Open Access Monographs – more questions than answers?

The last of our OA Week 2016 blogs is a brief look into the topic of Open Access Monographs.

This is quite a contentious issue and there are currently a number of projects looking into how monographs can be made open access.  Many of the questions surrounding OA monographs are concerned with how the monograph form will be preserved in an OA model and how an open access monograph business model will be viable?

What is evident from the research being undertaken is that it will not be a similar process to how we make an article or conference paper OA, and therefore will need to be approached in a different manner. As Geoffrey Crossick notes in his report to HEFCE on Monographs and Open Access:

“It is very clear, however, that extending open access to books is not easy. From licensing and copyright to business models and quality, the issues that must be tackled are thorny and numerous [however] Open access can solve important issues about accessibility, it can enhance the ways in which we publish, use and interact with books, and has the potential to revitalise the academic community’s connection with the peer review, publication and dissemination of books” (Crossick, 2015, p.4).

Some publishers and academic presses are currently testing new business models which will enable researchers  to publish their monographs open access, however, it is currently very expensive to do! Edinburgh University Press are currently quoting a £10,000 APC to make a monograph OA and this only applies to authored research monographs – so edited books and critical editions are not covered.

See: https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/information/publish-with-us/open-access

Another alternative model has been suggested by a consortium called ‘Knowledge Unlatched’ which is made up of member libraries who pay the costs of making scholarly monographs open access. If you’re interested to learn more there’s a lot of useful information on their website: http://www.knowledgeunlatched.org/

There are many differing opinions and ideas surrounding how we could transition into open access monograph publishing but for the moment it does seem to be an area where there are more questions than answers.

If you would like an in depth introduction to open access monographs you should check out Goldsmiths Panel Discussion “Open Access Monographs and Publishing Models: Collaborative Ways Forward”, which discusses how OA monographs could be managed and how it may support or disadvantage their particular professional sector and ethical goals:


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145993443″>Open Access Monographs and Publishing Models: Collaborative Ways Forward</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/goldsmiths”>Goldsmiths, University of London</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Let us know what you think!

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