University and Independent Publishers Increasingly Integrate Open Access into their Books Programs and Business Models

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2018-01-19

As scholarly publications in Open Access meet with grassroots interest and demonstrate significant visibility statistics, beyond the Directory of Open Access Books, initiatives in this publishing sector maintain model distinctiveness, encourage alternative impact metrics and remain marginal to publishing house output.


As De Gruyter celebrates the expansion of its Open Access book roster to over 1,000 scholarly publications in English, German and other languages in both PDF and ePub formats across its various imprints, e.g., De Gruyter, De Gruyter Open, De Gruyter Oldenbourg, De Gruyter Mouton, and transcript Verlag, this indicates the maturation of this format, especially since its model relies on book processing fees and institutional partnerships, such as that with the Institute of Contemporary History (Institut für Zeitgeschichte) this publishing house has. However, despite the high quality, academic relevance and growing presence of Open Access offerings in the book publishing sector, it remains balkanized.

More specifically, the diversity of Open Access book initiatives both within and across publishers, their underlying business models and end-user file formats and license terms may pose barriers to the discoverability of their content. Thus, on January 19, 2018, the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) indicates that De Gruyter offers 397 publications in Open Access under its 5 imprints, 5 Creative Commons license types, in English (244), German (166), French (31), Arabic (3) and Chinese (3) languages and across its back-list and more recent catalogues. In contrast, De Gruyter’s website indicates a much more extensive presence of Open Access books across different subject areas, such as 297 in Social Sciences.

By Pablo Markin

The full-length original blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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