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Scholarly Communication: Can I make my books open access?

The Scholarly Communications committee provides Bucknell’s faculty scholars with customized information, education, and guidance as well as the technical resources and support services needed throughout all steps of the scholarly communications process.


Great question! The short and broad answer is, it depends. Reach out to us at and we can work on your individual case!

Bucknell’s Open Access Policy only covers peer-reviewed articles. We know that in many fields, scholarly monographs or contributed chapters are just as common or more common than articles, and there is a growing movement to make a wider array of these materials “open”. 

If you have published a book or chapter and want to make it Green OA:

A growing number of academic publishers allow for limited self-archiving, with the largest publishers making their policies available online. Below is one example of a timetable, as one part of Cambridge Press’s Green-OA policy

 A table showing an example of a publisher's policies on self-archiving. This table shows that the preprint can be shared at any time. The author can share one chapter of their accepted manuscript or the version of record six months after publication. Authors can self-archive on their personal web page, a department or institutional repository, a non-commercial subject repository, or a commercial repository or social media site

Searching “[Publisher name] self-archiving” or “[Publisher name] green oa policy” (you may have to include “books” in your search if your publisher also publishes a large number of journals) will likely take you to a relevant page if one exists. 

If no clear policy exists or is available to you, you can always reach out to your publisher or request that the scholarly communications officer ( reach out on your behalf to learn what is possible.


If you want to ensure that you can make your upcoming work Green OA:

Make understanding the self-archiving policy part of your research and publishing decisions by following the above advice pre-emptively. Keep in mind, because of the different nature of a monograph vs a chapter, very few publishers will allow you to self-archive large portions of a monograph. 

If a self-archiving policy does not exist or is more restrictive than you’d like, you can work with L&IT and your publisher to use or adapt an author addendum, like this one from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

There may be cases where a funder of your research requires it to be Open Access. Working with your funder, us, your publisher, and an organization like OAPEN is the best option.


If you want to publish Diamond or Gold Open Access:

This directory of open access books can be used to find publishers who are publishing works in your field.

There are a growing number of Diamond OA book publishers, such as Open Book Publishers, based in the UK. Diamond Open book publishing is more common and formalized in the EU and UK because of funding norms and funder requirements. 

Many non-commercial and for-profit academic publishers rely on authors, research funders, or the author’s institution to cover the costs of publication. Costs can be quite steep, ranging from thousands of dollars for a chapter and tens of thousands for a whole book. A growing number of university presses (example subvention statement from Amherst University) in the United States do not charge authors to publish, and alternative sustainable models are emerging.