Leuven University Press and 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 collection across all disciplines. With the support of the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access the press is able to help authors find the necessary funding to make gold OA-publishing come true.

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.


"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'


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. This 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 ebook is uploaded on 4 major platforms: OAPEN Library, JSTOR, Project Muse and Open Research Library. Gold OA is a sustainable publication model that guarantees the widest global distribution unhindered by financial and geographical barriers. Consequently it results in a high impact on global academic research. Long-term availability of the ebook is assured though a solid digital preservation policy.

The Golden OA model requires funding 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.

The KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA: a unique funding initiative that makes immediate Open Access affordable to authors

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 and the application process are described here >


"There are at least three reasons to pursue full Open Access in all scholarly communication. The first is an ethical reason, the second is an internal motivation and the third reason is of an economic nature"
Demmy Verbeke, KU Leuven Libraries, aptly identified good reasons to publish in Open Access. 

Quality control

All manuscripts considered for publication by Leuven University Press, whether Open Access or not, are presented to the press’s editorial board. Therefore, submitting a manuscript to Leuven University Press is the first step in the process of applying for partial funding from the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access. To receive the granted funding, a positive outcome of external peer review by two expert readers is required. The Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content (GPRC) label will be added to the colophon of these books and are proof of the applied procedure.

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: JSTOR, Project Muse, OAPEN, Open Research Library. Besides these platforms all our OA books are included in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), and discoverable through a variety of library discoverability services and Google Books/Google Scholar.

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.


‘'Open Access is often the only way for scholars in developing countries to access your work."
Jeroen Dewulf, Queen Beatrix Professor in Dutch Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Open Access books and their printed counterparts for sale

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.

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.

Further Information

For further information regarding our Open Access policy, contact us at publish@lup.be


Links & Resources

linkOpen Access flyer
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
Spring Nature - White Paper - How does Open Access affect the usage of scholary books
OAPEN - OA Books Toolkit


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