The University Libraries at University of Rhode Island (URI) are the latest to subscribe to Liverpool University Press’s OA monograph funding programme.
With history dating back to 1888, the URI has nearly 18,000 students representing 48 states and 76 countries. The library has chosen to subscribe to a package containing two monograph series: Contemporary Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures, and Liverpool Latin American Studies. In total they will get multi-user electronic access to 36 titles.
Books in the package include award-winning titles and widely adopted texts, such as Business History in Latin America and Shining Path: Guerilla War in Peru’s Northern Highlands. After three years of membership, the URI will retain perpetual access to all the eBooks in the package.
“We are thrilled to have the University of Rhode Island as a new member of Opening the Future,” said LUP’s CEO Anthony Cond. “They are our first North American member and we are grateful to them for joining, and to LYRASIS for making the sign up process so simple”.
If you would like to see how your library might similarly enhance your digital collection of eBooks by becoming a member of Opening the Future, you can read more about the programme and benefits here: https://lup.openingthefuture.net/
van Gerven Oei, V. W. J., Gatti, R., & Arias, J. (2021). New Thoth Releases and WP5 Updates. COPIM. https://doi.org/10.21428/785a6451.cfab5944 van Gerven Oei, V. W. J., Gatti, R., & Arias, J. (2021). New Thoth Releases and WP5 Updates. COPIM. https://doi.org/10.21428/785a6451.cfab5944van Gerven Oei, V. W. J., Gatti, R., & Arias, J. (2021). New Thoth Releases and WP5 Updates. COPIM. https://doi.org/10.21428/785a6451.cfab5944
See what’s new in the development of Thoth, our Open Metadata Management System! Thoth is an open, community-owned and governed system designed for the curation & sharing of open metadata for Open Access books
The theme for Open Access Week 2021 is ‘It matters how we open knowledge: building structural equity’. Here at COPIM we spend a lot of time thinking about equitable ways to support Open Access book publishing, so, to mark the occasion, we bring you an interview with our software developer Javier Arias reflecting on a key piece of infrastructure we are building: our open dissemination system, Thoth.
“Over the course of the COPIM project, Work Package 2 has been in the process of developing a new online infrastructural intermediary that can sit between scholarly libraries and OA publishers and other initiatives, to deliver new and more sustainable sources of revenue. As mentioned in our last report, the organisation that will support this intermediary now has a name: Open Book Collective (OBC).
The OBC will respond to the need for new forms of collaborative interaction between publishers, researchers, universities, and scholarly libraries by offering a contextual platform that supports the promotion of open access publishing activities and facilitates collective funding support. OBC will be a non-profit incorporated entity legally founded in the UK and we expect soon to be able to confirm its precise organisational form….”
“How should a collective be governed? This was the question that punctum books’ Director Eileen Joy and I took the lead in addressing, in collaboration with our COPIM colleagues and a range of workshop participants. The terms of the question seem almost contradictory: a ‘collective’ implies equity, collegiality, co-operation and a lack of organized hierarchy, whilst ‘governed’ suggests top-down management structures, or the imposition of rules and regulations by a select group over a larger majority. Obviously, the latter model would not be in line with the values of a project we are calling the Open Book Collective – i.e., a consortium that brings together publishers, librarians and other stakeholders in the future of open access monographs via a platform that catalogues, distributes and sustains OA books – yet at the same time, we needed to find a way that the different groups of stakeholders could be effectively organized to work together and get the most out of the platform in a mutually beneficial arrangement. For the purposes of the platform we are building, that means publishers, librarians, scholars, researchers, universities, infrastructure providers, authors, readers and more. The platform needs to respond to a wide range of interests, needs and requirements, even if all of us were committed to the overarching values of sustainable Open Access publishing for monographs….”
How should a collective be governed? This was the question that punctum books’ Director Eileen Joy and I took the lead in addressing, in collaboration with our COPIM colleagues and a range of workshop participants. The terms of the question seem almost contradictory: a ‘collective’ implies equity, collegiality, co-operation and a lack of organized hierarchy, whilst ‘governed’ suggests top-down management structures, or the imposition of rules and regulations by a select group over a larger majority. Obviously, the latter model would not be in line with the values of a project we are calling the Open Book Collective – i.e., a consortium that brings together publishers, librarians and other stakeholders in the future of open access monographs via a platform that catalogues, distributes and sustains OA books – yet at the same time, we needed to find a way that the different groups of stakeholders could be effectively organized to work together and get the most out of the platform in a mutually beneficial arrangement. For the purposes of the platform we are building, that means publishers, librarians, scholars, researchers, universities, infrastructure providers, authors, readers and more. The platform needs to respond to a wide range of interests, needs and requirements, even if all of us were committed to the overarching values of sustainable Open Access publishing for monographs.
Politics of Patents, or POP, is a research project headed by Kat Jungnickel looking at 200 years of clothing patents to reveal some of the hidden ideas, practices and histories that are inscribed into people’s dress. Working with over 370,000 patents, Kat and her team have unearthed the stories and designs of many lesser-known inventors who pushed and struggled to change how people’s dress addresses political needs and desires for liberation, safety, containment and expression. The archive of patents in this work is not just a record of what was, but a resource that opens up and expands normative understandings of the world at different times.
One of the project’s questions is how large amounts of seemingly dry and dusty data can be brought into experience, on bodies, to literally craft different bodies and possibilities. They are exploring this by combining research with reconstruction; making and wearing a collection of historic costumes from the archive. The question speaks to the work of Julien McHardy and his colleagues Rebekka Kiesewetter, Janneke Adema, Gary Hall, Tobias Steiner, and Simon Bowie at COPIM’s experimental publishing group, exploring books as intermediaries that can anchor and hold previously published data, text and analysis as well as collectives and practices.
