A brief saga about open access books





Open access, Monographs, Humanities, Social Sciences, Academic books, Research libraries, Research funders, Open infrastructures


Monographs and academic books are increasingly becoming a focus point in the open access debate and policy developments. This article gives a personal account of the rationale behind open access book publishing and open infrastructures for books. It elaborates on the need for collaboration between the actors in the community in order to sustain open access book publishing to the benefit of the scholarly community and the public at large.


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Author Biography

Niels Stern, OAPEN Foundation

Niels Stern is director of OAPEN. He began his career in scholarly book publishing in 2003 with an emphasis on marketing and digital publishing. In this capacity he became a co-founder of the OAPEN project in 2008. Moving on to the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2011 as head of publishing he created a Nordic open access policy and publication repository. Since 2014 Niels Stern has acted as independent expert for the European Commission on open science and e-infrastructures. He has evaluated and reviewed numerous European projects, e.g. HIRMEOS and OPERAS-D. In 2017 he joined the Royal Danish Library as head of department, managing licence portfolios for five universities and serving as chief negotiator for the national licence consortium.

Niels Stern holds a Master of Arts degree from University of Copenhagen (Nordic Literature and Languages) and a Master of Arts degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London (Communication). He has published articles on open access and other subjects and in 2017 he co-authored the Knowledge Exchange Landscape study on monographs and open access together with Frances Pinter and Eelco Ferwerda.


Benefits of open access book publishing for early career researchers. Published 29 September 2020. Available at https://oabooks-toolkit.org/article/6528689-benefits-of-open-access-book-publishing-for-early-career-researchers

Emery, Christina, Mithu Lucraft, Agata Morka and Ros Pyne (2017). The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books? https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5559280.v1

Snijder, Ronald (2019). The deliverance of open access books: examining usage and dissemination. Doctoral thesis. https://hdl.handle.net/1887/68465 DOI: https://doi.org/10.26530/OAPEN_1004809




How to Cite

Stern, Niels. 2021. “A brief saga about open access books”. Nordic Perspectives on Open Science 6 (March). https://doi.org/10.7557/11.5751.