Open access monographs

Universities UK Open Access Monographs working group

The UUK OA monograph group, chaired by Professor Roger Kain (Professor of Humanities, School of Advanced Study) has been tasked with monitoring and evaluating progress towards open access publishing for academic books.

The group was established late 2016, on the recommendation of Professor Adam Tickell's independent advice on open research to the former Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson. The group's remit is to:

  1. Monitor and evaluate progress towards OA book publishing.
  2. Promote and accelerate cultural change towards OA publishing within academia and among traditional publishers.
  3. Advise on technical barriers to OA publishing and make recommendations for further work and investment.
  4. Promote innovation and diversity in business models for OA book publishing, including potentially via encouraging support for existing pilots
  5. Advise on how best to overcome perceived and actual policy and legal barriers to OA, including to funders, third-party rights holders, academic communities and publishers.

Read the Terms of Reference for the UUK OA monograph WG (PDF)


Thursday 4 October 2018

Open access monographs: an event for publishers

This one day workshop aimed at publishers and those with an active role in open access policy for monographs to explore a broad 

range of issues around the monograph landscape and what needs to be considered and debated when considering OA policy. The workshop was led by the Publishers Association on behalf of the UUK Monographs Group.

Please contact Helen Snaith for further details

An event report will be published in early 2019.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Open access monographs: an event for learned societies and subject associations

This one-day event, co-organised by the UUK OA monograph working group and the Arts and Humanities Alliance (AHA) aimed at fostering an open dialogue around the current state of play – and the future of – open access monographs. Providing a space for learned societies and subject associations to discuss the challenges and the benefits of OA, the event brought together almost 100 representatives from stakeholders across the HE sector.

You can access slides from the event below: 

2018-09 OA Monographs_Publisher Panel_Springer Nature (PDF) – Ros Pyne

2018-09 OA Monographs Publisher Panel University of Michigan press (PDF) – Charles Watkinson

2018-09 OA Monographs Publisher Panel UCL Press (PDF) – Lara Speicher

2018-09 OA Monographs Publisher Panel OPB (PDF) – Rupert Gatti

Current activities

The UUK OA monograph group have appointed fullstopp Gmbh to collect and analyse data that will seek to answer a set of challenges and questions posed by sector representatives. The main aim of this work is to provide a robust evidence base that will be used to inform future policy decisions on OA. fullstopp's questions for qualitative interviews (PDF) are available.  

We are particularly interested in understanding the specific challenges and barriers (perceived and real) from a range of stakeholders including (but not limited to): learned societies and subject associations, Pro-Vice-Chancellors (Research), research librarians, publishers (commercial, new university presses and academic-led presses) and funding organisations.

The consultant will carry out interviews with a representative sample of these key stakeholders in order to pinpoint practical challenges such as technical issues, licensing arrangements and book sales.  An online survey will also be distributed to stakeholders not included in this initial sample.

The consultant will then seek to address challenges specific to OA monograph publishing (where possible) by conducting a quantitative analysis of data available from publishers, funding organisations and HEIs (including libraries).

This project is funded by Research England, Jisc, the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Universities, publishers and learned societies looking to participate in this study should contact for further information. 

A final report will be published in Spring 2019.


The group is chaired by Professor Roger Kain (Professor of Humanities, School of Advanced Study, and Vice President Research and HE Policy, British Academy).  It members are representatives and experts from funding bodies, academic leadership, research administration and publishers (including traditional, commercial, university and academic-led presses).

The partners recognise the wide interest in this work and expect to contact and involve other stakeholders in their discussions. The membership is provided below.

Professor Roger Kain (Professor of Humanities, School of Advanced Study, University of London and Vice President (Research and HE Policy) British Academy. (Chair)

Alison Jones, Managing Editor, Open Access (Oxford University Press)

Allison McCaig, REF Project Manager, University of Central Lancashire. Representing the Association for Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA)

Chris Banks, Assistant Provost, Director of Library Services, Imperial College, London.

David Prosser, Director, Research Libraries, UK (RLUK)

Frances Pinter, Founder of Knowledge Unlatched.

Graham Stone, Senior Research Manager, Jisc

Diego Baptista, Open Research Coordinator, Wellcome

Helen Snaith, Senior Policy Advisor, Research England.

Janneke Adema, Research Fellow Digital Media, Coventry University

Lara Speicher, Publishing Manager, UCL Press

Maja Maricevic, Head of Higher Education, British Library

Professor Martin Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing, Birkbeck, University of London and CEO of Open Library of Humanities (OLH). Representing OLH.

Nicola Ramsey, Head of Editorial (Books), Edinburgh University Press

Professor Nigel Vincent, Professor Emeritus of General and Romance Linguistics, University of Manchester, and Fellow of the British Academy. Representing the British Academy.

Professor Roey Sweet, Professor of Urban History, University of Leicester and Director of Partnerships and Engagements at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Representing the AHRC.

Richard Parsons, Director and University Librarian, University of Dundee. Representing the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Ros Pyne, Head of Policy and Development, Open Research, Springer Nature.

Rupert Gatti, Director of Studies in Economics, Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and co-founder of Open Book Publishers (OPB). Representing OPB.

Professor Susan Bruce, Professor of English, Keele University and co-Chair of the Arts and Humanities Alliance (AHA). Representing the AHA.

The WG also includes a small group of consultants which are regularly consulted on matters regarding OA academic books. The consultants are:

Eelco Ferwerda, Director, OAPEN

Professor Geoff Crossick, Professor of the Humanities, School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Michael Jubb, Director, Jubb Consulting


Meeting minutes can be viewed below. The next UUK OA monograph WG meeting is scheduled to take place in November 2018 (date TBC).

Meeting 1 (PDF)

Meeting 2 (PDF)

Meeting 3 (PDF)

Meeting 4 (PDF)

Steering Group - Meeting note 30 October 2018 (PDF)

External reports on open access and monographs

British Academy 'Open access and monographs: Where are we now?'

Royal Historical Society 'Open-Access and long-form (book) publishing in the 2027 REF exercise'

Professor Geoffrey Crossick 'Monographs and open access: a report to HEFCE'

Open Access and Monographs

For further information please contact Helen Snaith

 The team

portrait of charlie coyte

Charlotte Coyte

Policy Analyst
Universities UK

Daniel Wake

Daniel Wake

Policy Manager
Universities UK


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