At COPIM’s experimental publishing group, we’re especially interested in the book as a dynamic conduit between archive and interpretation. We think of books that relate digital archival material, and data to interpretation as Data Books. We are interested in where the archive ends and the book starts, and how new technologies and open copyright regimes allow blurring that boundary between data and analysis in productive ways. With that in mind, we experiment with relating databases, previously published sources, narrative and analytical storytelling in new ways. The book, we explore as a site of archive/reading/writing interference; an interface for bringing data into shared experience; transforming data from disembodied information to situated, embodied, relational, and negotiated knowledges.
Digital publishing tools and non-restrictive copyright regimes make it possible to incorporate source texts and data in ways that go beyond conventional citation practices, re-assessing the relationships between publications and their sources while providing full attribution. In the summer of 2021, COPIM’s Experimental Publishing Group hosted a mini-workshop series on ReUsing Data and ReUsing Texts to explore this potential. The ReUsing Data workshop experimented with how scholars and new kinds of data books might assemble, relate, expose and perform data differently.
The ReUsing Texts workshop focused on how scholars might gather, engage, (dis)appropriate, remix and rewrite existing texts. The Combinatorial Books: Gathering Flowers project, set up by COPIM, Open Humanities Press and Gabriela Méndez Cota explores rewriting as a way of writing books. We co-hosted the workshop with Gabriela’s team of scholars, technologists, and students from the Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México and their work inspired the event. Gabriela and her team set out to collaboratively ‘rewrite’ Tondeur and Marder’s book The Chernobyl Herbarium: Fragments of an Exploded Consciousness (Open Humanities Press, 2016).
With the rise of Open Access (OA), academic book publishing and its funding are changing. This session will give librarians a better understanding of a number of emerging OA book funding models that support smaller presses, exploring how libraries can better evaluate their investment in these models.
Demand for OA books is increasing and publishers are responding with funding models such as MIT Press’s Direct2Open, or institutional agreements such as that between Springer Nature and UC Berkeley Library. A range of smaller presses are also critical to the academic book landscape, including those ‘born-OA’ presses that have long blazed a trail for OA books and a ‘long tail’ of smaller, non-OA presses that must adapt to a new OA reality.
Funding models are emerging to support these smaller presses, based not on Book Processing Charges (BPCs) but collective library funding. This session, led by members of the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project, will explore three such models, how they were devised, and what they offer to libraries, together with the issues librarians have raised when considering whether to support them.
It will explore: Opening the Future, a ‘subscribe to open’ model enabling smaller presses to ‘flip’ to OA; the library membership programmes of individual OA presses; and a collective approach with scholar-led presses providing combined affordable offers to libraries, including the underlying infrastructure to facilitate the discovery, dissemination and preservation of their OA books. COPIM’s members have pioneered the development of these models, enabling them to offer a unique look at their inner workings.
This session provides critical insights into the governance structures and operations of these models, and what they offer library communities. Attendees will be given the tools to make more informed decisions about the long-term management of their investment in consortial library funding programs.
Lucy Barnes, Editor and Outreach Coordinator, Open Book Publishers
Dr. Judith Fathallah, Research and Outreach Associate, Lancaster University
Dr. Lidia Uziel, Associate University Librarian for Research Resources and Scholarly Communication, University of California Santa Barbara
Prof. Martin Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing and the Strategic Lead for Digital Education at Birkbeck, University of London
Dr. Vincent Van Gerven-Oei, Co-Director of punctum books
Dr. Rupert Gatti, Fellow in Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge and Director of Open Book Publishers
UKRI, the UK’s national research funding agency, and cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders, recently reaffirmed their commitments to delivering open access to academic books. However, whilst an open trajectory has been clearly set, how this is to be achieved remains unclear. In this post Lucy Barnes argues that for academic books to be genuinely open, an emphasis should be placed on collective funding models that limit the prospect of new barriers to access being erected through the imposition of expensive book processing charges (BPCs).
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.
The open access movement has dropped barriers to readers only to erect them for authors. The reason is the article processing charge (APC), which typically runs $3,000 to $5,000. The APC model, with its tolled access to authorship, is the subscription model seen through a camera obscura: author paywalls in place of reading paywalls.
Most scholars cannot afford the steep fees, a fact masked by the privileged segment who can: scientists in the rich industrialized world, and scholars in a handful of wealthy European countries and North American universities. The fees are often paid via so-called “read-and-publish” deals, which fold APCs into the subscription contracts that libraries negotiate with publishers.
The emerging APC regime is also re-anointing the commercial oligopolists—the same five firms that fleece universities through usurious subscription charges. Springer Nature, Elsevier, and their peers are, with every read-and-publish deal, transitioning their enormous profit margins from tolled to open—and capturing the lion’s share of library spending in the process. Librarians continue to fund the tolled system, while also—at the richer institutions—picking up the tab for their faculty’s author fees. The result is an incumbent-publisher spending lockdown, one that ratifies the APC regime.
Any alternative to the prevailing scholarly communication system must be built atop a different funding model, one that excludes neither readers nor authors. In broad strokes, that model will center on direct support for publishing, drawn from funds currently allotted to subscription and APC spending. The same funders who finance the tolled-and-APC system—libraries but also foundations and government agencies—will, on this approach, redirect budgets to underwrite a diverse, community-led publishing ecosystem. Call it the collective funding model, predicated on open access for both readers and authors.