“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). …”