Open Book Publishers

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Open Book Publishers
OBP logo.JPG
Founded2008 (2008)
FounderRupert Gatti, Alessandra Tosi and William St Clair
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationCambridge, England
Publication typesBooks

Open Book Publishers (OBP) is an open access academic book publisher based in the United Kingdom. It is a non-profit social enterprise and community interest company (CIC) that promotes open access for full academic monographs, critical editions and textbooks in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics and Science. All OBP books are peer-reviewed.[1][2]

All OBP titles are available in free, open access editions in PDF and XTML formats on the publisher’s website, and a number of platforms including Google Books, Worldreader, OpenEdition, DOAB, The European Library and Europeana.[3] Some editions are hosted on Wikiversity in socially editable format (e.g. In the Lands of the Romanovs: An Annotated Bibliography).[4] Readers in developing countries can access OBP titles using e-readers and 2G mobile phones via Worldreader.


Open Book Publishers was founded in 2008 by Rupert Gatti and Alessandra Tosi, both academics from the University of Cambridge. William St Clair joined OBP in 2009. OBP is now the biggest open access academic publisher of monographs in the UK. By the Spring of 2016, it had 77 books in its catalogue, all of which are free to read online.[5] With print on demand technology OBP titles are also available in paperback and hardback editions.

Business model[edit]

As open access monographs, the full text of all books published by OBP is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses, although some third party content (e.g. images and music) is not.

OBP has four main sources of revenue:

1. Sales Revenue: Along with the free editions, the publisher retails five different editions (hardback, paperback, epub, mobi, and an enhanced pdf). These editions are sold via their website and through all the expected retail channels (Amazon, etc.).

2. Publishing Grants: Though OBP does not impose a mandatory publishing charge on authors, they do encourage authors to apply for grants to offset publication costs.

3. Library Membership Scheme: Member libraries pay an annual fee of £300 (or $500/€400), and OBP in turn provides a range of reader-targeted benefits for members of the subscribing university.

4. OBP Grants and Donations: general donations and grants given directly to OBP to support their work.[6]

OBP organized a campaign to republish an out-of-print book by Ruth Finnegan through the crowd source funding platform[7][8] OBP uses Print on Demand in the production of their paper editions. As a not-for-profit enterprise, all excess revenue of OBP is reinvested and this enables OBP to publish peer-reviewed books by authors with limited funding. Academic merits and public value are the determining factors of publication decisions.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Finnegan, Ruth (11 August 2011). "Open Access: taking academic publishing out of ivory tower". The Independent. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  2. ^ Gatti, Rupert (2011). "CAM Debate: Access All Areas". Cambridge Alumni Magazine, Issue 62, 2011. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  3. ^ [1].
  4. ^ Cross, Anthony (2014). "In the Lands of the Romanovs". Wikiversity. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  5. ^ Open Book Publisher (2016). "Catalogue of Open Book Publisher". Open Book Publisher Website. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  6. ^ Gatti, Rupert (2015). "Introducing Data to the Open Access Debate: OBP's Business Model (Part Three)". Open Book Publishers. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  7. ^ Turin, Mark (19 June 2012). ""Unglue" a landmark of African cultural studies". Cambridge Research News. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  8. ^ Chen, Angela (19 June 2012). "Start-Up Hopes to Create Free Digital Versions of Published Books". Cambridge Research News. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  9. ^ Pauli, Michelle (2011). "Open Book Publishers: Cambridge scholars taking monograph publishing into their own hands". Open Access Success Stories. Retrieved 17 June 2012.

External links[edit]