The future of Open Access Books

19 June, 2019

This is to draw your attention to a White Paper published today by the Springer Nature publishing house, reporting on the results of a survey they conducted of over 2,500 academic book authors about the idea of open access for books (similar to what is now the case for many journals). The White Paper is available here:

The main findings were as follows:

- The majority of book authors support the idea that all future scholarly books should be open access

- Pro-open access attitudes are stronger among junior researchers, researchers based in Europe and Asia, and previous open access book authors

- Ethical reasons (equality in access), and reaching a larger audience are identified as key motivations for choosing open access for books

- Lack of awareness, concerns about quality, and lack of funding are barriers to OA publication

- The majority of book authors want more financial support from funders for open access book publication

- Gold open access is the most preferred policy for open access books

- Reputation of publishers matters less to open access book authors but is still the deciding factor for publication.

A summary of the types of access (from a nice introduction to Open Acccess at :


Green Route: The author can self-archive at the time of submission of the publication whether the publication is grey literature, a peer-reviewed journal publication, a peer-reviewed conference proceedings paper or a monograph

Gold Route: The author or author institution can pay a fee to the publisher at publication time, the publisher thereafter making the material available 'free' at the point of access

Preprints: Preprints are articles that are pre-peer-review

Postprints: Postprints are articles that are post-peer-review

eprints: eprints can be preprints or postprints but in electronic form

White literature: White literature is peer-reviewed, published articles

Grey literature: Grey literature is preprints or internal 'know-how' material.



Chris Zielinski

Blogs: and

Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT

His publications are at and and his blogs are and