IS research support



How to make books Open Access

Why Open Access books?

  • Reach a wider audience
  • Increase citations
  • Raise the University of Kent research profile
  • Demonstrate innovative research
  • Include multimedia content
  • Link back to primary sources



Books, book chapters and reports don't have to meet any Open Access requirements for the REF. But HEFCE has indicated that credit will be given to universities that provide open access to a wider range of outputs than just journal articles and conference papers.

Green Open Access

This route means you deposit a version of your work in the Kent Academic Repository (KAR).

  • This costs nothing.
  • It's most suitable for book sections and chapters.
  • It works for books which are published in print or online.
  • You need to get the permission of the publisher to put your work in KAR. Many publishers allow this. If you need advice, email
  • You are usually only allowed to use the Author Accepted Manuscript of a chapter.
  • You usually need to use an embargo, which means your work won't be Open Access until a set period of time has passed.

Gold Open Access

This route means that the author, institution or funder pays a book processing charge (BPC) to make the work Open Access. The University has funds available to pay these charges.

  • This route applies to e-books only.
  • Your book will be freely and publicly available online upon publication.
  • You choose the terms under which your work is shared and re-used by applying a Creative Commons licence.

Library partnerships and subscriptions

This route means that the University of Kent joins with other academic libraries through internationally coordinated schemes to pay fixed costs each year for collections of Open Access books. Examples are Knowledge Unlatched and Open Book Publishers.

You may be asked if you would like your book to be made Open Access as part of one of these schemes.

Choose the right Open Access publisher

Follow this checklist to make sure you choose a good quality, trusted publisher for your research:

  1. Do you or your colleagues know the publisher?
    1. Have you read any books from the publisher?
    2. Is it easy to discover other titles by them?
  2. Can you easily identify and contact the publisher?
    1. Is their name clearly displayed on the website?
    2. Can you contact them by phone, email, and post?
  3. Is the publisher clear about the type of peer review it uses?
  4. Are books by the publisher indexed in the catalogues, search engines and services that you use?
    1. Will you be able to refer to it in future online publications and communications?
    2. Will you be able to track use?
  5. Is it clear what fees will be charged, what they're for, and when they'll be charged?
  6. Will it be published under a Creative Commons licence?
  7. Do you recognise the editorial board?
    1. Have you heard of the editorial board members?
    2. Do the editorial board mention the publisher on their own websites?
  8. Is the publisher a member of a recognized industry initiative?
    1. Are they listed in the Directory of Open Access Books?
    2. Does the publisher belong to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA)?
    3. Is the publisher a member of another trade association?

We've adapted this list from the Think, Check, Submit checklist. 


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Last Updated: 26/04/2017