Sketching a direction of travel: An update from Work Package 2 · COPIM

“Work Package 2 is invested in addressing a key question: how can open access book publishers better collaborate with scholarly libraries? This is the question that we have explored over a series of project workshops – all online due to Covid – which have involved representatives from scholarly libraries in both the UK and the US. These workshops have been incredibly valuable for us, and we would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who have participated.

We have already highlighted how the two US workshops — one in May, one in July — shed light on a range of topics, including issues of the discoverability of open access content in library catalogues, concerns about the sustainability of open access publishing, how important it is for open access initiatives to both involve stakeholders in their development and to clearly articulate their values and for these to align with those of their stakeholders, and the need to reimagine the system of scholarly communication to be more diverse and inclusive.

The UK workshop in June very much echoed these themes, and drew insights from colleagues working in the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium, University of York, University of Cambridge, University of Sussex, University of Salford, Maynooth University, Birkbeck, University of London, Loughborough University, as well as other institutional representatives who have chosen to remain anonymous in project outputs….”

Opening the Future: A New Model for Open Access Books

“Established in 1993 to reflect the intellectual strengths and values of its parent institution, CEU Press is a leading publisher in the history of communism and transitions to democracy. It is widely recognised as the foremost English-language university press dedicated to research on Central and Eastern Europe and the former communist countries. It publishes approximately 25 new titles a year and has a large backlist of over 450 titles with e-books already available through several platforms.

Sustainable funding for OA monographs

Building on library journal membership models such as Open Library of the Humanities and ‘Subscribe to Open’, CEU Press is creating a sustainable OA publishing model that will give members access to a selection of the extensive backlist, DRM free and with perpetual access after a subscription period of three years. This membership revenue will be used to make newly-published books openly accessible to anyone.

When the revenue target is met and the entire monograph frontlist is openly accessible, future membership fee rates can be lowered. The model has support from LYRASIS who will assist with organizing library participation in the programme and has support from OAPEN. Project MUSE will host the books, providing MARC records, KBART files and supporting discovery systems, and subscribers will have access to COUNTER compliant statistics. Membership is open to libraries and institutions worldwide. There are no catches and no hidden fees – members won’t be asked to pay more on top of their annual fee to access ‘more’ or ‘better’ titles. Packages won’t suddenly change….”

Opening the Future: A New Model for Open Access Books

“Established in 1993 to reflect the intellectual strengths and values of its parent institution, CEU Press is a leading publisher in the history of communism and transitions to democracy. It is widely recognised as the foremost English-language university press dedicated to research on Central and Eastern Europe and the former communist countries. It publishes approximately 25 new titles a year and has a large backlist of over 450 titles with e-books already available through several platforms.

Sustainable funding for OA monographs

Building on library journal membership models such as Open Library of the Humanities and ‘Subscribe to Open’, CEU Press is creating a sustainable OA publishing model that will give members access to a selection of the extensive backlist, DRM free and with perpetual access after a subscription period of three years. This membership revenue will be used to make newly-published books openly accessible to anyone.

When the revenue target is met and the entire monograph frontlist is openly accessible, future membership fee rates can be lowered. The model has support from LYRASIS who will assist with organizing library participation in the programme and has support from OAPEN. Project MUSE will host the books, providing MARC records, KBART files and supporting discovery systems, and subscribers will have access to COUNTER compliant statistics. Membership is open to libraries and institutions worldwide. There are no catches and no hidden fees – members won’t be asked to pay more on top of their annual fee to access ‘more’ or ‘better’ titles. Packages won’t suddenly change….”

The open-access monograph conundrum can be solved

“I have been thinking about models for OA monographs for over a decade, trying to find an affordable way for small-medium -sized presses – and particularly university presses – to transition to fee-free OA. My experience of implementing a business model with these characteristics at the Open Library of Humanities has taught me many valuable lessons about the degree of labour involved and the limits of scalability.

I believe that this year we have developed such a model, through our work at COPIM, that could work for many mid-size university presses. It is a model that preserves print and that is low risk. A model that is affordable for libraries but avoids charging authors. Most importantly, it is a model that scales dynamically: as membership grows, books are made OA the second that a press hits the revenue threshold, meaning that it is not an “all or nothing” approach. The model is called Opening the Future.

The model works by offering a subscription package to elements of a press’s backlist. That is, the press offers options of collections of 50 or so titles to libraries, to which institutions subscribe. These titles are not open access but are offered as a subscription for the duration of the term.

