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Open Access funding for research monographs – University of Reading

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Open Access funding for research monographs

Benefits of Open Access monograph publishing

High quality research published in a monograph can be made more visible and have greater impact if published as an Open Access monograph.

  • It is increasingly difficult for libraries to purchase every research monograph and make them available to students and researchers. With print-only monograph publishing, it is difficult to reach a wider audience quickly, with the result that citations are delayed by several years. Making your monograph Open Access has the potential to increase citations and to do this more quickly.
  • It can be of benefit to early career researchers to get their work more widely read, but established researchers are also likely to benefit from an instant audience, extending international and inter-disciplinary reach, and public engagement. Open Access monographs will increase the profile of individual researchers, with a positive impact on the research reputation of the University.
  • Although there were initial concerns that making a monograph Open Access would reduce print sales, publishers confirm that Open Access can actually increase print sales. This is because most researchers prefer to read an entire monograph in print, so after sampling an Open Access monograph they may then decide to purchase, or recommend to a library for purchase.
  • Open Access also means that the copyright for the monograph rests with the author, rather than the publisher.

Sources of funding

Applying for funding

In order to request funding, please complete the Open Access monograph funding request form. Ideally this should be done at about the time when you are negotiating a contract with a publisher. If you have any questions relating to this please contact Further information about some of these categories can be found below.

There is no set limit for each request, though you should be mindful of cost as it will be a factor considered as part of the request. Please note that funds are limited, so an assessment will be made by a small panel and the results communicated to you as soon as possible. Priority will be given to monographs which will be published before and submitted as part of the next REF. If funds are exhausted in one financial year, you may have to decide to publish without University funding for Open Access or to apply again in the next financial year.


The first point of call for funding should be your external funder, if you have one.

Wellcome Trust require all monographs and chapters for which they have provided funding to be made Open Access. They will not pay publishers directly, so if you have a Wellcome Trust grant you will need to provide us with details of your Wellcome Trust contacts and publisher contacts. The University will pay the publisher, then claim back the costs from Wellcome. Wellcome will only put funds in your grant, so if your grant is live they will put the funds there, and if it is not they will create a new grant. The University will then claim back these costs by internal transfer.

Open Access monograph costs are considered to be an allowable cost in AHRC and ESRC grant applications. These may be included as a "Directly Incurred Other Cost" and will need to be fully justified in any new grant application. It is important to put in a case for Open Access costs when you put in your research grant application. This applies to all funders, who may have similar options, so be sure to find out if a funder will pay the cost before applying to the University for funds. Costs can be claimed from funders as long as the grant is still live.
You should also consider requesting contributions from your School or Research Division.


Where you publish is down to you, but you should always consider the possible reach of the publisher you select, and this includes their ability to publish monographs as Open Access. There are many developing options for Open Access monograph publishing, which cost less than the more traditional publishers, and more are likely to emerge in the next few years. Many of the University presses have options for Open Access monograph publishing, as do commercial publishers, though the costs tend to be higher. In all cases publishers should be able to provide costs. As different models emerge, we expect monograph Open Access charges to come down over the course of time.

Chapters in edited collections

We do not pay Open Access fees for whole edited collections, but it is worth noting that many publishers allow chapters to be deposited in an institutional repository. It is always preferable to sign up to publishers that permit green Open Access in the first instance. If you have a chapter in an edited collection, please check with your publisher which version they will permit you to deposit in an institutional repository. If this is not possible, you should enquire about costs of publishing specific chapters as Open Access. You should then use the OA monograph request form to make a request.

Copyright costs for images

Particularly in the humanities, copyright costs can be incurred for the use of images in publications, and making them Open Access can incur an additional fee. We understand that it can be to the detriment of many monographs if the reader cannot see the images contained in the print version, so we will consider any requests for copyright clearance fees to make the images available in the Open Access version of the monograph.


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