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Open Access Monographs : Publishing models

An introduction to open access monographs aimed at our researchers at Goldsmiths, the guide provides an overview of funder requirements and the open access options available to Goldsmiths authors

Open access publishing models

Most academic publishers now provide routes to open access publication for monographs, edited collections and book chapters.

Publishers are developing a range of different business models for open access book publishing that are outlined on the OAPEN website. The most common models are summarised below.

A common route to open access requires the payment of a book or chapter processing charge:

  • Book processing or chapter charge (BPC/CPC): this is similar to an Article Processing Charge (APC) that is applied to open access journal articles. A BPC/CPC is charged by the publisher to make the monograph/chapter open access. BPC charges typically range from £4,000 to £15,000 depending on the publisher and length of book. BPCs are charged by traditional academic publishers such as Routledge and Bloomsbury Academic and some open access publishers such as UCL Press whose business model is based on charging processing fees. A list of some of the academic and university press publishers requiring the payment of a BPC are listed in  the ‘Publisher open access policies’ tab.
  • Embargoed/delayed BPC/CPC: a book is initially sold as a non-open access title, and a reduced BPC/CPC fee is charged by the publisher to make it open access at a later point. For example, RoutledgeEdinburgh University PressIntellectManchester University Press

At Goldsmiths there is no institutional open access fund to support the costs of BPCs or CPCs for unfunded researchers but authors who receive funding from UKRI, Wellcome Trust or Horizon Europe/ERC will be able to access funds to support the cost of open access publication. Further information is available in the ‘Funder requirements’ tab.

There are alternative open access publishing models that don’t require the payment of a BPC. In these models, publishers support the costs of making their books open access via alternative sources of funding such as sponsorship, membership or subscription schemes. This model of publishing is broadly termed ‘Diamond’ open access. ‘Diamond’ open access encompasses a range of different approaches that are listed below alongside other models that don't require the payment of a BPC:

  • ‘Freemium’: where a version of an ebook is freely available online at no charge to the author; the free access is subsidised by other revenue sources, such as sales of other e-formats, print sales, and/or library membership fees. For example, Open Humanities Press.
  • Subscribe to Open: where libraries subscribe to or purchase specified collections of closed-access books, which may include backlist titles. The subscription fees are used to fund open access for newly published books. For example, the MIT Press Direct to Open model.
  • New University Presses (NUP): these presses have emerged in recent years and aim to bring the same level of quality and academic rigour as traditional university presses but offer different publishing models designed to disseminate scholarly content as widely as possible. NUPs operate under a range of different business and although some such as UCL Press charge BPCs, others such as Winchester University Press waive these charges. Goldsmiths Press offers immediate open access via the payment of a BPC or open access following an embargo period at no cost.
  • Library Membership: where libraries or other institutions pay an annual membership fee to a publisher that underwrites some costs of making books open access. For example, Punctum BooksUniversity of California Press (Luminos).
  • Library consortium (also referred to as library/institutional crowdfunding models): this is when libraries pledge a fee towards making a collection of books open access, covering some or all of the costs between them. Once enough libraries have confirmed participation and the target amount is achieved, the collection is made open access. For example, Knowledge Unlatched.
  • Embargoed/delayed freemium: A book is initially sold as a non-open access title and is later made open access at no charge to the author if agreed criteria are met, for example after a sales target has been achieved or after a specified embargo period. For example, JSTOR Path to OpenCambridge University Press ‘Flip it Open’ schemeThe Ohio State University Press
  • Green open access: self-archiving the Author Accepted version of a chapter or portion of a book in an institutional repository such as GRO. More information on the Green open access publication route is available in the Self-archiving monographs (Green Open Access) tab.

A list of some of the academic and university press publishers that don't require the payment of a BPC are listed in the ‘Publisher open access policies’ tab.

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