Springer announced this week that it has expanded its open access (OA) publishing program to include a full open access option for e- books. The move further extends Springer’s embrace of open access—which includes its SpringerOpen journals program, and BioMed Central, the pioneering open access journal portfolio, which it acquired in 2008. “Books are the next logical focus in the progression of open access,” said Eelco Ferwerda, director of the Directory of Open Access Books and the OAPEN Foundation, in a statement. “This initiative from Springer helps to establish open access as a viable publishing model for scholarly books.”

Springer has been the most aggressive of the major commercial STM publishers in pursuing Open Access publishing. The company launched its Springer Open Choice model in 2004 and has continued to expand its open access programs as open access has grown in popularity among researchers, authors and institutions.

Under its new open access program for e-books, authors are charged an open access fee at the beginning of the publication process, and the book is then made fully and immediately available on SpringerLink for anyone in the world with access to the Internet. The copyright remains with the book’s author (or editors, for collected volumes), and the books are published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BYNC) license, which facilitates the open distribution and the free re-use and sharing of the work for noncommercial purposes as long as the use is properly attributed. SpringerOpen Book titles will be listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), the international discover service for OA books.

The announcement was made at the Beijing International Book Fair, which kicked off today. In a statement, Bettina Goerner, Manager Open Access at Springer said the program came in response to rising demand from “authors, editors and societies” for an open access option for books.

Springer is one of the world’s largest commercial STM publishers, with some 2,000 journals and 7,000 new books published each year.