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De Gruyter is Among Top Five Open Access Book Publishers Internationally

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Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London, England, UK, December 4, 2007 | © Courtesy of Nick Garrod/Flickr.

A recent study based on the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) data indicates that, along with Frontiers Media SA, Presses universitaires de Rennes, Australian National University (ANU) Press and Springer, De Gruyter is among the five publishers with the highest cumulative Open Access book output around the world.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


In recent years, the number of Open Access book titles published has continued to grow at an accelerating rate, while reaching 10,866 items in early 2018. As Keita Tsuji in his article on “Statistics on Open Access Books Available through the Directory of Open Access Books,” published in June 2018, indicates, by February 2018 only four global publishers have accumulated Open Access book portfolios with the number of titles that exceeds 400 items. By this time, De Gruyter has published 437 Open Access books, after consistently raising the annual book output volumes in this sector from 33 in 2014 to 108 in 2017.

This reflects a larger international trend of an increasing adoption of Open Access across a broad range of humanities, social sciences, exact sciences, and medicine subjects. Across these subfields, social sciences have had the highest number of books published that grew from 106 titles in 2011 to 887 in 2017. For this period, the presence of Open Access books by De Gruyter has been particularly pronounced in the fields of World and Regional History, such as the history of Europe and Asia, (117 book titles), Philosophy, Psychology and Religion (82 items), Language and Literature (56 items),  Science (35 items) and Law (25 items). These fields correspondingly represent 26.8%, 18.8%, 12.8%, 8%, and 5.7% of the cumulative Open Access book output of De Gruyter by early 2018.

In contrast, as the market leader in the Open Access book sector, Frontiers, with a total of 927 titles published by the end of the research period, has almost exclusively concentrated its book publishing activity in the fields of Medicine (406 items) and Science (392 items) respectively accounting for 43.8% and 42.3% of its output with a much smaller presence in the area of  Philosophy, Psychology and Religion (92 items) that comprises only 9.9% of its cumulative backlist. These findings reflect a circumscribed market positioning of Frontiers as an Open Access book publisher.

Given that De Gruyter has no Open Access books published only in the field of Military Science, its publication profile is similar to that of the ANU Press that also has not produced any monographs in this field, but differs in terms of the subject-matter areas its book-length publications cover. Namely, via its Open Access book output, the ANU Press is significantly represented in the fields of Political Science (100 items), Social Sciences (94 items), World and Regional History (68 items), Geography, Anthropology, and Recreation (45 items) and Medicine (39 items) that respectively comprise 20.6%, 19.3%, 14%, 9.3%, and 8% of its portfolio total for the research period.

In other words, in the Open Access book sector, De Gruyter has a publishing profile that is unlike that of its competitors.

By Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London, England, UK, December 4, 2007 | © Courtesy of Nick Garrod/Flickr.

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