#OpenAccessWeek2020: DRO is for book chapters too!

When we speak to colleagues about open access, often in short 5-10 minute briefings at Boards of Study, the focus is usually on ensuring open access to journal articles and conference papers. But a significant amount of research published at Durham comes in the form of long-from publications; books, monographs and chapters in edited volumes. In many cases we can make some or all of these open access as well. So let’s have a closer look…

Nearly a hundred Durham academics have deposited their book chapters in Durham Research Online (DRO) this year.  Unlike many journal copyright agreements which restrict the version that can be deposited in repositories to the author’s accepted manuscript (AM) – ie the revised, but not copy-edited, proofread nor typeset version – a number of book publishers permit use of the final published Version of Record (VoR) . There are still some strings attached though;  the imposition of an embargo period before the deposited file can be opened-up and a limit of one chapter per book!  The easiest way to deposit is to email your AM to dro.admin@durham.ac.uk together with some basic publication details. We will check your particular publisher’s repository deposit policy – ie what’s the best version which can be deposited and how long’s the embargo?

Big publishing names which permit this ‘Green’ route to open access include:


Bloomsbury Press allow Durham authors to make a single chapter from a single-authored book or an edited research volume available from DRO. This can be the Version of Record, and can be made free to access after a 6 month embargo from the original publication date.

One recent example is Weeks, Stuart (2020) ‘A critical and exegetical commentary on Ecclesiastes : volume 1.’ – the first chapter of which is available here.

Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press allows Durham authors to make a single chapter available from DRO (with some exceptions, e.g. textbooks and practitioner works). This can be the Version of Record or the Accepted Manuscript, or both, and these can be made free to access after a 6 month embargo from the original publication date.

Interested in ‘Babooning’? Check out Hill, R.A. (2020) ‘Reflections on ‘Babooning’.’, in Curious about nature : a passion for fieldwork. (doi.org/10.1017/9781108552172.028) pp. 218-222. Ecology, biodiversity and conservation. Available here!

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press also allow Durham authors to make part of their work available from DRO. For a single- or co-authored book, this can be a single chapter or up to 10% of the work – or a maximum of one chapter from an edited collection. This can be the Version of Record, but requires a 12 month embargo (for Science and medical titles) or a 24 month embargo for other titles.

One book chapter from OUP regularly features in our most downloaded publications – Gowland, R. L. (2018) ‘Infants and mothers : linked lives and embodied life courses.’, in The Oxford handbook of the archaeology of childhood. pp. 104-121. Oxford handbooks.

Taylor & Francis

Taylor & Francis allow authors to deposit their Accepted Manuscript in DRO, with an embargo on when readers can access that ending 12 months (for STEM titles) or 18 months (for Humanities and Social Sciences titles) after publication.

You can see one example here: Scarre, Geoffrey (2018) ‘Utilitarianism and evil.’, in The history of evil in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries : 1700-1900 CE. (doi.org/10.4324/9781351138406-9), pp. 118-135. The history of evil. (4).


Like Taylor & Francis, Springer also limit authors to only being able to make their Accepted Manuscript available (after an embargo of 12 or 24 months after publication). Its worth noting that they explicitly exclude authors from being able to share their works on commercial profile sites such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu or Mendeley).

We’ve included here an example of one such work which is currently still under embargo, so you can see what that looks like in DRO. That doesn’t stop it being discovered by potential readers who can then find the published version, or draw other’s attention to the work!

Burrell, S.R. (2020) ‘Male agents of change and disassociating from the problem in the prevention of violence against women.’, in Masculine power and gender equality : masculinities as change agents. (doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35162-5) , pp. 35-54 – can be accessed here (but not the full text – yet!).

So what are you waiting for..?

Putting your chapter into a repository will make your work accessible to many more readers; given the current limitations on accessing physical collections in many libraries, and the limited budgets of many libraries globally, this can only be a good thing! It might even encourage a reader to go on and make the investment in purchasing the whole book, or asking their library to do so.

It’s also worth noting that some funders, such as the Wellcome Trust, already have policies requiring authors to make their books and book chapters open access – whilst Plan S looks to increase accessibility to all research publication formats in time. You can see some of the options offered by many book publishers on our guide here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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