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Open access publishing

This guide introduces open access, its benefits, the different models, APCs, policies and resources, and OA @ RMIT University.

Publishing models

You may choose to publish your research as a book or book chapter. There are several open access publishing models covering these.

Hybrid models

Many open access book publishers offer a hybrid open access model. An online or PDF version of the book is available for free while other editions are available for sale, either as print-on-demand hard copy or as an e-book.

Institutionally supported publication

This model is comparable to gold open access where an article process charge (APC) ensures immediate and permanent free access.

It is a common model with university or library-based presses, who may provide support in the form of infrastructure or staff while charging a fee to allow the book to be published open access. Commercial publishers may also charge an open access fee.  These fees would generally be covered by the author's funder.

If you wish to publish your research as an open access book, consider embedding the fee cost in your funding application.

Library-based models

Some academic libraries are developing models which dedicate some of their budget to support open access book publishing, sometimes through consortia such as Knowledge Unlatched.  RMIT University Library does not currently offer financial assistance for open publishing of research outputs.


Mainly used to provide open access to back titles, as the name suggests this model invites donation towards releasing a book as an open access publication.

Green open access

Similar to green open access publishing for journal articles, this model allows for a version of a book to be made open access online (for example in an institutional research repository), while a printed edition is sold to cover the costs. If your research output is ERA compliant, you may choose a publisher that allows an open access version to be submitted to the RMIT University Research Repository.

Commercial models

Some publishers are now offering to publish books or book chapters fully open access on a fee basis. See IGI Global for an example of one such model. The MIT Press have launched the Direct to Open (D2O) framework on their MIT Press e-book platform. Liverpool University Press and The University of Michigan Press have also committed to open access models. 

Acknowledgement to Curtin University Library
Ferwerda, E. (2014). Open access monograph business models. Insights, 27(S), 35-38.

Choosing a publisher

Be wary of predatory publishers

While platforms exist for self-publishing monographs at minimal cost, these may be predatory publishers. Be wary of print-on-demand, vanity publishers and publishers specialising in thesis publication. 

Such publishers:

  • do not offer peer review or editorial services
  • do not comply with HERDC requirements
  • may compromise your ability to publish the research elsewhere in academic journals or with other reputable publishers

Reputable publishers

The Open Access Australasia website lists some reputable publishers offering open access models for monographs, and provides indicative costs for various publishers.