Books in open access

The Dutch government's ambition to achieve 100% open access for academic publications also applies to books. However, due to the fact that hardly any policy is developed for this category, it is difficult to realise this ambition in the short term.

Funder NWO stipulates that open access for books is mandatory. Plan S requires the same, but also acknowledges the fact that it will take more time for books than for journal articles.


In recent years, more and more options have been developed for publishing books in open access. For example, there is a growing number of existing publishing houses allowing authors to publish in open access, but often still at very high cost. There are also new, small-scale open access publishers, often led by academics or set up in a library context, which publish open access books at a lower cost. See, for example, Scholarled or UCL Press.

NWO projects also aim at supplying grants for the open access publication of books. As from 1 June 2020 NWO has made 500,000 euros available on a yearly basis to promote Open Access for books. For each request, NWO makes a maximum of 10,000 euros available. You will find more information on the NWO webpage on Open Access books.

Support by the library

Utrecht University Library advises researchers when they want to publish books in open access. And as part of the Utrecht Open Science Programme, Utrecht University will take steps to make a positive and sustainable contribution to publishing books in open access. 

More information

For more information on this subject, here is some further reading:

Please email your specific questions about open access books to