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Open Access at University of Reading: Research books and chapters

Information about support for Open Access publishing in the University


This page explains the benefits of publishing your research book, monograph, edited collection or book chapter as Open Access - and how to do so.


Request forms


Row of books on a book shelf with their spines facing away from the viewerBenefits of Open Access monographs

High quality research published in a monograph can be made more visible and have greater impact if published as an Open Access monograph.

  • It is increasingly difficult for libraries to purchase every research monograph and make them available to students and researchers. With print-only monograph publishing, it is difficult to reach a wider audience quickly, with the result that citations are delayed by several years. Making your monograph Open Access has the potential to increase citations and to do this more quickly.

  • It can be of benefit to early career researchers to get their work more widely read, but established researchers are also likely to benefit from an instant audience, extending international and inter-disciplinary reach, and public engagement. Open Access monographs will increase the profile of individual researchers, with a positive impact on the research reputation of the University.
  • Although there were initial concerns that making a monograph Open Access would reduce print sales, publishers confirm that Open Access can actually increase print sales. This is because most researchers prefer to read an entire monograph in print, so after sampling an Open Access monograph they may then decide to purchase, or recommend to a library for purchase.
  • Open Access also means that the copyright for the monograph rests with the author, rather than the publisher.

Open access monographs at the University of Reading - success stories

Useful links

Applying for funding for Open Access books

Book publication incurs costs which publishers have traditionally covered through book sales and library access fees. When published as Open Access, the costs are often recovered by publishers through charging authors a book (BPC) or chapter (CPC) processing charge. Charges vary significantly between publishers and some publishers are developing alternative publishing models where fees are not charged at all. Where Open Access is a requirement of your funder, it may be possible to charge costs to them. The University also has a small competitive fund for high scoring REF outputs authored by unfunded University of Reading researchers.

If you are unable to secure funds to cover BPCs or CPSs you can usually make a proportion of your output available in an Open Access repository such as CentAUR. Check your publisher's policy as they typically permit deposit of the author final manuscript of a single chapter from a book.

The first point of call for funding should be your external funder, if you have one. It is important to put in a case for Open Access costs when you put in your research grant application.


Monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1st January 2024 that acknowledges funding from one of the 9 UKRI research councils will need to be available Open Access. (AHRC BBSRC ESRC EPSRC Innovate UK MRC NERC Research England STFC)

UKRI has a central Open Access fund to support Open Access publishing costs. UKRI funded researchers can apply for up to £10,000 (including VAT) for a monograph or edited collection and up to £1,000 (including VAT) for a book chapter.

If the Open Access publishing charge (including VAT) exceeds the limit available from UKRI you should first ask the publisher if they will reduce their charge to £10,000 (including VAT) for a monograph or edited collection and £1,000 (including VAT) for a book chapter. Some publishers are already doing this. If you are not successful but will be able to provide top-up funds from your school etc., then you can proceed with applying for the UKRI funding. The University does not have a central top-up fund.

How to apply

Please see the UKRI Monographs, Book Chapters and Edited Collections section this guide for full details of the UKRI policy requirements and a link to the Library's UKRI Open Access books request form.

The Library will register your request with UKRI, for confirmation of eligibility (stage 1) and inform you whether or not UKRI has agreed to your request. Please DO NOT commit to paying an Open Access charge BEFORE you receive confirmation from the Library that UKRI will fund this.  The Library will handle the order and invoice, and on publication will claim the funds from UKRI (stage 2).

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust Open Access policy requires all monographs and chapters for which they have provided funding to be made Open Access. If you have a Wellcome Trust grant they make funds available for the payment of publishers’ Open Access processing charges but do not pay publishers directly. Please see Wellcome guidance about requesting Open Access funding. To request funds you will need to contact the Wellcome Trust and also with details of your Wellcome Trust contacts and publisher contacts. The University will pay the publisher, then claim back the costs from Wellcome.

The University has a small comprtitive fund to support Open Access monograph (research book) costs for unfunded authors for REF. You should also consider requesting contributions from your School or Research Division. 

There is a separate fund for UKRI funded authors requesting support for Open Access publishing. Please see the tab Applying to funders for Open Access costs.


Criteria for requesting funding from the University's Open Access monograph fund, all apply:

  • Your monograph is a research output for REF and it is to be submitted as a high scoring output, AND
  • You are member of the academic or research staff in a Research Division at the University of Reading, AND
  • You do not have another source of funding or you do not have sufficient funds to cover the whole of the Open Access charge

There is no set limit for each request, though you should be mindful of cost as it will be a factor that is considered as part of the request. Open Access charges vary between publishers and page length. Our recent payments show average costs for monographs ranging from £5,500 to £15,000. 

How and when to apply

To request funding, please complete the Open Access monograph funding request form. NB Applications should be submitted no sooner than 12 -18 months before the expected publication date.

