Palgrave Open: a traditional publisher's OA monograph offer

At Palgrave Macmillan, we regularly survey our authors on their views, needs and attitudes to open access (OA), and our global panel is made up of 1,200 researchers from across the humanities and social sciences (HSS). In our most recent survey, 70% of respondents thought that open access is beneficial to HSS and 55% thought immediate open access publication of monographs would be a good idea. We have offered an OA option for journal articles through Palgrave Open since 2011, and following our research we extended Palgrave Open to monographs in early 2013.

Palgrave Open offers authors the option to publish their research open access immediately on publication, subject to payment of a publication charge. Of course, they are still welcome to publish in the traditional way too.

Focusing on quality

The range of different business models, pilots, embargo periods, green versus gold and the different licensing types can make the OA landscape complex. Our aim was to offer authors choice, to provide a business model that would be sustainable, and to maintain the quality of our publishing service, and to do so as transparently and simply as we could.

Authors are promised the exact same high-quality service, regardless of whether they choose to publish their monograph open access or not. This includes everything from editorial guidance and expertise, to peer review, marketing, production, dissemination and available digital formats, sales support and long-term preservation of the research. For this reason, we assume all titles will be published under the traditional model and it is only once the final manuscript has been accepted for publication, after peer review, that we ask authors to confirm whether they would like the title to be published open access.

Open means open

Palgrave Open publishes monographs under the permissive CC BY licence (alternative licences are available on request), which allows users to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as they credit the authors for the original creation. Authors are able to meet the requirements of funders and take advantage of the opportunities for innovation and wide dissemination.

Unlike many other OA publisher offerings, all our digital formats are made available open access; both the PDF and EPUB e-books are made available via Palgrave Connect (complete with freely available to download MARC records) and other vendors and retailers, including Amazon Kindle.

Of course, print copies are still available. These are printed on demand, and are priced lower than our standard monographs to take into account the fact that the content is open access.

In November 2013, we were pleased to publish our first OA book funded by the Wellcome Trust, Fungal Disease in Britain and the United States 1850–2000, (£15 PB; £20 HB) and we hope to publish many more.

The publication charge

The publication charge for monographs is set at £11,000 (or £7,500 for Palgrave Pivot, our mid-form publication), and offering a CC BY licence also means that we do not intend to make any additional revenues beyond this publication charge. The charge reflects a price that we believe is sustainable and supports the costs involved in the publishing service, ensuring the continued future of this important publication format.

“The charge reflects a price that we believe is sustainable and supports the costs …”