A Year with the Open Library of Humanities

Lindsey Beth Zelvin is the CHASE Editorial, Marketing and Technical Intern for the Open Library of Humanities. She is coming to the end of a yearlong placement with OLH which she began in November 2021. Lindsey is in the second year of her PhD in Narrative Nonfiction at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Her work investigates the methodologies and ethical responsibilities involved in creating narrative representations of chronic mental illness. She is currently writing a hybrid memoir of her own lived experience with anorexia, anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

FinELib partners with the Open Library of Humanities – FinELib

“FinELib and the not-for-profit Open Library of Humanities have signed a three-year (2022–2024) agreement that provides support for OLH through its Library Partnership Subsidy Model.

The partnership with OLH is FinELib’s first with a scholar-led diamond OA publisher.

Journals that have joined OLH include Glossa: a journal of general linquistics, Ethnologia Europaea, Architectural Histories as well as OLH’s flagship journal, the multidisciplinary Open Library of Humanities Journal….”

News – Four universities from the FinELib consortium join the Open Library of Humanities library partnership subsidy model

“We are pleased to announce that FinELib, a consortium of Finnish universities, research institutions, and public libraries have signed an agreement that provides support for the Open Library of Humanities from four of their member institutions: Abo Akademi University, University of Eastern Finland, University of Helsinki and University of Jyväskylä. ”

Janeway Systems partners with three more institutions to migrate their journals

“We are very pleased to announce that Janeway, our in-house publishing platform, has partnered with three more institutions to migrate their journals: Ghent University Library, the University of Iowa Libraries and Washington University in St Louis. These three new partnerships with Janeway will provide publishing infrastructure for the submission, curation, processing and preservation of the open access journals published at these institutions….”

News – Call for Special Collections!

“The Open Library of Humanities journal (OLHJ) is currently seeking new Special Collections to join our wide array of published research in the Humanities.  

OLHJ has published quality, peer-reviewed research across 40 Special Collections since 2016, with subjects ranging from ‘The Working-Class Avant-Garde’, to ‘Representing Classical Music in the Twenty-First Century’, and more recently ‘The Politics and History of Menstruation: Contextualising the Scottish campaign to End Period Poverty’. 

There are many benefits of publishing a Special Collection with OLHJ, including: ….”

News – OLH annual report 2021

“The Open Library of Humanities is an award-winning, academic-led, diamond open-access publisher of 28 journals based in the Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. We are part of a community of scholar-led, community-owned and non-profit publishing ecosystem that are exploring different business models and innovative approaches to open access publishing that are adapted to the needs, in this case, of academics in the humanities. The platform was launched in 2015 by Birkbeck academics Professor Martin Eve and Dr Caroline Edwards and has been operating as an independent charity until May 2021, which is when the platform merged with the university. The decision to merge was taken, specifically, to protect the “academic-led” quality of the organisation and to protect the charity from financial and personnel risks.

With initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and subsequent support from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Professor Peter Baldwin, the platform currently covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, rather than any author fee. This funding mechanism enables equitable open access in the humanities disciplines, with charges neither to readers nor authors….

Part of the OLH model that makes it so appealing lies in our journal ‘flipping’ programme, where we have sought to convert existing subscription titles to an open access model without fees. In September 2021 OLH re-opened its journal flipping programme and remains open to expressions of interest from subscription journals in the humanities seeking to move to a gold open access (OA) publishing model without author-facing charges (‘diamond’ OA). …”

News – The Open Library of Humanities welcomes Iowa State University as a higher tier supporter

“We are very pleased to announce that we have recently welcomed a new higher-tier supporter to our library board.  Iowa State University Library is a signatory of the Open Access 2020 Initiative and is active in national and international efforts to advance open access. As part of a land-grant university with a mission to create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place, the University Library works to ensure the free dissemination and preservation of the university’s research and scholarly outputs.

Iowa State University has been supporting the Open Library of Humanities since 2018 as a regular supporter and has voluntarily decided to increase its membership rate in order to contribute to the expanding of our portfolio of open access journals. In May 2021 we launched our new agreement with Jisc Collections, giving UK institutions the opportunity to voluntarily support us at a higher level (either Gold, Silver or Bronze) enabling us to expand our portfolio of open access journals. Institutions, worldwide, can also contribute at a higher level to facilitate flipping journals to open access. Iowa State University is the second institution from outside the UK that is contributing at a higher membership rate. Thanks to this contribution and the other 12 higher supporters, we will be able to continue expanding portfolio of diamond open access via our journal flipping programme, which is currently welcoming expressions of interest from subscription journals interested in becoming open access. …”

OA Leaders on Advancing the BOAI: Interview with Dr. Johan Rooryck

“In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), Scholastica reached out to OA leaders to get their take on the progression of the OA movement over the last two decades and recommendations to help advance fully-OA publishing in the years to come.

Kicking off the series, we welcome to the blog Dr. Johan Rooryck, Executive Director of cOAlition S, professor of linguistics at Leiden University, and editor-in-chief of the Diamond OA title Glossa: a journal of general linguistics. In the interview below, Dr. Rooryck shares his take on major OA publishing milestones up to this point and the essential roles all stakeholders have to play in advancing the BOAI principles to realize the founding vision of a future of free and unrestricted access to peer-reviewed research for all curious minds….”

