Information for New Authors
Welcome! This page contains a wealth of information for authors wanting to find out more about publishing with us. First, let us introduce ourselves.
What we’re not: We’re not vanity publishing. We’re not predatory publishing. We’re not commercial publishing. We don’t charge authors to publish OA. We don’t publish poor-quality scholarship.
What we are: A leading independent Open Access book publisher based in Cambridge, UK with almost fifteen years’ experience publishing award-winning OA books. We are scholar-led, not-for-profit and dedicated to making high-quality academic research freely available to readers all over the world.
- If you want a quick overview, watch this video.
- If you want a comprehensive overview, keep reading this page.
- If you want to leap into the detail, download our Author Guide.
- If you want to propose a book for publication, download our Book Proposal Form.
- If you want to speak to an author about publishing with us, contact Professor Caroline Warman (caroline.warman@Jesus.ox.ac.uk).
OBP provides permanent and free access to our books for readers with no Open Access fees (also known as Book Processing Charges or BPCs) for the authors, and the majority of our titles are published under the most flexible reuse standard – the CC BY license. For more information about copyright, licensing and other issues related to Open Access publishing, see our Open Access Guide for Academics or the OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit.
All our titles are published simultaneously in several free digital editions (downloadable PDF, PDF Reader, HTML and XML format) that can be read via our website, downloaded, reused or embedded anywhere, as well as in high-quality, affordably priced paperback, hardback and ebook editions (EPUB and MOBI).
Our authors range from early-career academics to eminent scholars such as Noam Chomsky and Amartya Sen. We offer authors full copyright, faster publishing times, flexibility to amend and update their work and a greater number of readers. We make publication decisions based on academic merit rather than commercial considerations, and all our books undergo a rigorous peer review and editorial process.
As a non-profit, academic-led Open Access publisher our priority is to ensure that high-quality academic books are freely available to readers worldwide. We believe that access to academic work should not depend on ability to pay. Therefore, we do not require authors to pay an Open Access fee for publication. We encourage those who are able to apply for grants from their university and elsewhere to do so, in order to defray the costs of publishing their book and enable us to accept more authors who do not have funding, but the decision about whether or not we will accept a manuscript for publication depends entirely on the outcome of our peer review process and not on the availability or otherwise of funding. Authors without any funding regularly publish with us.
Depending on a number of factors including, for example, the length of the manuscript and number of images, it typically costs us £5,000 to produce and market a book. If a book is unusually lengthy or contains a very large number of images, we may charge a production fee to cover the extra costs, as detailed in Appendix Two of our Authors' Guide. We ensure that we do not need to charge authors a mandatory Open Access fee thanks to our sustainable mixed model of funding, including: revenue from the sale of affordably priced digital and paper copies alongside our Open Access editions; our innovative and long-standing Library Membership Programme; and the grant funding that some authors are able to source to support the publication of their books. We provide information on possible sources of publishing grants for Open Access books and support our authors throughout the application process. For more information on available grants and how to apply, see our Authors' Guide.
All books published by OBP can be submitted for university research assessments. In the UK, our books have been submitted for the UK REF assessment exercise, and UKRI have indicated that for the REF-after-REF 2021, there is likely to be an Open Access mandate for monographs, chapters and edited collections.
Our books are regularly reviewed in publications, academic journals and scholarly blogs including The Times Literary Supplement, Times Higher Education, Essays in Criticism, Modern Language Review, Choice Review, Romanticism, The Year’s Work in English Studies / The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, Medieval Aevum, The English Historical Review, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Journal of European Studies, Slavic and East European Journal, and Counterfire, and are often awarded book prizes. You can find links to reviews and awards on the individual title pages on our website, and a list of our prize-winning books.
OBP is eligible to receive European Commission's publication grants for research funded within the FP7 and Horizon 2020 frameworks, and we are an approved member of OASPA, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. We are compliant with the open access requirements of OAPEN, the European Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers. Our titles are listed in WorldCat (OCLC), Clarivate's Book Citation Index, BASE, CERES, The Publication Forum (JUFO), Spanish National Research Council's Scholarly Publishing Indicator, ROAD: the Directory of Open Access scholarly Resources, the Directory of Open Access Books and, through WorldReader, our books are accessed in the developing world on e-readers and mobile phones.
Read and download this letter from our Managing Editor for more information about the quality, readership, and innovation of our press.
Our books are currently read by an average of 400 readers per month per title worldwide. Our books are uploaded on our website and a number of platforms, such as Google Books, OAPEN, the DOAB, Open Edition, and textbooks platforms such as Merlot II. They are also easy to embed on personal websites, blogs and social networking sites. Allowing free access to your research means that more people will be able to engage with your ideas around the world, and provides more opportunity for the citation of your work. It also makes various forms of reuse easier, such as translation: our titles that have been translated include Economic Fables by Ariel Rubinstein, Tolerance ed. by Caroline Warman, and The Scientific Revolution Revisited by Mikuláš Teich.
