Report Open Access

Collaborative models for OA book publishers

Stone, Graham; Błaszczyńska, Marta; Lebon, Chloé; Morka, Agata; Mosterd, Tom; Mounier, Pierre; Proudman, Vanessa; Speicher, Lara; Melinščak Zlodi, Iva

There have been significant recent developments in the OA publishing world, and an increasing focus on monographs in particular. There are a number of existing and emerging OA monograph policies, which are leading to an increased focus on business models. Given this dynamic landscape, it was felt that a more in-depth understanding was needed of European monograph publishers’ current business models for open access, their challenges, and their views on how infrastructure for open access monographs could be improved. This white paper builds on the previous OPERAS Business Models Special Interest Group white paper on Business Models for Open Access (Speicher, et al., 2018).


In particular, OPERAS wished to gain a better understanding about how the social sciences and humanities (SSH) publishing community applies or could apply collaborative models for open access books, and what issues it encounters in this context. We further wanted to recognise the challenges publishers faced when engaging with or thinking about engaging in collaborative models for OA books. Are there sufficient funds, enough human resources? Are relevant infrastructures in place? What kind of support is needed?


This white paper reports on an OPERAS survey, which was held between February and April 2021 and was designed to serve two core aims:


  1. To further our understanding of the scholarly publishing landscape and of the challenges that publishers face in the context of publishing OA monographs.

  2. To identify main trends (including opportunities and challenges) and the knowledge of collaborative funding and infrastructure models in OA publishing in SSH. 


The survey received a total of 77 responses from 17 countries: 14 EU states, the UK, Norway, and the United States. The results provide a more comprehensive insight into how OPERAS can make a tangible change and best support the community in building sustainable paths of transition towards collaborative models for open access books. This white paper presents some early observations from the preliminary analysis of the findings.


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