Abstract: The OLH is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing world-leading open access humanities scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges. Launched in 2015, our free-to-read, free-to-publish model was set up to revolutionise the field of open access publishing. Five years on, our sustainable business model has attracted nearly 300 supporting institutions, with further revenue generated through hosting on our in-house open source publishing platform Janeway, enabling us to establish a thriving platform of 28 peer-reviewed open access journals.
The OLH has been internationally recognised as an important development in open access for the humanities and for its innovative business model. The current level of Article Processing Charges makes gold OA publishing unaffordable for the majority of unfunded humanities scholars. The OLH aims instead to implement a collaborative, or collective, funding model for gold open access in the humanities without APCs. The model proposed by the OLH is one where publication costs do not fall on the institution or researchers but, are instead financed collaboratively through an international library consortium, where each member pays an annual fee according to the country and size of the institution. Reducing and distributing the costs of publication across its members, with an economy of scale that improves as more institutions join. Our idea is that research organisations and libraries make a relatively small contribution that covers the costs of running a publication platform on which peer-reviewed scholarly journals can then be published as open access. The platform was initially funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and now, five years after its launch, entirely covers its costs by payments from its international library consortium. Our mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities – for free, for everyone, for ever.
Earlier this year, the Open Library of Humanities launched the OLH Open Access Award 2020, a fund dedicated to promoting the benefits and impact of open access to humanities scholars and disciplines and to knowledge worldwide. Our open access awards have been awarded to two organisations in recognition for their exceptional open access scholarly projects. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to everyone who applied. The winners are announced below:
National Library of Kosovo; Zaide Krapi and Liridon Zekaj…
Open Access Digital Theological Library; Ann Hidalgo….”
KU Leuven promotes non-commercial and community-owned approaches of OA, especially through the KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA. On the one hand, the fund supports innovative publishing initiatives and infrastructures. On the other hand, the fund covers membership costs for consortia and advocacy organizations focusing on a non-commercial approach to scholarly communication. On this page you can find an overview of everything that KU Leuven endorses.
“All of this is to say that running a business model is expensive in terms of time and money. There is a point at which it is cheaper to sink the volunteer labour and not to bother investing in revenue generation that may be more appropriate for small organizations. Once you start taking money, you need to set aside a portion of that income just to sustain the revenue-generating activities, rather than using the revenue to perform the original publishing activities that you wanted to do.”
“This session, run by the Open Library of Humanities, introduces the Janeway publishing platform and gives a demo of its core functionality. Janeway is a journal platform designed for publishing scholarly research material. Open source and developed in the open, with a modular plugin system, this session will allow participants to meet the development team and to explore the functionality of the platform.”
“We are very pleased to announce that the University of Oslo has joined the Open Library of Humanities’ Library Partnership Subsidy system. The University of Oslo (Norwegian: Universitetet i Oslo), until 1939 named the Royal Frederick University (Norwegian: Det Kongelige Frederiks Universitet), is the oldest university in Norway, located in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The university was established in 1813, when the city after which it is named was still just a provincial town called Christiania. Since then it has made academic breakthroughs in law, science (especially maritime science) and played a key role in Norway’s liberation from Denmark. The university constitutes Norway’s largest research institution comprising eight faculties: Theology, Law, Medicine, Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Dentistry, Social Sciences, and Education. It offers over 800 courses, all taught in English, with 40 Master’s degree programmes also taught in English. Five Nobel Laureates are associated with the university. They include chemist Odd Hassel, economist Ragnar Frisch and Ivar Giæver, an electrical engineer who worked on electron tunnelling and biophysics.
The Open Library of Humanities is an academic-led, gold open-access publisher with no author-facing charges. With initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the platform covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, rather than any kind of author fee….”
“The Open Library of Humanities, or OLH, is an open access publisher dedicated to publishing peer-reviewed open access scholarship in the humanities, based at Birkbeck, University of London. We’re a scholar-led, not-for-profit publisher and all of our 28 academic journals are both free to read and free to access, with no article processing charges. Our mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities – for free, for everyone, for ever.
The OLH model was established to spread the costs of open access publishing fairly and collectively. Initially funded by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and from OpenAIRE, part of the European Commission, the OLH is funded by an international consortium of libraries and institutions which each contribute an annual membership. Rates are banded according to the institution’s size, and are kept low to ensure affordability, while smaller institutions pay less.
We’re incredibly grateful to our supporters for their help; as a supporting institution, the University of Groningen is part of an international community of nearly 300 supporters from 18 countries. Each of our supporters plays an invaluable part in keeping the OLH working – so a huge thank you to the University of Groningen from us all at OLH. Each supporting member is entitled to a voting position on the Library Governance board, with the ability to vote on the inclusion of new journals, allowing the OLH to be collaboratively governed by its supporters….”
“When a journal migrates across to OLH, we ask libraries who used to subscribe if they would consider supporting OLH. One reply we had to this was that the customer had “already bought the print version”, as though this covered our costs. There was a fundamental conceptual misunderstanding of what is being paid for when buying print as opposed to supporting a consortial membership model for OA, like OLH. When we sell a print copy, we are covering the costs to us of producing and shipping the object. An OLH membership, on the other hand, lets us create the OA and print editions. The media objects – digital or print – would not exist without this support.
Abstract: The Open Library of Humanities was launched almost half a decade ago with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In this article, we outline the problems we set out to address and the lessons we learned. Specifically, we note that, as we hypothesized, academic libraries are not necessarily classical economic actors; that implementing consortial funding models requires much marketing labour; that there are substantial governance and administrative overheads in our model; that there are complex tax and VAT considerations for consortial arrangements; and that diverse revenue sources remain critical to our success.
“We are very pleased to announce that the Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics (ZAS) has joined the Open Library of Humanities’ Library Partnership Subsidy system. The Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics (ZAS) is a non-university research centre located in the federal state of Berlin. The research centre is dedicated to the description and explanation of the structure of natural language and the breadth of its variation. Within ZAS projects, research is conducted by experts from all major areas of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, as well as creole studies and child language acquisition. Such a concentration of active research in all sub-disciplines of linguistics within one single research centre is unique in Germany and permits lively exchange on current research findings and methods. Since 2017, ZAS has been jointly funded by the federal and state governments as a member of the Leibniz-Association. The umbrella organisation of ZAS is the Berlin Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (Geisteswissenschaftliche Zentren Berlin e.V.). …”