Requests will be assessed annually in December by our Open Access Monographs Panel and the results will be communicated to you as soon as possible after this. Please note that this is a small fund and funds are very limited.

If you are not eligible for the University’s monographs fund, or your application is rejected, you may decide to publish without University funding for Open Access or to explore other routes to achieving Open Access either by choosing a different publisher or by depositing your author final version in CentAUR. 

Chapters in edited collections

We do not pay Open Access fees for whole edited collections or single chapters.  

It is worth noting that many publishers allow chapters to be deposited in an institutional repository such as CentAUR. It is always preferable to sign up to publishers that permit Green Open Access in the first instance.

If you have a chapter in an edited collection, please check with your publisher which version they will permit you to deposit in an institutional repository. If this is not possible, please contact us for advice.

Copyright costs for images

Particularly in the humanities, copyright costs can be incurred for the use of images in publications, and making them Open Access can incur an additional fee. We understand that it can be to the detriment of many monographs if the reader cannot see the images contained in the print version, so we will consider any requests for copyright clearance fees to make the images available in the Open Access version of the monograph.

The University's Open Access Monographs Panel

The panel is responsible for managing the University's small Open Access monograph fund and for reviewing applications to the fund from University of Reading staff. 

Panel members are:

  • Professor Roberta Gilchrist - Research Dean for Heritage and Creativity
  • Dr Alanna Skuse - Wellcome Trust University Award lecturer/Principle Investigator
  • Dr Natalie Thomlinson - Associate Professor of Modern British Cultural History
  • Chrissie Willis-Phillips - Associate Director (Scholarship and Planning, Library)
  • Alison Sutton -  Research Engagement Manager (Library)

Open Access Book Publishers

Where you publish is down to you, but you should always consider the possible reach of the publisher you select, and this includes their ability to publish monographs as Open Access. If you are funded you will also need to choose publishers which enable you to comply with your funder’s Open Access policy.  

Most monograph publishers detail their Open Access publishing options on their websites. Many of the University presses have options for Open Access monograph publishing, as do commercial publishers. There are also many developing options for Open Access monograph publishing, which cost less than the more traditional publishers or may charge no Open Access publishing fee. In all cases publishers should be able to provide costs. 

The new Open Access for Books search from Sherpa Services is a useful look-up tool which links to and summarises publishers' Open Access book publishing and self archiving options. It is still under development and more publishers wil be added.

The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) and the OAPEN platform are excellent starting points for identifying Open Access monograph publishers in your discipline. The OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit aims to help you to better understand and gain confidence with Open Access book publishing. The Think Check Submit page for Books and Chapters is an invaluable checklist to help you assess whether or not a publisher is suitable for your research.

This is a non exhaustive list of Open Access publishers.They publish Open Access only (although many will also publish hard copy editions too). Most, but not all charge an Open Access publishing fee. Alternatively, use the Open Access for Books search to find summaries of publishers' Open Access publishing and self-archiving options for books, chapters and edited collections.

Open Access publishers

Aberdeen University Press

Cardiff University Press (one co-author must be affiliated to Cardiff University)

Helsinki University Press

Lever Press

LSE Press

Mattering Press 

Media Studies Press

Meson Press

Open Book Publishers (no Open Access publishing fees)

Open Humanities Press (no Open Access publishing fees)

Punctum Books (no Open Access publishing fees)

Scottish Universities Press (one co-author must be affiliated to a participating institution)

Stockholm University Press

Ubiquity Press

UCL Press (one co-author must be affiliated to UCL)

University of Huddersfield Press

University of Westminster Press

White Rose University Press

Winchester University Press

This list has been copied and modified, with permission from University of Sheffield, from their web page [ viewed 8 January 2024]

This is a non exhaustive list of hybrid publishers who offer either traditional, closed publication (for which there is no publication fee) or Open Access with a fee. When an output is published without Open Access, publishers often permit the green route to Open Access; achieved through deposit of the author final manuscript of a single chapter in an institutional repository such as CentAUR. Alternatively, use the Open Access for Books search to find summaries of publishers' Open Access publishing and self-archiving options for books, chapters and edited collections.

A number of publishers, including new university presses, are experimenting with business models for Open Access publishing in which Open Access publication costs are kept to a minimum and more sustainable options for Open Access are emerging. 

Hybrid publishers offering Open Access options

Amsterdam University Press

Bristol University Press

Cambridge University Press

Central European University Press

Edinburgh University Press

Goldsmiths Press

Leuven University Press

Liverpool University Press

Luminos (University of California Press open access programme)

Manchester University Press

MIT Press

Sidestone Press (becomes open access after 4 years, or on publication with a fee)

University of London Press

University of Wales Press

This list has been copied and modified, with permission from University of Sheffield, from their web page [ viewed 8 January 2024]

Benefits of publishing books Open Access

Open Access monographs funded by University of Reading

A selection of the books and book chapters funded by the Open Access fund at University of Reading.