May 18, 2022

Final Report of Five Year Study on Open Access Monographs in Humanities and Social Sciences

The final report about the UK OAPEN-UK study was released today.  The work was funded by Jisc and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), two UK organizations.

From the report:

oapen-report-coverOAPEN-UK was a five year study into open access monograph publishing. When the project was established in 2010, open access policy and debates focused mainly on journals, especially those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Jisc and the AHRC funded OAPEN-UK to look at open access for monographs – at that time a relatively novel idea – because books are such an important way for researchers in the humanities and social sciences to communicate their findings. The project has worked collaboratively with other initiatives over the last five years as interest in open access monographs has grown.

While achieving a coherent OA strategy for monographs is not without its challenges, based on our research we’ve arrived at a series of recommendations that have three core principles at their heart.

We need plurality

Research in the humanities and social sciences is diverse, as is publishing; both the methods by which researchers and their monographs are funded, and the publishing process itself, can take a variety of forms.

We need partnerships

As well as the various stakeholder groups we consulted who I mentioned earlier, our research highlighted the number of other vendors, third parties and system providers that also needed to be involved in dialogue about open access models for monographs.

We need pellucidity

The path to OA for monographs is not a smooth one. Various factors interplaying – including recognising that monographs are different to journals, and each other, that there are subtleties in relationships, that a variety of perspectives exist even when you share a common goal; and that many models are better than one – all make for a rather muddled environment.


Direct to Complete Blog Post/Summary

Direct to Full Text-OAPEN Final Report (46 pages; PDF)

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.