How to become an open access book publisher

How to become an open access monograph publisher


Types of open access

Open access to monographs can be provided through gold, green or diamond/platinum route:

Gold OA

Green OA

Diamond/platinum OA

Financial policy and funding

The funding system for OA scientific monographs is continually developing. Funders face various challenges in setting standards for funding OA monographs. For example, it is not easy to calculate costs (What should be financed and what should not? How to achieve transparency?). As a result, most OA book publishers use some hybrid funding model to cover their publishing costs, which provides free access to the OA edition (online or as pdf) and offers other editions for sale.

Types of funding models:

  • Hybrid models
  • Institutional support
  • Book processing charges(publication fees (BPCs)
  • Model for libraries (Library membership/Library consortium/Subscribe to open etc.)
  • Crowdfunding

For more information on funding models, go to:

Penier, Izabella, Eve, Martin Paul, & Grady, Tom. (2020). COPIM – Revenue Models for Open Access Monographs 2020 (2.0). Zenodo. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4011835.

Erich van Rijn, 17. november 2022. „Finding Paths to Open Access Book Publishing.“

Gerakopoulou, Elli, Penier, Izabella, & Deville, Joe. (2021). The promise of collaboration: collective funding models and the integration of Open Access books into libraries (1.0). Zenodo. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4501511.

Ferwerda, Eelco. 2014. “Open Access Monograph Business Models”Insights 27: 35–38. DOI:

OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit – Planning and Funding

Open access mandates

OA mandates are policies adopted by research institutions, universities or funders that require researchers to provide mandatory open access to their published research if it was publicly funded (mandatory policy). In Slovakia, for example, it is a mandatory policy to publish research results funded by the Horizon Europe programme in open access (since 2021). The policy applies to articles, monographs, conference proceedings, book chapters etc.).


For more information, go to:

Open Science in Horizon Europe

EC’s website on Open Science


Plan S: an initiative of a group of national research funding organisations, with the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC) support. cOAlition S published on 2 September 2021 a cOAlition S statement on Open Access for academic books that formulated five recommendations on scholarly books in compliance with the principles of Plan S


Intellectual property rights (copyright, licences)

A type of licence (licences) that protects authors and publishers and defines the reader’s rights. In open access, the licences used most often are Creative Commons licenses as they are most clear and understood internationally.

For more information on intellectual property rights, go to WIPO.

Making OA monographs and metadata accessible


  • data that provide information about other data

  • For more information on metadata, got to: OAPEN Metadata.

  • Toth – a tool to manage and disseminate OA books metadata

Repositories, discovery services, platforms

DOAB(Directory of Open Access Books)

  • a discovery service

OAPEN Library (Open Access Publishing Network)

  • a central repository to host and disseminate OA books

OpenEdition Books

  • an online platform for books in all languages in humanities and social sciences platform


Important information on OA monographs on the publisher`s website

Recommendations based on the Jisc and OAPEN guide:

  • Open access offering–a description of the publishers’ publishing programme or service for OA monographs;
  • Author charges–information if author fees are charged or not should be clearly displayed; clearly displayed;
  • Peer review–provide clear information on a peer review process;
  • Availability–how monographs are available to readers, as print and electronic versions;
  • Open access–OA monographs must be freely available to readers without the requirement for registration of any kind;
  • Licensing–clearly stated and visible on the website and on all published material; it is recommended to use Creative Commons licenses;
  • Author information and OA policy–clear and detailed information for authors is present and easily located on the homepage;
  • Preservation–information about long-term access and preservation if a publisher ceases its activities.

Other interesting projects, institutions, resources

OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit (2020)

COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs): An international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, OA book publishers and infrastructure providers. It creates open systems and infrastructures that belong to communities and that enable OA book publishing to flourish.

OBC (Open Book Collective): The collective will bring together OA book publishers, open access (OA) publishing service providers, libraries and other research institutions. A new, mutually supportive ecosystem will emerge to create the conditions for successful OA book publishing.

OABN (Open Access Books Network): An open network for anyone interested in OA books, whether researchers, publishers, librarians, students, infrastructure providers, students or readers.  

DARIAH-EU – DARIAH Open Access Book Bursary – for early career researchers.

OPERAS (Open access Publication in the European Research Area for Social science and humanities)

HIRMEOS (High Integration for Research Monographs in the European Open Science infrastructure)

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

Janneke Adema: Towards a Roadmap for Open Access Monographs, A Knowledge Exchange Report, May 2019, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2644997.

Jisc, OAPEN: Publisher information on open access monographs. Recommendations for information publishers should make available on their open access (OA) monograph offering.