FAQs

What is Open Access?
A work is considered to be Open Access when it is available to read for free in its entirety, without any restriction on who can access it.

Why is Open Access a good thing?

Academic books are expensive. In the UK, they currently retail at an average of around £60 meaning that, for the most part, only well-endowed university libraries can afford to buy them. A great deal of valuable research is therefore unavailable to most readers, with students in developing countries being particularly disadvantaged. Open Access means that everyone, everywhere can have the same access to quality educational material. Each of our titles is read by an average of 400 readers each month.

Do you provide authors with stats about the number and location of readers?
Yes, we send authors a yearly report listing the number of readers of the OA edition and the number of copies sold. We also regularly update the stats on readership on our website, listed on each title page.

Doesn't Open Access leave authors without an income?
Unlike novelists or other professional writers, the vast majority of academics do not write books to make money. Academics' funding comes from their university and research grants, and royalties on academic books are usually negligible. Most scholars publish books so that people can read and engage with their ideas; Open Access means that more people will be able to do just that. 

Does being an Open Access publisher mean that you publish anything? 
No! We only publish books that make it through our extremely rigorous peer review process. Like most other academic presses, all our books are read and assessed by at least two experts in the field at both the proposal and manuscript stage.  

Why do you charge for your PDFs when you are committed to Open Access? 
We need to charge a small fee for our PDFs to offset our production costs. We are a non-profit company and charge very little for our printed books, so PDFs are a vital revenue source to help us keep our books affordable and free online. In the future we aim at raising enough income from grants and sales to stop charging for PDFs. One of our titles, The Digital Public Domain, has a free PDF thanks to an EU grant. Other titles, Oral Literature in Africa and Feeding the City have a free PDF and ebook thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaignsAll our books are free to read in their entirety on our website.    

Which of your electronic editions are compatible with my particular device?
You can find a chart listing most electronic reading devices and their compatibility with our different formats here.

How do I transfer a MOBI file to my device?
First, you should download the MOBI file to your computer, then connect your Kindle to the computer, using the USB/charging cable provided with the device. Drag and drop the file to your Kindle's "documents" folder, using your computer's file browser. When done, eject the Kindle’s disk icon (right-click on the icon and choose "Eject.”). Alternatively, you can also email the content to your Kindle email address, which you can find under the 'Manage Your Kindle' menu.

If my book is published as Open Access does that mean it can more easily be plagiarised?
No. All the same rules of plagiarism apply to Open Access books.

Does an Open Access book count towards the RAE/REF assessments for UK research?
Yes. A book published by us is seen as exactly the same as a non-Open Access book.

Are your books preserved in any way?
Our books are preserved for posterity via OpenEdition

Are you books provided with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number?
Yes, all our books, and each chapter within a book, is provided with a unique and permanent DOI.

How do you keep the prices of your paperbacks and hardbacks so low?

The internet has revolutionised the way publishers can operate. We use print-on-demand technology, which means we have no wasted print runs. All our staff work in a ‘virtual’ office, which keeps our overhead costs down. We have a network of volunteers who generously give their time, and we have been assisted along the way by donations from individuals and grant-giving bodies who support our Open Access mission.

Will you publish my book?
We publish academic books in all disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences. If your manuscript passes our tough peer review process, we will almost certainly publish it. If you are unsure of whether your book is right for us, please email Alessandra Tosi (a.tosi@openbookpublishers.com). More information for authors, including our downloadable book submission guidelines, is available here.

What does the future hold for Open Book Publishers?
We envisage a world in which all research is freely available to all readers. As well as continuing to publish our high-quality academic books, we are starting to help institutions, academic groups, other publishers and journals move to an Open Access model. Ultimately, we are aiming to become the primary UK Open Access hub for peer-reviewed research in the Humanities and Social Sciences.