Open Monographs

The benefits of Open Monographs

Making your research monograph available Open Access can have many benefits:

  • It can increase the reach of your research and help to boost the number of citations it receives, potentially leading to greater research impact. A recent report from Springer Nature found that Open Access books were downloaded on average ten times more than non-Open Access books, and were cited 2.4 times more. Additionally, the readership for Open Access books is more international.
  • Publishing a monograph Open Access will not necessarily decrease the number of sales. Conversely, the Open Access copy can help attract more readers and actually increase the number of print sales.
  • When you publish your monograph Open Access you as the author retain the copyright, not the publisher - giving you more control over how your book is used by others.

Open Monograph Business Models

There are several business models for making monographs available Open Access:

  • Book processing charges (BPCs): similar to APCs applied to Open Access journal articles, a BPC is charged by the publisher to make the monograph Open Access. These charges can range anywhere from £4,000 to £15,000 depending on the publisher.
  • Library consortiums or memberships: libraries pledge funds to make monographs Open Access retrospectively (such as with Knowledge Unlatched), or pay a membership to the publisher that covers the cost of Open Access (e.g. Open Book Publishers). The University of Liverpool Library participate in many of these schemes.
  • Institutionally subsidised university presses: some universities subsidise the publication of Open Access monographs through their university press.

Some publishers will also allow authors to make their monographs, or parts of their monographs, available via Green Open Access i.e. deposit them in the university repository where they can be accessed by everyone.

UKRI Open Access Policy

The UKRI Open Access Policy is extending to include long-form publications for content published from 1 January 2024 onwards. This means that you must make your long form output open access within 12 months of publication and use an open licence.

UKRI-funded researchers will be able to apply to UKRI via their research organisation for funding. A two-stage process will ensure authors and their research organisations have confirmation that their outputs are in scope of the UKRI fund as they proceed with publishing agreements. UKRI will then release funds upon notification of publication.

UKRI have advised that institutions will receive an update with instructions of how to proceed in Autumn 2023. In the meantime, this is what we know so far:

  • Your final Version of Record or Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher’s website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
  • Images, illustrations, tables, and other supporting content should be included in the open access version, where possible
  • The open access version of your publication must have a Creative Commons licence, with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence preferred, though not required. An Open Government Licence is also permitted. (This requirement does not apply to third party materials included in your publication)

Alternative Funding for Open Monographs

If your research has been externally funded, you should always check your funder’s requirements on Open Access. Some funders, such as the Wellcome Trust and the European Union, require you to make monographs Open Access. They will often allow you to build in costs for BPCs to your grant.

If your research has not been externally funded, or your funder does not provide funding, a small amount of institutional funding is available at Liverpool. To enquire about funding, please fill in the Open Access request form.

You should contact us as early as possible in the publishing process.


Useful resources

Open Access Toolkit

Directory of Open Access Books