Frequently Asked Questions

Searching DOAB

What is the difference between Search and Browse?

You can use Search if you have a specific question. You can use Browse to look at several books that are related in some way.

What is the difference between Search and Advanced filters?

If you type something in the Search box, the search engine looks in all fields. If you want to search on a specific field, such as Author or Publisher, you can use Advanced search.

Which fields can be searched through Advanced filters?

  • Title
  • Contributor
  • Publisher
  • Funder
  • Language
  • Date Issued
  • Subject
  • Collection
  • DOI
  • Publication Type
  • Licence
  • ISBN

Can I put a search query in my internet favorites?

If you are interested in one specific subject and you want to check the contents of DOAB from time to time, you can create a search query. This query can be saved in your favorites. The query should look like this:[your query]


Can I put a search query in my internet favorites, with the newest titles at the top of the list?

If you want the newest titles at the top of the list, put this behind your query: &

Where can I see which subjects are available in DOAB?

You can find all available subjects here:

Using the books

What is the difference between Subject and Keywords?

The Subjects are part of a list maintained by DOAB. A publisher may also add any number of keywords – in any language.

How can I download the book?

Click on the ‘Download Url(s)’ link.

What can I do with the books in DOAB?

All books listed in DOAB are freely accessible and therefore free to read, but this does not mean readers are free to do anything they like with these books. The usage rights of the books in DOAB are determined by the licence. Please check the licence if you want to re-use the contents of a book. Generally speaking, all books included in DOAB are available under an open access licence (such as a Creative Commons licence).

How can I export the description of a book to Endnote, RefWorks etc.?

If you have used the search function, use the “Export” button and choose “RIS”.

Library access and metadata

Can we use the DOAB collection in our own library?

You can upload the metadata into your own library catalogue. What you can and cannot do with each individual book depends on the licence. The metadata of each book contains the licence information.

Where can I download DOAB metadata?

You can download the metadata here:

How can I download the metadata?

The metadata is available in the following formats:

OAI PMH harvesting: The base URL for OAI-PMH harvesting is

How can I use 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.

More details can be found here.

How can I see which books were added last, using a comma-separated file?

When you download the list of record in a comma separated format (using this link: (, import the file to MS Access, Google Sheets or another software program. Then sort the data using the column “dc.dateaccessed”.

Are there any legal restrictions to using metadata records from DOAB in our own library?

There are no restrictions on the use of our metadata: all metadata feeds are freely available CC0 1.0. Of course, the rights on the books themselves may vary. This is recorded in the description of the book.

Does DOAB provide usage data?

DOAB does not host content – it only lists links to open access books and chapters – and for that reason we are not able to provide usage statistics. Please contact the publishers and platforms that host the titles directly.

Relations between OAPEN and DOAB

What are the links between OAPEN and DOAB?

The OAPEN Library and DOAB are two services set up by the OAPEN Foundation. The OAPEN Library contains the full text of open access books. DOAB is a discovery service that points to open access books that can be found elsewhere.

What is the difference between the OAPEN Library and DOAB?

The OAPEN Library is a repository of peer reviewed open access books. It provides premium services to publishers, libraries, and funders in the areas of hosting, deposit, quality assurance, metadata enchancement, dissemination, usage analytics, and digital preservation.

DOAB is a directory of peer reviewed open access books and book publishers. It provides an indexing service with the aim of being a global and reliable source for OA book metadata and OA publishers. DOAB enhances discoverability and maximises dissemination and visibility. All DOAB services are free of charge and all metadata is freely available (CC0). Unlike OAPEN, DOAB does not host books, but instead directs users towards the open access version.

What is the difference in content between the OAPEN Library and DOAB?

The OAPEN Library contains the full text of peer-reviewed open access books. DOAB contains only the description of these books. You can search both content and descriptions of books within the OAPEN Library. You can download the books directly. DOAB allows you to search the description of books and send you to the publisher’s website for download.

What is the difference between the licenses of the books included in the OAPEN Library and DOAB?

The OAPEN Library contains books which can be freely read and others which can be freely shared. All books included in DOAB can be freely shared. Books from the OAPEN Library that can only be freely read are not included in DOAB.

What is the difference between searching for book contents in the OAPEN Library and in DOAB?

The OAPEN Library contains the description and the full text of the books. DOAB contains only the description of the works. This is why you can do a more complete search in the OAPEN Library. This is not possible in DOAB.

Why are some books in the OAPEN Library not available through DOAB?

All books included in DOAB have a licence which permits free sharing. The OAPEN Library contains books that are free to read and free to share. Books that are only free to read are not included in DOAB.


Can I trust the publishers in DOAB?

All publishers in DOAB are screened for their peer review procedures and licensing policies. It’s a very recent list and there are many publishers not on it yet, but you can trust these publishers.

You can also trust publishers that are a member of OASPA (, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. OAPEN Foundation is a member of OASPA and works closely with OASPA to establish membership guidelines for OA book publishers. It is useful to check these guidelines if you are considering to submit a manuscript with a publisher you don’t know. We can also recommend the Think. Check. Submit. website which helps to determine whether a publisher is trustworthy by providing a checklist for books.

An OA book publisher contacted me and asked me to submit a chapter for a book. How would I rate this publisher or determine if they are a high impact publisher?

Generally speaking a request for a chapter should come from a colleague - a scholar or scientist acting as editor for the publication. You should be able to check the credentials of this person or even better, already know this person. If this is not the case, then you should be cautious. There are all sort of unprofessional publishers acting under the guise of academic OA publishing, usually looking for an author publication fee. They might publish books, but they don’t add value to scholarly communication in the way professional publishers should do.

Can I list my book in DOAB?

Books in DOAB are submitted by publishers only. The reason is that we need to verify that books have undergone independent and external peer review prior to publication, and are made available under an open access licence. If you are the author of a book that falls within the criteria of DOAB, we suggest you contact your publisher to apply here.

If the publisher is already listed in DOAB, send us the details of your book using the contact form, and we’ll be happy to contact the publisher ourselves.