Open Access e-books come into play

According to the Directory of Open Access Journals, more than 10,000 journals are available on an open access (OA) basis. Building on this success, e-books are also now becoming available under this popular publishing scheme, proving that open access is steadily gaining momentum in scholarly scientific communication.


The economic model is largely inspired by well-established experience in the publishing of articles, and several publishers have expanded their OA programmes to include books. Today, negotiations with such publishers make it possible for books to be available with an appropriate licence, according to which the authors retain copyright while the content can be freely shared and reused, provided the author is credited appropriately.

The introduction of e-books, in addition to expanding the diffusion of the written word and the relevant content, helps avoid the costs of the production and distribution of paper books that result in high prices for titles, making them accessible only to libraries. OA e-books are also an ideal outlet for the publication of conference proceedings, maximising their visibility, with great benefits for libraries' budgets.

Five key works edited by CERN authors are already benefiting or are set to benefit from the impact of free diffusion.

Three are already accessible online:

Two further OA titles will appear in 2016: 

  • The Standard Theory of Particle Physics: 60 Years of CERN, Luciano Maiani and Luigi Rolandi (eds.), published by World Scientific.
  • Technology meets research: 60 years of technological achievements at CERN illustrated with selected highlights, Chris Fabjan, Thomas Taylor and Horst Wenninger (eds.), published by World Scientific. 

Whether you are member of the organising committee of a conference and are looking for an OA outlet for the proceedings, or whether you plan to publish a book, we invite you to get in touch with the Library so that we can help you to negotiate the conditions with potential publishers.

by Tullio Basaglia