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Open Access Guidance for Book Editors and Authors

The Geological Society supports routes to open access publishing at both the whole book level and chapter level. We offer a flexible approach that incorporates full or hybrid (mixed OA and non-OA) routes to open access, as well as transformative agreements with a wide range of global institutions that cover article processing charges, or can be deducted from whole book publishing charges.

Our Special Publications, Memoirs, and Engineering Geology Special Publications book series all facilitate full or hybrid OA at the chapter or book level.

The GeoHorizons series prioritises fully open access volumes. Requests for hybrid routes to publication will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Benefits of Open Access Publishing

  • Visibility: for 2023, chapters published open access in Geological Society books received over 3 times more online readership than those chapters published non-open access.
  • Accessibility: chapters and volumes published open access can be read by anyone with an internet connection and do not appear behind a paywall.
  • Engagement: open access book chapters are published under a Creative Commons CC-BY License, which allows more liberal reuse and greater options for others to build on your work.
  • Compliance with funder policies and mandates: Geological Society books comply with all major funder mandates including those of Plan S, UKRI, and the US Office for Science and Technology Policy

Open access at the chapter level: for authors

Authors can choose to publish their chapter open access (or not). For open access chapters, an Article Processing Charge (APC) is applicable, to cover the cost of publication. Please visit the following page for details of current APC pricing. Authors can select the OA license at acceptance stage and will be invoiced individually.

APCs are covered for corresponding authors at eligible institutions where transformative agreements are in place. Visit our transformative agreements page to find out if your institution is participating.

Open access at the volume level: for editors

Editors can choose to publish their whole volume open access (or not). This should be discussed with the Society editorial team at the proposal stage. For fully OA volumes, a books publishing charge (BPC) is applicable.

Fully open access volumes and the books publishing charge (BPC)

For editors considering open access for their volume, please consider the following guidelines. Please note: for fully open access volumes, a books publishing charge (BPC) is applied to cover the cost of publication.

What to do at the proposal stage: for editors looking to publish their book fully open access, please contact the Commissioning Editor at the point of proposal submission to confirm and discuss the options.

How much does it cost?: the Society’s BPC model is based on average publication lengths and operates without limits on tables or figures with a generous page tolerance. The charge per published page: £100 (GBP) / €120 (EUR) / $140 (USD)

Potential deductions at the chapter level: where corresponding authors are based at institutions with transformative agreements, or are in receipt of open access funding independently, these pages are deducted from the overall BPC.

Receiving a quote and invoicing: editors should request a quote from the Society editorial team at the proposal stage. Where possible, invoicing details should be provided (subject to change), and the quote should be approved by the bill payer.

Invoicing and pre-payment can be arranged throughout the publication process, where necessary. Funds should be received ahead of final publication.

Flowchart: Books publishing charge (BPC) – applicable to fully open access volumes

Flowchart: Books publishing charge (BPC) – applicable to fully open access volumes

Visit our open access costs webpages for details on available funding support and discounts.

UKRI Books Policy

From January 2024, all UKRI-funded researchers publishing in book chapters and edited collections will have to make their work available open access within 12 months of publication. For editors and authors to whom UKRI funding guidelines apply, the Society’s book series provide a compliant route to publication.

The UKRI’s guidelines state eligible editors and authors should apply to UKRI for funding through their research organisation. The Society team are on-hand to provide support and guidance, where necessary.

Further information on the UKRI open access policy for books, including funding levels and how to apply for funding, can be found via the UKRI website.

GeoHorizons: a new open science books series for 2024

GeoHorizons is a Geological Society-AGU partnership book series, which supports the principles of open science and prioritises publication of open access volumes.

The series scope is solution-based science that addresses the challenges facing humanity and the environment, especially those related to climate change and sustainable development.

Editors and authors interested in open access and open science can learn more about the series and submit a proposal by visiting the GeoHorizons series webpage.