Your book will never go out of print, as all books are available via Print on Demand as well as being freely available online. Universities and research libraries worldwide subscribe to our Library Membership Programme, so your book will be listed in the catalogues of over 200 major university libraries worldwide (and counting). The readership statistics of each title are updated daily and displayed on our website along with a readership map that shows the international distribution of readers. We have also developed an Open Source reporting system for authors which allows them to access all metrics relating to their books. Find out more about how we collect our readership statistics, and read our blog post to see how we share this information for every title we publish.
At Open Book we welcome proposals that engage with knowledge in new ways, and we are willing to help individuals and institutions develop new ways of disseminating research to better inform and interact with readers and researchers. For example, our award-winning Denis Diderot 'Rameau's Nephew' – 'Le Neveu de Rameau': A Multi-Media Bilingual Edition (2nd ed., 2016) incorporates specially-recorded musical pieces into the body of the text, making Diderot’s work uniquely accessible and engaging for a general audience; one of our books on oral literature, Storytelling in Northern Zambia (2013), allows readers not just to access the author's opinions on the topic, but also to listen and watch the storytellers directly. Many of our titles also provide additional digital resources that further enrich the research presented in the book. In this way readers can verify and participate in the academic discussion — and scholars can make further use of the primary material in their academic research. Read more about our innovative publications and see some examples.
All our titles are published using Creative Commons licences. These licences mean that you are in full control of your own copyright, and can choose how your work is used by other people. Many of our books are published under Creative Commons Attribution licences (CC BY) which allows others to copy, distribute, display and perform your copyrighted work, but ensures that they must give you full credit. All the same rules of plagiarism and citation apply to works under this licence. There are alternative Creative Commons licences available and we publish books under these licences too: it's up to you to decide how you want to licence your book. After publication you will be able to embed the free-to-read edition of your work on your website, social media page, blog and any other digital platform.
We use print-on-demand technology to provide attractive paperback and hardback editions of each monograph at affordable prices. This also means that it is easier to update and revise your book. All our books are printed by Lightning Source—one of the leading PoD companies widely used by university presses—and offer a high-quality and beautifully-designed final product. Our titles are also published in ebook formats (EPUB and MOBI/AZW3) and, of course, in multiple Open Access formats (PDF, HTML and XML). All our editions come from the same master file and they are all released on the same date: no embargo period. As we are a non-profit publisher, any revenue we generate from sales of print and digital editions goes back into publishing more high-quality monographs.
OBP offers careful evaluation of any proposal or sample material, and constructive feedback and advice throughout the process of publication. If you would like, we will consult you on every aspect of your book, from the cover design to the back page blurb. As we are a small and dedicated team, we are also able to offer a nuch speedier service than many academic book publishers. We aim to make publishing decisions within three months of receipt of the full MS, and we aim to conclude the publication process within three months of receiving the final MS. This can be enormously beneficial if you are applying for grants or jobs—your book will be in the public arena sooner. It is also beneficial for authors submitting their book for research assessment exercises.
OBP publishes monographs and textbooks in any area of the Humanities and Social Sciences and are also accepting book proposals in science, mathematics, and medicine. We also have a number of series that have issued calls for proposals. We do not publish doctoral dissertations. Our standard is at least as high as that of the most prestigious academic presses. To ensure that only submissions of the highest quality are published, we use a rigorous peer-review process. However our aim is to identify the best, or develop what can become the best, in discussion with the author and advisers, not just to follow a mechanistic procedure. So we encourage authors of quality manuscripts who may be inexperienced to get in contact with us to discuss their work.
OBP invites prospective authors to submit their complete, or near-complete, manuscript and book proposal via email to our Managing Editor, Dr Alessandra Tosi (firstname.lastname@example.org), using our Book Proposal Form.
A submission will only be considered where the manuscript has not been offered for publication elsewhere. There is no word limit or limit in the number of images included in our books, and other materials, including additional text, visual images (static and moving), and audio, can be added online if they would enhance the work.
Want to know more? Dig into the sources below.
Ask an OBP author: If you’ve read the information on this page and want to find out more about what it’s like to publish with us, email Professor Caroline Warman (caroline.warman@Jesus.ox.ac.uk), author of The Atheist's Bible: Diderot's ‘Éléments de physiologie’ (2020) and translator of Denis Diderot 'Rameau's Nephew' – 'Le Neveu de Rameau': A Multi-Media Bilingual Edition (2nd ed., 2016) and Tolerance: The Beacon of the Enlightenment (2016).
OA Books Toolkit: OAPEN have created a toolkit that aims to help authors to better understand open access book publishing and to increase trust in open access books. You will find relevant articles on open access book publishing from planning and funding to publication and reuse. Our Editor and Outreach Coordinator, Lucy Barnes, contributed to the toolkit and sits on its Editorial Advisory Board.
Recommended readings from our blog:
What should I ask a publisher about Open Access? by Lucy Barnes
Green, Gold, Diamond, Black – what does it all mean? by Lucy Barnes
Copyright and licensing – what do I need to know? by Lucy Barnes
The cost of Open Access books: a publisher writes by Lucy Barnes and Rupert Gatti