News – Open Licensing and the Open Library of Humanities

“To date, OLH has steered authors towards more liberal Creative Commons licenses (i.e. CC BY) but has allowed editorial teams some latitude to allow more restrictive clauses (CC BY-ND). Recently, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the central indexer and quality verification service for open-access journals, wrote to us noting that CC BY-ND is incompatible with titles having the “DOAJ seal”. The DOAJ Seal “is awarded to journals that demonstrate best practice in open access publishing”. The Seal is an important mark in many ways for the libraries that support OLH because it guarantees a set of technical standards and integrations that are helpful. We would like our titles to have the DOAJ Seal where possible.

That said, we face some challenges. While many authors are happy with the more liberal licenses – or, perhaps more worryingly, do not understand the full implications of those licenses – the re-use of third-party material remains extremely difficult for us. Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAMs) are often extremely poor at understanding the conditions under which we need to license material and insist that the licensed material remains under an all rights reserved status. The inclusion of this material is not optional. It would be the equivalent, in a citation, to saying: “As Eve et al. note: [see their article, p. 35, where they describe the processes of peer review]” or similar. The utility of the article is severely degraded. …”

What is the relationship between legal form, governance, and ethics? | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“In the world of OA publishing, there have been further (not-so)shock waves reverberating this week as Knowledge Unlatched was sold to Wiley. One of the questions this raises is: how was it possible for this sale to go through and what could have been done to prevent it?

One of the first points to raise, and one that I have already made on Twitter, is that Knowledge Unlatched had to take a corporate form that protected its founder’s investment. Now, whether it’s what I would have done is a different matter, but it nonetheless takes a lot of guts to stake a huge amount (or, even, all) of your personal pension on an idea, which is what Frances Pinter did. But if you need the money back, you have to be able to sell the asset. So the fact that KU didn’t attract the not-for-profit investment affected the choice of corporate form.

What does being a charity or community interest company actually mean, though? It means, first, that your organization has an eleemosynary purpose. That is, it must be operated for the public benefit. Education, for instance, is a charitable object. It doesn’t even, in UK law, though, have to be education for everyone (the general public). Private schools can be (and often are) charities, despite only providing education to the subset of the “general public” who pay them. Hence, academic publishing can be a charitable purpose, even if it’s not openly accessible.

Second, it means that your organization is subject to certain types of financial control, but also benefit. In the UK, charities that raise money in fulfillment of their charitable purposes are not subject to corporation tax (though they are subject to VAT, under specific circumstances, and also to other taxes). They can also be converted only to organizations that share commensurate charitable objects. OLH, for instance, can merge with Birkbeck, University of London, because they share the charitable purposes of education for the public benefit.

Third, it also means that you will probably struggle for money. Charities are not allowed just to rake in tonnes and tonnes of surplus without question. They have to operate somewhat prudently. They also don’t have the mega-bucks of the big for-profit players, which means that they can usually be out-competed by these entities, which could, to be frank, starve the not-for-profits out, Uber-style, if they wanted.”

OLH reopens applications to flip subscription journals to open access | Open Library of Humanities

We are delighted to announce that the Open Library of Humanities is now open to expressions of interest from subscription journals in the humanities seeking to move to a gold open access (OA) publishing model without author-facing charges (‘diamond’ OA).

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs). We are funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined us in our mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future. Our mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities – for free, for everyone, for ever.

BTAA Joins Open Library of Humanities | Big Ten Academic Alliance

“The Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) have signed a three-year collective agreement that provides multi-year support for OLH from all of the BTAA’s fifteen member libraries. This move was made possible thanks to the OLH Open Consortial Offer, an initiative that offers consortia, societies, networks and scholarly projects the opportunity to join the Open Library of Humanities Library Partnership Subsidy system as a bloc, enabling each institution to benefit from a discount….”

Experimental Publishing collaboration with POP, the Politics of Patents project · COPIM

“The experimental publishing group at COPIM is collaborating with four research ?and book publishing projects:

?One focuses on POP and Data books ?working together with Mattering Press.

A second one, in collaboration with Open Humanities Press, explores the notion of Combinatorial Books that are made by reusing existing texts beyond established citation practices. Both involve innovative re-use of source data and texts. 

A third project, X-Sketchbook, in collaboration with TIB Hannover (Germany), The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL, London, UK), and Open Book Publishers, will explore the state of the art of experimentation in architectural publishing.

And a fourth project, Citizen Science for Research Libraries—A Guide, in collaboration with TIB Hannover and the LIBER Citizen Science Working Group, will explore ways to assist research libraries in setting up Citizen Science programs at their institutions….”

News – The University of Chichester joins OLH LPS Model

“We are pleased to announce that the University of Chichester has joined the Open Library of Humanities’ Library Partnership Subsidy system. The University of Chichester is a thriving higher education institution, which was recently recognised as a one of the top-30 universities in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2021). The history of its two campuses, in Chichester and Bognor Regis, dates back to 1839 and it gained university status in 2005.  The University is known for its outstanding student experience and its commitment to innovative approaches to widening access to university, including outreach to nearby schools and colleges and alternative routes to higher education; such as degree apprenticeships. The University also holds a Silver TEF Award and is a member of The Cathedrals Group. 90 per cent of its research was rated as internationally-renowned and 15 per cent as world-leading in the latest Research Excellent Framework (REF 2014). Its key disciplines are in sport, education, creative and digital technologies, and engineering, with a new School of Nursing and Allied Heath aiming to develop hundreds of new healthcare professionals in post-Covid era.”