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Open Access at University of Reading: Research books and chapters

Information about support for Open Access publishing in the University

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 to the University's Open Access Monograph fund

The University has a small fund to support Open Access monograph (research book) costs. Single chapters in edited collections may also be eligible. However, the first point of call for funding should be your external funder, if you have one. You should also consider requesting contributions from your School or Research Division. 

Criteria

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

  • 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, AND 
  • Your monograph (or chapter) is a research output for REFand it is to be submitted as a high scoring output 

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 chapters of £2,000 and monographs ranging from £5,500 to £13,200. 

How to apply

To request funding, please complete the Open Access monograph funding request form. Ideally this should be done at about the time when you are negotiating a contract with a publisher.

Please note that this is a small fund and funds are limited, so an assessment will be made by our Open Access Monographs Panel and the results communicated to you as soon as possible. 

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. 

We do not pay Open Access fees for whole edited collections, but we will consider applications to the fund to publish single chapters in edited collections.  

It is worth noting that many publishers allow chapters to be deposited in an institutional repository. 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, you should enquire about costs of publishing specific chapters as Open Access. You should then use the Open Access monograph request form to make a request.

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 Sylvia Jaworska - Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics
  • Dr Alanna Skuse - Wellcome Trust University Award lecturer/Principle Investigator
  • Chrissie Willis-Phillips - Associate Director (Scholarship and Planning, Library)
  • Alison Sutton -  Research Engagement Manager (Library)

Benefits of publishing books Open Access

Funders

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.

AHRC and ESRC

Open Access monograph costs are considered to be an allowable cost in AHRC and ESRC grant applications. These may be included as a "Directly Incurred Other Cost" and will need to be fully justified in any new grant application. It is important to put in a case for Open Access costs when you put in your research grant application. This applies to all funders, who may have similar options, so be sure to find out if a funder will pay the cost before applying to the University for funds. Costs can be claimed from funders as long as the grant is still live.

From 2024, UKRI will require any chapters or monographs arising from research that they have funded to be Open Access.

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 oarequests@reading.ac.uk with details of your Wellcome Trust contacts and publisher contacts. The University will pay the publisher, then claim back the costs from Wellcome.

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. There are many developing options for Open Access monograph publishing, which cost less than the more traditional publishers, and more are likely to emerge in the next few years. Many of the University presses have options for Open Access monograph publishing, as do commercial publishers, though the costs tend to be higher. In all cases publishers should be able to provide costs. As different models emerge, we expect monograph Open Access charges to come down over the course of time.

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.