The findings of the HEFCE-commissioned Monographs and Open Access Project, led by Professor Geoffrey Crossick, have just been published. The report makes a valuable and timely contribution to the Open Access debate in HASS, acknowledging both the benefits and the challenges of the journey towards OA. Monographs are recognised as a vital and important part of scholarly communication, and the report emphasises that the availability of the printed version of a monograph in tandem with the open-access version will be essential.  It is acknowledged that OA has a great deal to offer in terms of increased reach and impact of monographs, but advises caution in a number of areas, such as licensing, third party rights, policy considerations and the need for a sustainable business model. The role of the materiality of the physical book, and the perceived  strengths of the print version, are also discussed.  The report draws together its conclusions for ease of reference, so makes ideal reading for anyone wishing to get a grasp on the complex issue of OA, its opportunities and challenges. HEFCE will now consider the findings, appreciating that any step towards policies for OA monographs should be by a thorough process of consultation and engagement. The full report can be accessed via HEFCE’s website:

Sarah Lewis