“Without open source digital infrastructure, open access publishing has no long-term chance of truly remaining open, that is, not only free to read but also free to write, free to edit, and free to publish. Without a commitment to make, as much as possible, the entire book production pipeline open, the decision of who gets to write and who gets to read will always remain beholden to actors that do not consider the public good their first priority.
An overarching profit motive of any of the vendors that punctum books uses as part of its pipeline posits a risk for our open access ideal: we are as weak as our most commercial link. Furthermore, the implementation of GDPR in the European Union obliges us to be much more careful with what happens with the personal data of our authors and readers – and rightfully so. Like knowledge, privacy is a public good that is at odds with the idea of profit maximalization. The open source community, on the contrary, embraces the public sharing of knowledge while safeguarding the human right to privacy.
Our first step was to find a replacement of the technically most complicated part of the book production process, the book design itself. This brought us to the good folks of Editoria, who are very close to cracking the nut of creating an open source online collaborative environment for the editing of scholarly texts combined with an output engine that creates well designed EPUB, HTML, PDF, and ICML output formats.
Through the COPIM project of Scholarled, punctum books was also already involved in the development of a metadata database and management system (under the codenames Thoth and Hapi) that will be the first free and open source system to generate ONIX, MARC, and KBART records….”