to OA monograph publishing for arts, humanities, and social science researchers by the OAPEN-UK project. It explains publishing and business models and addresses common concerns such as legal issues, financial concerns, and quality. It is available online here at http://oapen-uk.jiscebooks.org/oaguide and as a PDF.
The final report from OAPEN-UK, based on a five year study of open access monograph publishing, was released in January 2016. Read and download the report at: http://oapen-uk.jiscebooks.org/finalreport/
Monographs and open access project report by Professor Geoffrey Crossick, January 2015. This was commissioned by HEFCE in order to investigate the issues surrounding open access monograph publishing: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/rsrch/oa/monographs. Here’s a 2016 article in Insights by Prof Crossick summarising the project and key findings.
Book by Martin Paul Eve, Open Access and the Humanities : Contexts, Controversies and the Future (2014).
Where can I find open access books and publishers?
Visit the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) at: www.doabooks.org. The site contains over 12000 academic peer-reviewed books from over 280 publishers.
How do I make my book chapter open access?
Publishers do not have standard open access policies for book chapters in the same way that they do for journal articles, but some do allow the accepted manuscript to be deposited in an institutional repository or posted on a personal/departmental website. There’s a useful summary of some publishers’ permissions on the University of Cambridge’s Scholarly Communication webpage Making Book Chapters Available in Repositories, and a book chapter publisher policy spreadsheet community resource.
How do I make my book open access?
It is unlikely you can make a whole book available through a repository such as ORA, but some publishers have a paid option (Book Processing Charge). The University of Cambridge’s Scholarly Communications site has a useful section on OA Monograph Publishing Options. The Open Access Directory also has a long list of publishers of OA books.