Guest post: A milestone for the open access book: 50,000 open access books in DOAB and counting

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This is a guest post by Tom Mosterd, DOAB

This post is available in Spanish and Portuguese

A milestone for open access – the Directory of Open Access Books now includes over 50,000 open access books published in 90 languages by 560 academic book publishers. The directory, representing scholarship from authors and publishers around the globe, is openly available to the scholarly community and the general public at large.

The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) – an initiative launched in 2012 inspired by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – indexes peer-reviewed open access books and provides information about its publishers. Today we celebrate a milestone for the open access community as we surpass the threshold of 50,000 open access books, while looking ahead at how we may, collectively, continue our efforts enabling open access books to thrive.

Both DOAB & SciELO Books are celebrating 10 years of operation this year in SciELO Books. For SciELO Books and its 20 participating academic presses, the main objective has been to take advantage of the Web, digital publishing and Open Access to increase books visibility. With a collection that has accumulated one thousand books in Open Access, SciELO Books succeeded to have an average of more than 10 million accesses per year” says Amanda Ramalho, SciELO Books Coordinator. “DOAB and its evolution as an Open Access trusted platform provide SciELO presses and their catalogs with international credibility and visibility.” 
Abel Packer, Director of SciELO Program

At the same time traditional presses are implementing new approaches, which avoid the use of book processing charges, enabling the publication of their books in open access. Presses such as the MIT Press, who introduced a new model called Direct to Open (D2O) in 2021, resulting in the release of its entire slate of Spring 2022 monographs and edited collections in open access; the University of Michigan Press with its Fund to Mission programme and Central European University Press and Liverpool University Press using the Opening the Future model, developed by the COPIM project.

The DOAB has become an essential platform for new and smaller open access presses to increase the visibility of their books and to make sure they feature in library catalogues, thus helping presses like Open Book Publishers and our colleagues in the ScholarLed consortium to grow and to become more established in the scholarly publishing landscape. Likewise it has supported more traditional presses as they take their first steps into open access book publishing with new funding models such as Opening the Future. The DOAB is an essential partner of the COPIM project as we build community-owned infrastructure, such as the Open Book Collective and the Thoth open metadata management system, which seek to find new ways to share the work of innovative OA book publishers and to forge partnerships between these presses and university libraries to support a larger and more open knowledge ecosystem.”
Rupert Gatti, co-founder and co-director, Open Book Publishers

Although we have seen encouraging growth of DOAB – now marked with this milestone of 50,000 open access books – as well as new models and experimentation with open access books, the road ahead for us all is still long as most academic books are still published with closed access. Further efforts such as the Open Book Collective and coordinated investment to enhance the transition to open access books is much needed.

About SciELO Books

SciELO Books is an integral part of the SciELO Program led by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), with the support of the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) of the Ministry of Education and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) of the Ministry of Science and Technology. It has also a pro-active political sponsorship of the associations of university presses of Brazil (ABEU) and of Latin America and the Caribbean (EULAC).

SciELO Books operates as a public policy envisaging to improve the development of capacities and infrastructures on the open access and progressively on open science digital publishing of academic books.


COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) is an international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, open access book publishers and infrastructure providers, funded by Research England and Arcadia Fund. It is building community-owned, open systems and infrastructures to enable open access book publishing to flourish.


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