and    present

Open Access Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences Conference (#OAbooks)

1 and 2 July 2013, The British Library, London

On the 1 and 2 July 2013, JISC Collections, in partnership with OAPEN Foundation, held the Open Access Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences conference (#OAbooks). Hosted at the British Library and sponsored by Jisc, AHRC, ESRC, FWF and NWO, the conference was attended by over 250 delegates from across the world and from all areas of scholarly communications.

Chaired by Martin Hall, Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford, the conference provided the opportunity to discuss the challenges of moving to an open access model for monographs, learn about new initiatives and to share ideas for where collaboration could help support the adoption of open access monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences (HSS).

Please visit the links below to view videos, presentations and see the conference programme. A full report of the conference is being written and will be made available online.

Conference Report, Oct 13

The conference report provides an overview of all presentations and contains recommendations for all stakeholders involved in monograph publishing. In addition, all presentations are available on slideshare and most of the sessions were recorded.

Distilled right down, the key messages that came out of the conference were these:

  • Open access for monographs is not only possible but necessary if we want to be able to innovate, to communicate and disseminate humanities and social science research widely, and to build a sustainable future for the monograph
  • Effective quality assurance is key to the successful adoption of OA publishing
  • Collaboration throughout the supply chain and across national boundaries will be required
  • We must be flexible and willing to accommodate innovative models, not only to sustain the monograph, but for peer review, impact and reputation.

The full report is available to download as a PDF.

Conference Programme

The conference was held over two days. The first day started with a keynote by Jean-Claude Guedon and was followed by presentations on copyright and Creative Commons, peer review and quality, promising business models and a panel session called HSS after Finch. On the second day, we had showcases from a number of innovative initiatives that are really experimenting with new models and methods of publishing in open access. We also held three strands: one for researchers, one for librarians and publishers and one for research funders before closing the conference with a keynote by Cameron Neylon.

view the conference programme / download the programme
download speaker bios / download delegate list


The conference twitter tag is #OAbooks. We encourage you to continue to use this tag for tweets that are relevant to open access monographs.

Read the official comprehensive storify of the conference created by Kirsty Pitkin.

Twitter discussions, including commentary of the parallel strands and showcase sessions, are available at


We recorded the whole of the first day and the closing keynote on the second day. We have made these available in YouTube on the OAbooks channel. You can also link through to the videos from the conference programme.


We have placed all the presentations into slideshare. You can also link through to the presentations from the conference programme. Please note that we are waiting for some presentations so there may be some gaps.

Guide to Creative Commons for Humanities and Social Science Monograph Authors

At the conference we launched this guide which is an output of the OAPEN-UK project. The guide explores concerns expressed in public evidence given by researchers, learned societies and publishers to inquiries in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and also concerns expressed by researchers working with the OAPEN-UK project. It identifies a number of common questions and provides answers, which have been checked by experts including Creative Commons. The guide has been edited by active researchers, to make sure that it is relevant and useful to academics faced with making decisions about publishing.

View the guide / download the guide


We will also make available all the posters for you to view.


Several presenters and delegates have written blogs about the conference. Where we are aware of them we have linked to them below:

The book is a conversation. Really? by Pierre Mounier

Forget about books to save books? by Lucy Keating

#OAbooks in the HSS: Contexts, Conversations, Technologies and Communities of Practice by Janneke Adema

An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented good for scholarship by Graham Steel

On the status of open access monographs by Mercedes Bunz

In praise of diversity by Ellen Collins

If you would like any further information on this conference please contact Caren Milloy, Head of Projects, JISC Collections or Eelco Ferwerda, Director of OAPEN Foundation

This conference is sponsored by:

This conference has been formed by: