An informal Q&A with Demmy Verbeke, who is Head of Artes, a division of KU Leuven Libraries, and plays a central role in organising library services for the Arts and Humanities at KU Leuven.
Opening the Future is a collective subscription model for OA books. Libraries can sign up for its membership scheme, which implies that they grow their collections and support Open Access at the same time. The objective is to raise small contributions from a large number of academic libraries, so that no single institution bears a disproportionate burden.
How does it work?
A library subscribes to a backlist package of non-OA books offered by a publisher. The publisher makes this backlist package of non-OA books available to subscribers only (in other words: books in this package remain non-OA), but uses the subscription money to publish new books in OA. These new books are thus made available to everyone in OA, benefitting scholars and institutions around the world.
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.
“KU Leuven launches the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access, enabling the publication of scholarly books and articles in a way that is cost-effective, puts academics back in charge and benefits the public at large. For many years now, opposition against a commercial approach towards scholarly publishing has been growing stronger and stronger. The for-profit model leads to publications which are prohibitively expensive, either for the reader or for the researcher, and typically puts commercial partners in control of the dissemination of scholarly work since researchers have to transfer critical aspects of their author’s rights in order to get published. Alternatives such as Green Open Access (whereby researchers make an archival copy of their publication freely available to all), in most fields, do not challenge the traditional commercial publication model enough. Therefore, another alternative is on the rise, namely Fair Open Access. Publications in Fair Open Access are immediately freely available to all, are produced according to cost-effective (rather than commercial) principles and guarantee full control of researchers over the entire publication process. KU Leuven has been supporting Green Open Access for many years already, and now intensifies its efforts to maximize scholarly exchange, collaboration and innovation by creating the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access, administered by KU Leuven Libraries. This fund provides financial support for the production costs of books published by Leuven University Press as well as articles in selected journals, on the condition that these journals are published according to the Fair Open Access model and maintain the highest academic standards. More information and application forms can be found here.”