Open Access

Leuven University Press provides authors with two publishing scenarios: traditional (non-Open Access) and the option to publish in Open Access.

True to its mission as a not-for-profit academic publisher, Leuven University Press fully embraces Open Access. Being able to share scientific insights with readers worldwide and giving them access to new knowledge, unhindered by financial thresholds, constitutes the pinnacle of scientific publishing. Leuven University Press has a fast growing Open Access book collection across all disciplines
Browse our Open Access ebook collection >

The scheme and information below presents an overview of publishing Open Access with Leuven University Press

Publishing Open Access with Leuven University Press

Five reasons to publish Open Access

  • Free availability to all readers worldwide, without financial or distribution barriers 
  • More impact: on average, Open Access books receive 10 times more traffic and citations
  • Books get much more visibility
  • Open access publications can be easily located and searched
  • Authors retain all copyrights 

Green Open Access

The Green road to Open Access, or so-called ‘self-archiving’, allows authors to archive the PDF of their contribution to an edited volume or journal in the layout of the publication on their personal website immediately upon publication. Our ‘Green Open Access Policy’ document gives a clear overview of what authors are allowed to do and when. Monographs are excluded from this policy.

Gold Open Access (born OA)

Gold OA means that the book appears in full Open Access under a creative commons license from the very first day of publication onwards. The OA ebook is free for everyone; it can be consulted and downloaded by any reader in the world.

The Golden OA model requires funding from the authors to cover the production of the digital book. Some authors dispose of the necessary resources through their institute, funder, government, or society, and can cover the publishing costs independently. Others will only have access to partial funding. The KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access offers a solution here: every author is welcomed to apply for partial OA-funding.

Diamond Open Access 

Diamond Open Access is like Gold Open Access, the book appears immediately in full open access, but this model doesn’t require funding from the authors. For this model we can opt for funding programmes such as Knowledge Unlatched, JSTOR’s Path to Open pilot or Open Book Collective.

The KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA

In order to make Open Access publishing accessible and affordable to as many researchers as possible, KU Leuven established the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access in January 2018. It provides financial support for books published in immediate and fair Open Access by Leuven University Press. This university-funded initiative is unique worldwide and makes a substantial contribution in making Gold Open Access publishing a reality.

Regardless of their affiliation, all authors can apply for financial support first after their proposed book project has been approved by the editorial board of Leuven University Press. More details about the Fund can be found here >

Other Funding Programmes

In addition to the KU Leuven Fund for Open Access, Leuven University Press actively engages in various funding programs to publish books in Open Access. We collaborate with initiatives such as Knowledge Unlatched, participate in JSTOR’s Path to Open pilot and have joined the Open Book Collective.

Open Access conversion after publication

Authors who have previously published traditional (non-Open Access) books with us between 2 and 5 years ago have the option to convert their work to Open Access. Fees range between 1800 and 3000 EUR + VAT. 

Quality control

All manuscripts considered for publication by Leuven University Press, whether Open Access or not, are presented to the press’s editorial board. A positive outcome of external peer review by two expert readers is also required. The Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content (GPRC) label will be added to the colophon of these books and are proof of the applied procedure.


Creative Commons licenses

Creative Commons licenses enable authors to retain the copyright to their work – rather than transferring rights to the publisher, as is the case in conventional publishing – while permitting third parties to copy, distribute and make certain uses of it. We recommend a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license, which allows for your work to be copied and shared, while also ensuring that it cannot be modified or used commercially. However, if you wish to make your work available under a different Creative Commons license or if a funding body requires a particular license, we can accommodate this on request.

When authors wish to include third-party material in an open access book, they must secure permission from the rights holder and should state clearly in each caption what licensing terms apply to the material, as these may differ from the open access license under which the rest of the book is released. 
More information on third-party permissions >

Open Access books with print edition

All books published in Open Access have a counterpart in print that can be purchased. On our website the possibility to download a book for free or to order a printed copy are always offered in tandem.

In general, the Open Access scenario allows Leuven University Press to offer the print book at a lower sales price than in a traditional publishing scenario.


Marketing and visibility

Our Open Access books can be accessed from the Leuven University Press website, and are hosted on 4 major digital library platforms: JSTORProject MuseOAPENOpen Research Library. Besides their availability on these platforms, all our OA books are also listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), and discoverable through a variety of library discoverability services and Google Books/Google Scholar.

Our Open Access books are found and accessed by readers across the globe. Learn more about the readership data of our KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA titles in particular, and find out how often and in which parts of the world they are viewed, downloaded and used.

Leuven University Press foresees a comprehensive marketing plan and highly professional and personal promotional guidance for all its titles. All Open Access publications consequently follow exactly the same marketing trajectory as our conventional titles, and here you will find an overview of the multiple ways in which we bring our titles to the attention of readers. 

What our authors say

Knowing that the publication is available for everyone, worldwide, gave us a lot of confidence. The fact that readers, especially in Asia, will be able to access what we have researched and written has guided us throughout the publication process.
Markéta Hánová, Yuka Kadoi, and Simone Wille, editors ‘Collecting Asian Art’

We are convinced that digital content reaches readers faster and more easily. And while a bound book evokes a kind of magic that only a printed edition possesses, it’s important to allow the unhindered dissemination of scientific data to as many users as possible.
Sandra Križić Roban and Ana Šverko, editors ‘Watching, Waiting’

I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to have received the support of the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access for this publication. As an early career researcher, I could not have afforded to cover the book processing charges on my own. Publishing my very first book in an OA format is a true privilege, as it makes the dissemination of my finds so much easier and more accessible to everyone.
Mê-Linh Riemann, author ‘Leaving Spain’

“I was hoping for a quick ‘absorption’ of my book. Judging from the very high download numbers my expectations have been outmatched.”
Martin Kohlrausch, author ‘Brokers of Modernity’ 

‘’Open Access is often the only way for scholars in developing countries to access your work.”
Jeroen Dewulf, editor ‘The Congo in Flemish Literature’

For further information or to submit a manuscript, contact us at

Links & Resources

Green Open Access Policy
Submissions and proposals
KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access
Readership data of our KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA titles
What’s in a number? A closer look at Open Access readership data
Creative Commons licenses
OAPEN – OA Books Toolkit

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