About DOAB

Purpose of DOAB

The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers are invited to provide metadata of their Open Access books to DOAB. Metadata will be harvestable in order to maximize dissemination, visibility and impact. Aggregators can integrate the records in their commercial services and libraries can integrate the directory into their online catalogues, helping scholars and students to discover the books. The directory is open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these publications are in Open Access and meet academic standards.

Metadata harvesting and content dissemination

OAI harvesting
DOAB supports the OAI protocol for metadata harvesting (OAI-PMH). Service providers and libraries can use the protocol to harvest the metadata of the records from DOAB for inclusion in their collections and catalogues.

Technical information
Base URL: http://www.doabooks.org/oai
Metadata format: All books in DOAB are available in Dublin Core oai_dc and MARCXML formats.
Sets: All subject areas and all publishers in DOAB are defined as a set.
Few examples using OAI verbs and parameters
ListIdentifiers verb:
ListRecords verb: from date
ListRecords verb: specific publisher
GetRecord verb:
Harvesting records in MARCXML format:

Libraries and aggregators can also download the list of records in DOAB in a comma-separated format. Then they can import the file to Excel or some other software program for further use.

Metadata license
All metadata feeds are available under a CC0 1.0 license.

DOAB search box on your website

Click here to create a DOAB search box on your own website, such as this one:


Information for Publishers

DOAB determines requirements for participation by publishers, in consultation with the participating publishers and DOAB Advisory Board.

The current requirements have been specified by the OAPEN Foundation in consultation with OASPA. The current requirements to take part in DOAB are twofold:

  • Academic books in DOAB shall be available under an Open Access license (such as a Creative Commons license)
  • Academic books in DOAB shall be subjected to independent and external peer review prior to publication
The policies and procedures regarding peer review and licensing should be clearly outlined on the publisher's website. More information about these requirements can be found in the Statement on Open Access (Appendix II of the OASPA bylaws).

Publishers who wish to take part in DOAB must fill in the application form. In this form they describe their license policy (or policies) and their peer review procedures. This information is reviewed by DOAB. After approval publishers get access to DOAB admin tool where they can upload their books.

Upload procedures
Publishers are responsible for their own information about their company and their publications. They are requested to upload the information about their books themselves. Publishers receive an account where they can upload and edit their information. There are two basic methods to upload the metadata of books:

  • book by book, through an online form.
  • in bulk, by creating a file with the information in a specified format.
    The specifications of the fields to use can be downloaded here. For more information, see: DOAB Metadata.

Who is responsible for DOAB

The Directory of Open Access Books is a service of DOAB Foundation. DOAB Foundation is a non-profit legal entity under Dutch law (‘stichting’), established by OAPEN Foundation and OpenEdition. The Foundation is based at the National Library in The Hague.

Board of Directors:
Pierre Mounier (Deputy Director of OpenEdition and co-coordinator of OPERAS
Eelco Ferwerda (Director of OAPEN Foundation)

Supervisory Board:
Bas Savenije (OAPEN Foundation)
Lucinda Jones (National Library of the Netherlands)
Marie Masclet de Barbarin (Aix-Marseille University)
Didier Torny (CNRS)
Neil Jacobs (Jisc)

DOAB was established by OAPEN Foundation in close cooperation with Lars Bjørnshauge and Salam Baker Shanawa (director of SemperTool), who were also responsible for the development of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). SemperTool develops and maintains the DOAB system.


OAPEN Foundation is a member of OASPA (http://oaspa.org), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. OAPEN works closely with OASPA to establish membership guidelines for OA book publishers (http://oaspa.org/membership/membership-criteria/).

Member of OASPA


'IFLA/Brill Open Access award' DOAB received the 2015 IFLA/Brill Open Access award, which was created to reward initiatives that facilitate and/or promote Open Access scholarly monographs in the humanities or social sciences. The jury recognised DOAB’s ‘invaluable worth by becoming the central hub of the global infrastructure for open access book publishing.’
'Best Free Reference Web Site' DOAB was selected as one of the MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites for 2013, voted for by member librarians from around the United States. ‘MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference’ is a section of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association (ALA).
'Best New Product' DOAB received the Best New Product award in the 2012 series of awards for the best and worst electronic products of interest to libraries, sponsored by the Charleston Advisor. The Charleston Advisor publishes reviews of online resources for libraries. All reviews are peer-reviewed by librarians.


The Directory of Open Access Books is a service of OAPEN Foundation. Please use the Contact form if you have any feedback or questions.