Scottish Universities Open Access Press


About the author: Dominique Walker is the Publishing Officer for the Scottish Universities Open Access Press (SUOAP). Her role is hosted by the Library and Learning Centre LLC at the University of Dundee. Dominique’s role is a two year secondment to help with the initial launch of SUOAP. She will assist the Management and Editorial boards and work with authors across 18 HEIs to help publish their research open access. 

About SCURL: The Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) coordinates shared services and procurement across all Scottish HEI and research libraries, the two major public reference libraries in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the National Library of Scotland, National Museums Scotland, the Open University and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Scottish Universities Open Access Press

Academic and research libraries across Scotland, through SCURL, are working to establish and sustain an open access publishing platform that is owned and managed by the 18 participating HEIs. The Scottish Universities Open Access Press (SUOAP) aims to provide a clear and cost-effective route for researchers to make their work freely available to a global audience, meeting the requirements of funders and realising the ambition to extend the impact of research across society.

Why an Open Access Press?

A key driver for establishing an open access (OA) press for Scottish HEIs is the growing focus on OA by funders and the wider scholarly communication community. The options for publishing OA with commercial publishers can be complex and costly. All work published by SUOAP will be fully open access and compliant with the requirements of REF, UKRI policy and aligned to the principles of Plan S. SUOAP aims to significantly lower the costs of OA publishing for authors, funders and institutions compared to commercial publishers. Publishing more work OA will also increase the global visibility and usage of research at Scottish HEIs, ensuring the continued high impact of Scottish University research across all disciplines.

SUOAP will initially focus on publishing monographs, with a view to extend to journals, e-textbooks and other formats in the future. New UKRI policy states that monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 must be made open access within 12 months of publication. Development of OA publishing models for monographs has been much slower than for journals. The SUOAP will ensure that authors at Scottish HEIs will have a clear and cost effective route of compliant OA publication for their monographs.

How will it work?

SUOAP is a collaborative, library-led initiative and will be owned and operated by the 18 participating HEIs. The project is funded by member institutions. SUOAP aims to offer a clear route to a professional standard of publishing on a not-for-profit basis, with any surpluses being reinvested for the benefit of participating HEIs.

Logos of the 18 participating HEIs

The development of SUOAP will be led by a Management Board formed of library staff at participating HEIs and supported by a Publishing Officer. The current phase is a two-year pilot (2021-2023) to establish the management and publishing infrastructure for the Press.

An Editorial Board will be appointed to manage the publishing output, including the peer review process. The Editorial Board will have responsibility for commissioning content and the quality control of press output through oversight of the peer review process. SUOAP aims to provide the same rigorous quality control as a traditional publishing house, providing personalised editorial support through the publication process.

A dedicated online platform will provide access to digital copies, information regarding publishing workflows and the ability to order print copies. SUOAP will aim to make the published work available as widely as possible, providing metadata to a variety of search, indexing and aggregation platforms and discovery services, as well as supporting authors with the marketing and promotion of their publications.

The intention is to cover a range of disciplines, recognising that those working in the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences will be most likely to be interested in monograph publishing. The SUOAP will seek to include as broad a geographical range as possible, mindful that our participants cover the whole of Scotland.

What are the next stages?

A call to form the Editorial Board has been sent out to all participating institutions. The deadline to apply is the 5th of April, after which an Editorial Board will be appointed, with a desire to fairly represent participating HEIs and a wide range of disciplines.

The online platform is currently in development with the University of Edinburgh, in line with the current Shared Service Partnership offer to SCURL member libraries.

The next stage will be to open a call for monograph proposals from academics, more information about this will be circulated later in 2022.

The key to developing SUOAP successfully will be the ability to work together, pooling significant academic and management skills across Scottish HEIs. The project has an expected minimum lifetime of 10 years, with the intention to incrementally develop the Press to meet increased demand and diversity of publications

Contact us

Please contact SCURL with any questions about the project.

You can also contact Dominique directly at 

Further information

You can find our more information about the SUOAP here:

The Editorial Board application form can be found here: