Published 8 September 2020

What should be agreed with the publisher if I want to publish my book open access?1, 2, 3

If the publisher has agreed to publish the manuscript open access, under an open access licence, the agreement should contain specific terms:

  • The author retains his or her copyright and licenses specific rights, including publication rights, to the publisher. Alternatively, the author can assign copyright to the publisher provided that the work is made freely available for further distribution under the terms of an open licence (Author Alliance, 2015).

  • As the work will be made freely available, the publisher cannot claim exclusive publication rights. However, the publisher may ask for first publication rights.

  • The publisher agrees to publish the work under an open licence, typically a Creative Commons (CC) licence. The publisher may have a preference for the licence under which they publish open access books, but legally this is a decision for the copyright holder. If you are obliged by a funder or institution to make the work freely available, the agreement should conform to the requirements set out in its open access policy. This may include a provision for the type of Creative Commons licence that can be used.

  • In return for publishing the manuscript open access, the publisher may negotiate a fee, the ‘book processing charge (BPC)’ or ‘open access publication fee’. This fee may be covered under the terms of a research grant, or through a contribution from the research funder, or by your institution.

The following toolkit article(s) address(es) this question:

Contracting and copyright

Last edited on 8 September 2020, at 12:36 (+0000)