Publication of long form research outputs (including monographs, edited volumes, and book chapters) in Open Access (OA) entails that these be made accessible online free of cost and without restrictions, generally via a publisher’s website and/or a repository. Although OA publication of eBooks is not currently the norm, it is foreseeable that, as funders’ requirements change and new funding streams arise, it will become increasingly frequent and even necessary.
There are many benefits to OA publication of long form research outputs:
- Improved visibility and discoverability: make your work easier to find and access, via the publisher’s or other websites and repositories, such as the OAPEN Library, the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) or PubMed’s NCBI Bookshelf
- Increased impact: use open access to make reading, sharing, citing, and reusing your work easier.
- Retaining copyright: authors retain copyright over their work, as the default OA license is Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY)
- Complying with funders’ mandates: funders increasingly require outputs to be open access. Use the Sherpa Juliet database to check funders’ requirements on Open Access publication and data archiving
- Complying with REF requirements: journal articles submitted for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) need to be published via either the Green or Gold Open Access routes. Future REF exercises may include open access requirements for other forms of research output
There are two main routes to Open Access publication.
Once published, the work is immediately made accessible without costs or restrictions. The author chooses the terms under which the work is shared and re-used by applying a Creative Commons licence. Gold OA publication involves the payment of book processing charges (BPCs) or of chapter processing charges (CPCs). The University has limited funds to cover these costs.
Green route (e.g., self-archiving)
Upon agreement with the publisher, the work (generally the author accepted manuscript) is deposited in our institutional repository WRAP. An embargo period may be imposed on the accessibility of the work. This option is suitable to all long form research outputs, but it is especially appropriate for book chapters and sections. OA publication via the green route is free of costs.
Selecting a publisher
The landscape of OA publishing of monographs is fast evolving and more, better, and cheaper options are likely to emerge in the near future. It is up to each researcher to choose where to publish, however there are important elements to consider, such as whether the publisher:
- follows best practices
- affords options that allow for compliance with the funders’ requirements
- ensures the visibility and accessibility of the work
- is institutional or commercial (the latter tend to charge more for BPCs and CPCs)
When choosing where to publish, the following resources may prove useful:
- Open Access Books Toolkit: this toolkit aims to help book authors to better understand open access book publishing and to increase trust in open access books
- Think Check Submit - journals: this checklist helps you choose a trusted journal and publisher
- Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA): use this list of members to check that a publisher, publication, or organisation follows best practice. Members have been through a rigorous application review process and adhere to OASPA's Code of Conduct
- Sherpa Juliet: use the Sherpa Juliet database to check funders’ requirements on Open Access publication and data archiving
Funding streams to support the payment of book and chapter processing charges (BPCs and CPCs) are currently limited. This situation will likely change, as new UKRI guidelines regarding the publication of long form research outputs come into force.
A new RCUK/UKRI policy concerning the publication of research outputs came into force on 1 April 2022. It includes the following requirements for monographs published on or after 1 January 2024:
- the final version of a given publication or accepted manuscript must made open access via a publisher’s website, platform, or repository, within a maximum of 12 months of publication.
- CC BY licence is preferred (NC and ND licences are permitted).
UKRI will provide increased funding of up to £46.7 million per annum to support the implementation of the policy. The process for allocating the funds and the definition of eligible costs is being developed and UKRI will provide further information later in 2022.
At this moment, the UKRI block grant cannot be used to pay for BPCs and CPCs. This means that researchers funded by UKRI wishing to publish monographs or book chapters in OA need to have made provision for this in their grant. Alternatively, they can contact UKRI directly to apply for ad hoc funding.
Monographs and book chapters
The Wellcome Trust states that all original scholarly monographs and book chapters authored or co-authored by Wellcome grant holders as part of their grant-funded research, must be:
- made freely available through NCBI Bookshelf PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC as soon as possible and no later than within 6 months of the official final publication date and
- be published under a Creative Commons licence where a fee has been paid to the publisher to make the work open access. Our preference is for the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY). However, researchers may choose to publish their work under any of the Creative Commons licences including non-commercial and non-derivative licences (CC BY-NC or CC BY-NC-ND)
The Wellcome Trust block grant does not cover open access fees associated with publishing book chapters and monographs.
To request open access funding for monographs and book chapters, email the following details to openaccess at wellcome dot org:
- your current employing organisation
- title of the monograph or book chapter
- Wellcome grant reference number
- publisher name
- proposed date of publication
- cost of the open access fee
Wellcome will supplement your research grant and your organisation will be able to claim reimbursement for the additional costs in the usual way. Wellcome may also provide open access funding when a research grant has ended.
The Leverhulme Trust supports OA publishing of long form research outputs. The costs associated with these publications must be included in the original research grant.
If you have any questions, please contact the Open Access team at the Library: openaccessfund at warwick dot ac dot uk.