with us.

Publishing your research with the OLH helps you gain a wider readership while taking a stand against the commodification of research.

This page outlines the benefits of publishing with the OLH as an academic-led publisher.

We designed the OLH for like-minded scholars who want the benefits of open access without author fees. Read on to discover how we are leading a transition towards a fairer, more equitable model of humanities research for the future.

  • Academic-led, based at Birkbeck, University of London
  • A decade of experience publishing award-winning scholarship
  • Not for profit
Two women look into a microscope together
  • Never vanity or predatory publishing
  • Not commercial
  • No mandatory author charges

More research engagement.

Allowing free access means more readers can engage with your research worldwide, creating more opportunities for citation and impact. OLH journal articles have been downloaded over 1.9 million times and our journal sites were viewed more that 2.5 million times in 2022 alone. This figure is rising each year, as the OLH's reputation as a leading humanities publisher grows.

Our licensing also makes it easier to cite your work in blogs, personal websites, and social media, meaning greater academic and social reach. This is particularly important for topics with an applied or social justice dimension.

“When I sought a venue for the special issue on videogames and postcolonialism, I was thinking of the millions of people in the so-called Global South countries who had no access to the articles in paywalled journals, where their own predicament was being discussed. OLH, therefore, was a godsend when the editors agreed to publish the special issue. Today, anyone with an Internet connection can access the articles for free.”

Emil Hammar, Co-editor of “Postcolonial Perspectives in Game Studies.”

No author fees.

OLH provides authors with all the benefits of open access, without having to pay article processing charges (APCs). There are no hidden costs, and we will never ask for mandatory payment at any stage in the publication process. Instead, we secure funding for our costs via our international library network.

Research evaluation compliant.

As a diamond open-access publisher, our journal articles are fully compliant with open-access policies for research evaluation. You won’t need to archive an author accepted manuscript in your institutional repository – OLH authors retain the intellectual rights to their work and your article can be submitted for evaluation to performance-based research funding systems such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK and the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Although our journals have been internationally recognised for high quality and robust peer review processes, the OLH also has a reputation for advocating for quality beyond crude impact factor metrics, which do not always recognise the significance of small-scale, niche humanities disciplines and journals.

There is a misconception that publishing open access means losing copyright of your work. The opposite is often true. Commercial publishers are more likely to ask you to hand over the rights so they can disseminate your work exclusively, to maximise profit.

At the OLH, authors always retain copyright of their work. We publish under Creative Commons licences (most typically CC BY 4.0), which allows others to copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work, but they must give you full credit. It also allows you to embed your work within personal websites. All the rules of plagiarism still apply.

We generally allow the most permissive licencing because it aligns with our community values of immediate and unrestricted access. It also ensures our content is indexed with the DOAJ seal. However, if research is commercially sensitive or there are concerns about reuse of third-party material, you can publish under more restrictive Creative Commons licences on request.

Accelerated timelines.

A foundational idea of the open-access movement is that quick publication is important to scholarly advancement. We think this is true for humanities research, not just the sciences. We therefore pioneered rolling publication formats in our humanities journals to prevent unnecessary delays post-peer review.

By offering rolling publication, where each article is published as soon as it is ready, our journals typically publish much quicker than commercial publishers. This can be beneficial for research assessment and applying for grants and jobs. It ultimately also benefits the research communities that engage with your work.

Easy discoverability.

We offer comprehensive indexing and archiving, with a strong focus on the discoverability in university library catalogues. All OLH journal content is registered with Crossref and assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

Our journal information is harvested by Google Scholar and metadata is available for harvesting via OAI-PMH. Journals are registered at Cornell University, which maintains interoperability standards through metadata exchange among repositories. We also deposit articles in the CLOCKSS and LOCKSS permanent archiving systems at Stanford University, which are world leaders in high-confidence, resilient, secure digital preservation.

Solidarity between scholars and librarians.

Publishing with the OLH is an act of solidarity between academics and our library colleagues. Our approach is a genuine alternative to corporate publishers who profit from our research by selling it back to universities. While library budgets are squeezed by these extortionate subscription packages, corporate publishers generate profit margins greater than Coca-Cola and oil companies.

Libraries, funders and institutions join our not-for-profit programme to cover the costs of publishing OLH journals. Our model is inspired by the open-access movement’s radical ambitions to build a scholar-led, political, community movement.