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DOAB: Directory of Open Access Books

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Searching DOAB

What is the difference between Search and Browse?

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

What is the difference between Search and Advanced search?

If you type something in the Search box, the DOAB 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 search?

  • Title
  • ISBN
  • Author
  • Keywords
  • Abstract
  • Publisher
  • Year

After searching, how can I narrow my results?

You can use the following aspects of the books:

  • Publisher
  • License
  • Language
  • Year

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 keyword or keywords].

If you want to search on the term ‘water’, the query will become:


If you want to search on two or more words, use a ‘+’. So, ‘open access’ becomes ‘open+access’:


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: &sort=yearDesc

Searching on ‘water’:

Searching on ‘open access’:

Where can I see which subjects are available in DOAB?

We have placed all available subjects in a ‘subject tree’. You can find it here: []

Using the books

How can I see the abstract of the book?

The abstract of the book is not immediately visible. Click on the ‘Abstract’ link.

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. Those keywords are available through the ‘Keywords’ link.

How can I download the book?

Click on the ‘Free access’ 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 license. Please check the license if you want to re-use the contents of a book. Generally speaking, all books listed in DOAB are free to read and share for non-commercial use.

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

Click on the ‘Export citation’ link.

How can I buy a paper copy of the book?

Click on the ‘Buy the book’ link.

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 license. The metadata of each book contains the license information.

Where can I download the DOAB metadata?

You can download the metadata here: []

How can I download the metadata?

At this stage we provide two ways to make our metadata available:

  • OAI Harvesting
  • Download of a CSV file

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.

Technical information:

More details can be found here.

How can I harvest records in MARC XML format?

Use “metadataPrefix=marcxml”:

Does DOAB keep track of deleted records?

Yes. The deleted records can be retrieved using the OAI protocol, and you can look them up here: [].

How can I see which books were added last via OAI harvesting?

The OAI protocol enables selective harvesting.

How can I harvest more than 100 books?

You need to use the 'resumption token'. Look at the bottom of the selected list. Your command should look like this:[the resumption token]

Where can I download a comma-separated file?

You can also download the list of records in DOAB in a comma-separated format. Then you can import the file to Excel or another software program for further use. Use this link: []

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 Excel or another software program. Then sort the data using the column “Added on date”.

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 available under a CC0 1.0 license. Of course, the rights on the books themselves may vary. This is recorded in the description of the book.


Can I trust the publishers in DOAB?

All publishers in DOAB (listed here: []) 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.

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 license.

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.

Directory of Open Access Books is a joint service of OAPEN, OpenEdition, CNRS and Aix-Marseille Université, provided by DOAB Foundation. ©2020 SemperTool