Open Access Books: Supporting the SDGs

Open access (OA) advances research on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals—as OA easily connects researchers and their work to policy makers, business leaders, and professionals who can put discoveries into practice.

SN SDG logo © Springer Nature 2019When most people think about this, they’re thinking about journal articles and primary research. But what’s true of journal articles is also true of books. Open access books are easy to find and share, allowing for authors to increase the real-world impact of their work.

Take a closer look and read interviews with OA book authors that illustrate how publishing their books OA has extended their impact and reach. 

On this page you will also find selected highlights from Springer Nature’s SDG OA book portfolio, information on why you too should publish OA, and resources on OA funding.

“The UN SDGs address complex global issues and will require cross-sector, cross-discipline and international collaboration if we are to achieve them by 2030. OA publication enables academic books to be read by anyone, anywhere, with an internet connection, facilitating the development of solutions by the people who are best placed to implement them.”

—Nicola Jones, Head of Publishing, Springer Nature SDG Programme

What are authors saying about OA books?

Dr. Anthony Good

Dr. Anthony Good

Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh, UK
Co-author of Asylum Determination in Europe

"This book comes at a crucial time for Europe. OA has made it more widely accessibleRead the interview

Dr. Sven Teske

Dr. Sven Teske

Research Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Editor of Achieving the Paris Climate Agreement Goals

"I would encourage more academics to publish open access" Read the interview

Justin W. Cook

Justin W. Cook

Justin W. Cook, Founding Director, Center for Complexity at Rhode Island School of Design, USA.
Author of Sustainability, Human Wellbeing and the Future of Education

"We have seen tremendous engagement with the book that we otherwise likely would not have achieved without open accessRead the interview

Prof. Dave Reay

Prof. Dave Reay

Professor of Carbon Management, University of Edinburgh, UK and Director of the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute.

Author of Climate-Smart Food

"If you want your book to reach around the world and inform a readership you’d never normally be able to speak to then open access is for you." 
Read the interview

Links to further interviews can be found at the bottom of this page as well as on our SDG-specific OA book pages.

Why publish a book with Springer Nature? And why publish it OA?

Writing a book is a meaningful investment of time—but the return on that investment, especially for SDG-related research—is even more meaningful. When you publish your book with Springer Nature, you will get powerful editorial support at every stage—from proposal through post-publication.

Why publish OA?
Because our OA academic books and chapters on average receive 10 times more downloads, 2.4 times more citations, and 10 times more online mentions compared to non-open access books.
OA books have a more geographically diverse readership, reaching on average 61% more countries than non-OA books.*

We look forward to publishing your OA book and helping you achieve your goals.

Learn more about how to get started

* From our white papers 'The OA Effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books?' and 'Diversifying readership through open access: A usage analysis for OA books'.

  • Increased visibility & discoverability
  • High quality
  • Authors retain copyright
  • Compliance with funder mandates

Have an idea for a book? Take the next step. Contact us.

Let us guide you through the book publishing process. We would love to hear from you to discuss your book idea. 

Submit your book proposal (Springer)

Submit your book proposal (Palgrave)


Highlighted open access books from across the SDGs

Webinar: Explore open access books

Join us for a panel discussion hosted by Springer Nature to learn more about publishing open access books.


dh webinar teaser image © Springer NatureFebruary 22nd 2022, 2 - 3 pm GMT

Springer Nature are delighted to host a panel discussion with open access book authors and funders to discuss author views on publishing SDG OA books, challenges, funding and research impact.

The webinar will consist of a 30-minute moderated discussion and a 30-minute Q&A with the audience.


Register for free

Watch our open access book videos

Why publish an open access book?

How does it work? Open access books in 6 steps

Open access funding opportunities

To plan ahead for paying your OA book processing charge (BPC), you can use Springer Nature’s Open Access Funding Service. This free service will work with you to help find funds for paying open access BPCs that you have through your institution or other funding sources.

As a Springer Nature OA book author, you can also take advantage of a new sponsorship agreement between LYRASIS and Springer Nature, and apply for funding from LYRASIS’ SDG Book Publishing Fund for relevant OA book title BPCs.

The collaboration focuses on climate change, equity, peace, and justice and provides free access to research in critical areas that support the SDGs.

Highlighted German-language OA books from across the SDGs

Interviews with authors of SDG-related open access books

Dr. Hugo Campos

Dr. Hugo Campos

"OA is about reaching people who cannot afford books in developing countries, about enabling others to be successfulRead the interview

Justin W. Cook

Justin W. Cook

"We have seen tremendous engagement with the book that we otherwise likely would not have achieved without open accessRead the interview

Dr. Sven Teske

Dr. Sven Teske

"I would encourage more academics to publish open access" Read the interview

Prof. Emeritus Maurice B. Mittelmark

Prof. Emeritus Maurice B. Mittelmark

"OA is the only publishing model that ensures an academic book will achieve deep and timely penetration of my academic arenaRead the interview

Dr. Anthony Good

Dr. Anthony Good

"This book comes at a crucial time for Europe. OA has made it more widely accessibleRead the interview

Dr. Stefano Della Torre

Dr. Stefano Della Torre

"Open access is a terrific booster to make academic research availableRead the interview

Prof. Dave Reay

Prof. Dave Reay

"If you want your book to reach around the world and inform a readership you’d never normally be able to speak to then open access is for you." 
Read the interview