May 16, 2022

New Report Looks at How Monographs Fit Into the World Of Open Access Research

The following report was published earlier this week.

From the Higher Education Funding Council For England (HEFCE):

The Monographs and Open Access Project considers the place of monographs in the arts, humanities and social science disciplines, and
how they fit into the developing world of open access to research. It concludes open access for monographs has a great deal to contribute to scholarly communication, but that the challenges of introducing it will be real and policy should take account of the various issues identified in the report.

Important messages in the report are that:

  • Monographs are a vitally important and distinctive vehicle for research communication, and must be sustained in any moves to open access. The availability of printed books alongside the open-access versions will be essential.
  • It concludes that contrary to many perceptions, it would not be appropriate to talk of a crisis of the monograph; this does not mean that monographs are not facing challenges, but the arguments for open access would appear to be for broader and more positive reasons than solving some supposed crisis.
  • Open access offers both short- and long-term advantages for monograph publication and use; many of these are bound up with a transition to digital publishing that has not been at the same speed as that for journals.
  • There is no single dominant emerging business model for supporting open-access publishing of monographs; a range of approaches will coexist for some time and it is unlikely that any single model will emerge as dominant. Policies will therefore need to be flexible.”

Direct to Full Text of News Release and Next Steps

Download Main Report and Additional Materials

What’s Available

  • Main Report
  • Annex 1: Membership of Expert Reference Group and international experts
  • Annex 2: List of individuals and organisations consulted during this project
  • Annex 3: Patterns of scholarly communication in the humanities and
    social sciences
  • Annex 4: Economic analysis of business models for open access monographs
  • Annex 5: OAPEN-UK survey of humanities and social science researchers– further analysis of results
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.