Open Access Policy

Sidestone Press champions Open Science. In fact, if you do not want your book to be accessed for free, we urge you to find another publisher. We love books and believe that scientific information published in them should be available to all. Access to the latest research should not be dictated by how much money you have or where in the world you are located.

In addition to making all books available in paperback and hardback, we therefore always supply our clients with PDF e-books and actively encourage our authors to distribute these PDFs to their peers, both directly and online.

All books published with us can also be read on our website for free, immediately upon publication. In our Standard Open Access model, we make all our books available for free download from our website 4 years after publication. We also offer two additional Open Access models through which books can be made available for free download either immediately upon publication or after 1 year (additional fees apply, see our ‘costs of publishing’ page). In order to reap the full benefit of Open Access, we highly recommend that you publish your book under a Creative Commons License.

Library Program

In addition to free online reading, we also offer a service to (University) Libraries. For an annual fee, all Library and University users will get unlimited access to PDF downloads to all our e-books and also receive a 25% discount on printed copies. Various Universities around the world already subscribed to the Sidestone Library Program.


Sidestone Press is a member of OAPEN (a repository for Open Access books) where we upload all our peer-reviewed academic books. These titles are also automatically included in DOAB (Directory of Open Access books). This will ensure automatic distribution to University Libraries and OA platforms. They are also attributed DOIs and are secured for future availability (irrespective of whether Sidestone remains in existence). Please note that these services are only available for peer-reviewed publications (our Sidestone Press Academics imprint) and in case of DOAB they must have a CC license.

Why we think Open Access Matters

Over a decade ago, at the start of Sidestone, one of our founders was invited to present his research at a conference in Berlin. Afterward, at the conference dinner, Karsten noted that all conference attendants from Eastern Europe were conspicuously absent. When he inquired as to their whereabouts, he was told they were all in the University library making copies of books that they did not have access to back home. In this moment one of the founding principles of Sidestone Press was formed: everyone should be able to access scientific research, and Sidetone books would never be placed behind any kind of technical, legal or financial barriers.

While change is slowly happening, the current system for sharing scientific research is still largely print-based and upheld by legacy publishers. We live in the digital age, and we argue that how we share knowledge should reflect that. Modern technologies offer us unprecedented options for sharing new research and scientific techniques, yet the way most research is published restricts access to only a small fraction of the world.

Not at Sidestone.

Some Statistics

We started offering free online reading already back in 2008 when Sidestone was founded. It was actually one of the cornerstones of our publishing model right from the start. In 2019 we changed our model to go to full Open Access for all books 4 years after publication, and we also started offering our Library Program that provides unlimited access to all our e-books to users of subscribing libraries. This transition is clearly visible in the users statistics where we went from downloads in the thousands, to downloads in the hundreds of thousands. Of course this rise is also due to the fact that over this time we were growing rapidly and the cumulative number of published books also grew. The total number of downloads for 2023 were 129.747.

In part these downloads come from subscribing universities, but the vast majority (96% in 2023) are views/downloads coming from individual users not affiliated to a university that subscribes to our Library Program. This means that it is very clear that paying library members help (and are needed) to provide access to these resources to users worldwide.

It must be noted that these statistics are from views/downloads at only. All authors are free to upload their PDFs to any online repository (University Library,, Researchgate). Also we upload all OA books from our Academics and Dissertations imprints to OAPEN, whose download stats are also not included. As it is impossible to check how many times our books were accessed via all the different platforms we did a check for 1 title on 1 different platform: Nineveh, the Great City was accessed via 3714 times (March 2023) but various papers were individually downloaded on as well. A quick search revealed 22 papers with an average of 380 views per paper. The full book contained 67 papers, so if this average is representative, this platform alone provided ca. 25.000 extra views/downloads to papers from this one single book. This means that “out in the wild” our books may actually be accessed orders of magnitude more than what is reported on our humble little website alone.

This makes us very happy, knowing that our books are out there, being read, being used, by people all over the world.

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