However, in Opening the Future, revenue from the subscriptions is used to fund frontlist titles to go open access. This model, then, appeals both those who wish to pay for subscription-access content (more traditional university acquisition models) and those who support OA initiatives. It brings many institutions together under one roof for an affordable route to open-access books. Of course, the model does not obviate the need for subsidy; the Central European University Press, who are the first press to implement the plan, receives support from its host institution (as should all university presses)….”

The open-access monograph conundrum can be solved

“I have been thinking about models for OA monographs for over a decade, trying to find an affordable way for small-medium -sized presses – and particularly university presses – to transition to fee-free OA. My experience of implementing a business model with these characteristics at the Open Library of Humanities has taught me many valuable lessons about the degree of labour involved and the limits of scalability.

I believe that this year we have developed such a model, through our work at COPIM, that could work for many mid-size university presses. It is a model that preserves print and that is low risk. A model that is affordable for libraries but avoids charging authors. Most importantly, it is a model that scales dynamically: as membership grows, books are made OA the second that a press hits the revenue threshold, meaning that it is not an “all or nothing” approach. The model is called Opening the Future.

The model works by offering a subscription package to elements of a press’s backlist. That is, the press offers options of collections of 50 or so titles to libraries, to which institutions subscribe. These titles are not open access but are offered as a subscription for the duration of the term.

However, in Opening the Future, revenue from the subscriptions is used to fund frontlist titles to go open access. This model, then, appeals both those who wish to pay for subscription-access content (more traditional university acquisition models) and those who support OA initiatives. It brings many institutions together under one roof for an affordable route to open-access books. Of course, the model does not obviate the need for subsidy; the Central European University Press, who are the first press to implement the plan, receives support from its host institution (as should all university presses)….”

COPIM Experimental Publishing Workshop – Part 2: Promoting Experimental Publishing  · COPIM

“Following on from our previous post – summarising our discussion of inhibitions towards experimental publishing – this post looks at how we can stimulate experimentation, looking to understand how it can be encouraged within academic publishing and how some of the inhibitions described previously can be addressed. The following is a summary of our discussions.

Underlying our discussions were the following questions:

How can we stimulate the uptake of experimental publishing and the creation of experimental long-form publications, and the reuse of and engagement with OA books?

What projects/platforms/software do we need to be aware of and in touch with?

What strategies should we devise to stimulate experimentation and reuse?….”

Library Support for OA Books Workshop: the Southern European perspective. · COPIM

“As part of the projects conducted for the COPIM Work Package 2 (Revenue Infrastructures and Management Platform) and OPERAS-P Work Package 6 (Innovation), we are continuing a series of European-based workshops, aiming at gaining  a better understanding of the national-specific issues surrounding collective funding for OA books from a library perspective. The fourth online workshop took place on October 8th. This time we invited representatives of three Southern European countries. OA specialists and librarians from Croatia, Greece and Slovenia joined us to discuss how their libraries deal with OA books. From Ljubljana via Zagreb  to Athens: we had colleagues sitting down with us, sharing screens, links and their views from different national perspectives….”

Library Support for OA Books Workshop: the Polish perspective. · COPIM

“As part of the projects conducted for the COPIM Work Package 2 (Revenue Infrastructures and Management Platform) and OPERAS-P Work Package 6 (Innovation), we are continuing a series of European-based workshops, aiming at gaining a better understanding of the national-specific issues surrounding collective funding for OA books from a library perspective. The second online workshop took place on August 13th. This time we took a peek beyond the usual Western-centric horizon and travelled (even if only virtually) east, beyond the German border….”

Sharing knowledge in COPIM and beyond · COPIM

“COPIM divides its work across six interlinked work packages (WPs), ranging from developing consortial and institutional funding systems, examining production workflows and monograph metadata, through to looking at experimental publishing and open access (OA) book archiving. The work package that we are running (WP3), is dedicated to sharing knowledge as part of the project’s core commitment to dissemination. Part of this involves showcasing COPIM’s work externally so that others, including other book publishers, can use the infrastructures that the project produces.

One of the central planks of WP3 is to help at least two non-OA publishers to transition their business models to new OA versions. Working with these publishers, WP3 will assist them in migrating their economic models to open-access equivalents, while documenting the process and sharing this publicly….”