Open access books & chapters

Springer Nature publishes open access (OA) books and chapters under its SpringerOpen and Palgrave Macmillan imprints. We helped to pioneer open access book publishing, first piloting open access publication for books in 2011. We publish open access books across a wide range of areas in science, technology, medicine (STM), and humanities and social sciences (HSS).

Springer Nature Open Access Books Portfolio

Springer’s notable open access books list includes author Gerard t'Hooft, winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics and co-author Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and winner of the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award, as well as the IMISCOE Research Series​​​​​​​ book Contested Childhoods which was selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2017.

Palgrave Macmillan was one of the first publishers to offer an open access option for HSS and the first major publisher to offer CC BY for OA books. Palgrave Macmillan’s notable OA titles include the first Wellcome Trust-funded OA monograph Fungal Disease in Britain and the United States 1850-2000 as well as other titles: The Academic Book of the Future, Digital Kenya and European Citizenship After Brexit. 

Our open access books portfolio has achieved the milestone of 30 million chapter downloads since 2013, from over 150 countries. Check out our usage statistics page and our portfolio infographic to find out more.

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Why publish an open access book?


Increased visibility and discoverability

  • Open access books and chapters are made available immediately on publication via SpringerLink, Springer Nature’s platform for all published content. The ePub and PDF files are both freely available to download and HTML is also free to read.
  • On average, open access (OA) books on SpringerLink are downloaded seven times more than our non-OA books – a significant benefit of open access. 
  • To increase discoverability of our authors’ work, open access books and chapters are also listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) and, where appropriate, PubMed’s NCBI Bookshelf.


High quality

  • All open access content published adheres to the high standards expected of all Springer Nature titles with the same rigorous peer-review process. 
  • Peer review is an integral part of the book submission and evaluation process at Springer Nature. The peer review system ensures that published research is rigorous and meets the international standards set by each discipline. Read more about publishing with SpringerOpen and Palgrave Macmillan.


Authors retain copyright

  • Open access books are freely available for anyone to download, share, and re-use. Springer Nature one of only a couple of major publishers to offer the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY) licence as its default licence for OA books. This is the most open licence and allows any form of re-use providing the original publication is credited. Other Creative Commons licences are available on request.


Compliance with funder mandates

  • Publishing open access with Springer Nature supports compliance with funders’ and governmental open access policies worldwide.

Community involvement

We work with external partners and the scholarly community to lead the way for open access books:

  • Springer Nature is a member of OAPEN, a dedicated platform for hosting, dissemination, discovery and preservation of open access books
  • We are sponsors of the Directory of Open Access Books, for increased discoverability of open access books
  • Ros Pyne, Head of Policy and Development at Springer Nature, is a member of the Universities UK Open Access Monographs subgroup
  • We participate in various conferences such as Academic Publishing in Europe (APE), Charleston, FORCE, OpenCon, Researcher to Reader and Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP).

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SpringerOpen publishes open access books and chapters across a wide range of areas within science, technology, medicine (STM), humanities and social sciences (HSS), and business and economics. 


Palgrave Macmillan publishes open access books and chapters across a wide range of areas in the humanities and social sciences (HSS), business and economics. 

Open access book series

We partner with funders, research centres, and organisations to publish open access books series under our SpringerOpen and Palgrave Macmillan imprints. 

Partners can also publish “hybrid” book series with us, which include both open access and non-open access books. 

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How does it work?

Learn more about how to get an OA book published with Springer Nature.

The OA Effect

Read our report 'The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books?'


Contact us for more information on publishing an open access book or chapter.

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