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Open Access

This gude discusses open access, its significance, and how UChicago Library supports it.

Finding Open Access Books

As open access (OA) becomes prevalent in journal publishing, some scholarly publishers have adopted it as a model for book publishing.  These resources come in handy when you are looking for OA books:

As people in general do not have much experience with OA books, there are myths or misconception about them.  The Open Access Books Network has produced a series of short videos to help us better understand different aspects of OA books.  Embedded below is one in which Professor Martin Paul Eve at the University of London's Birkbeck College discusses a widespread myth about OA books: "If I publish my book Open Access, I won't have control over my work."  UChicago authors who have questions about OA and/or OA books can contact the Library's subject specialists or the Center for Digital Scholarship for assistance.

Publishing Open Access Books

Authors interested in pursuing an OA book project will benefit from the OA Books Toolkit, a free online resource that examines OA book publishing with reference to the research lifecycle.  It also offers a detailed FAQ about different aspects of what constitutes OA book publishing.  Another useful resource is this checklist for books and book chapters from Think. Check. Submit.

While most of the scholarly book publishers have not engaged in OA book publishing, the following nonprofit, scholar-led presses have already published a number of OA monographs on a variety of topics:

Meanwhile, some university presses have launched innovative models to publish OA books.  For example, the MIT Press explains how it puts OA book publishing into practice in the video below.  In addition, there are commercial academic presses that publish OA books by levying a book processing charge (BPC) on the author.  A list of OA book publishers is available from the Open Access Directory.

If you wish to publish an OA textbook, you may find financial support through some mini-grant programs from academic libraries and nonprofit organizations.  UChicago authors who have questions about OA and/or OA book publishing can contact the Library's subject specialists or the Center for Digital Scholarship for assistance.