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Scholarly Communication


Where does the money come from?

The majority of University and scholarly society presses that publish on open access monographs do not charge authors or readers, except for those ordering print copies.The OAPEN-UK HSS Researcher Survey (between Feb-May 2012) examined the source of funding for research underpinning authors’ last HSS monograph and found that only 22% came from research council grants, whereas 62% came from core university funds or self-funding.

The Open Book Publishers membership scheme (OBP) is a new agreement from Jisc Collections that supports the publication of Open Access research monographs. By joining this scheme, member institutions will support the publication of at least twelve new Open Access research monographs every year. For an annual fee of £270 member institutions can also offer all staff, students and alumni with a discount on any print copies of OBP titles. Any print sales to member institutions are offset against membership fees in the following year.

How much do commercial publishers charge for OA monographs?

As with open access journals there is a need for a new business model. The Wellcome Trust extended their open access policy to include monographs in 2013. They estimate: "the fee for existing open access options - ensuring all published material is converted to XML, and then made available in html and PDF - for books currently averages around £9,500, and we anticipate the average cost to make a book chapter open access will be £1,800".

This book price seems to be halfway between what is charged by traditional publishers offering and OA option, and OA only publishers. Prices seem to vary considerably (note prices from May 2015)

Cambridge University Press Standard charge is £6500 for a work of up to 120,000 words and £1600 per additonal words. Illustrated will incur a charge of £25 per figure
MUP Open Monograph Up to 80K words £5900, 80-100K words £6500, 100-120k words £7100, 120-140K £7700. Note if authors provide camera ready copy – charge could be up to 50% less
Open Book Publishers £3,500 – £5,000 Typical cost – depending on length of manuscript & no of images
Ubiquity Press £2,860-£9,340 – Typical cost – depending on length of manuscript, number of images and level of service
SpringerOpen Website says this varies depending on the title, but €15,000 per title is a good ballpark
Palgrave Open £11,000 per title
Brill Open CC-BY-NC (350 pages) €5,150


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