Open Access Publishing

iStock-1181533674 (1) (1)Editorial Director, Alex Pettifer discusses Elgar’s approach to assessing and publishing new Open Access titles.

In recent years, Open Access (OA) has been a term heard by academics with increasing frequency, largely as a result of top-down policy changes from governments, research funding bodies and academic institutions. Much of these new OA directives have been hotly debated, with Plan S for instance coming in for significant criticism with regards to the implications it might have on author choice and publishing diversity. Without wishing to delve too deeply into the rights and wrongs of this debate around the OA movement, it is clear that with research funders increasingly firmly behind OA, there is a growing demand from authors in the social sciences and law to publish their books with us in that format.

This continued evolution towards scholarly content increasingly being published Open Access is in line with our stated company mission, which is to enrich and support our academic and professional communities through creative commissioning and effective dissemination of high calibre content for a global audience, and by delivering a dynamic, responsive and efficient publishing service to authors, readers and customers.

As a result, we have put considerable thought into how best we can meet our authors and their funders’ OA expectations, without sacrificing our hard-won reputation for industry-leading author service. With this in mind, for readers without much direct experience thus far of OA book publishing, I have detailed below our approach to assessing and publishing new OA titles:

Book proposals

  • All scholarly OA books must first be accepted through the standard peer review process. This ensures our OA books are both of high academic quality and also a good fit with our lists in the social sciences and law. Practitioner law titles, and large scholarly reference works such as Encyclopedia, are not eligible to be published in this format. As with a conventional book, the starting point for commissioning an Open Access book is for the author or editor to submit a detailed proposal to the relevant Commissioning Editor.

Author service

  • All OA books receive the same high quality UK-based manuscript editing and production, including copyediting, typesetting, proof reading, cover design and indexing.
  • The author or editor and contributors will receive complimentary copies of the print book.
  • We will produce every book in both print and electronic formats with a unique jacket design, using quality materials that authors will be proud of.

Open Access standards

  • The OA version appears as a Digital Rights Management free PDF
  • Immediate availability on a CC-BY-NC-ND Creative Commons, or where applicable other license versions if mandated by a funder.
  • Complies with the OA policies of the Wellcome Trust, AHRC, European Union and most other major funding bodies.

Marketing and promotion

  • Every OA book will receive the same level of marketing and promotion enjoyed by all of our books including submission to relevant journals for review, international digital marketing, online promotion and conference exhibitions.

Wide dissemination

  • We will host the OA book or journal file for free download and deposit the web address in the Crossref DOI repository, allowing citation linking to the work.
  • Our Open Access books are made freely available on Elgaronline, ensuring immediate presence in the library catalogue at leading universities, and MARC records are included.
  • The metadata of our OA books and journal articles are shared with our discovery partners ensuring full text search through library technology platforms.
  • Inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), Google Books and Google Scholar for online discovery.
  • Authors may upload the file to an institutional repository or a discipline-based repository or archive, citing the published version.
  • We will provide Authors with a full PDF of the book so they can self-archive OA books in their University’s repository and add to a personal websites.


  • As well as dissemination though multiple eBook channels the Open Access book or journal article will be archived with Portico to ensure future preservation and access.


  • These start at £6,500 for single authored books, and £9,000 for edited books, plus applicable taxes, and rise according to the length of the manuscript. The fees reflect the significant investment we make in producing and marketing a book to our high standards. Full details of our OA fees can be found on our website here.

To browse our published OA titles, please click here, or for any further questions or to discuss a proposal, please contact the relevant member of our commissioning team we would be delighted to hear from you.

Full details of our Open Access publishing can be found here.



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