Open café for small university presses: an update, Thursday, February 10, 2022 @ 3pm (GMT) | Open Access Books Network

Last week, around 20 people from a number of presses gathered online to meet one another and discuss key areas of interest for small university presses publishing Open Access books—particularly those areas in which collaborative problem-solving, information-sharing, collective action or mutual support might be valuable.


“Just doing it”: Five Talks on Digital Scholarship and Open Book Publishing | Open Access Books Network

In this post, Jeroen Sondervan reflects on the OA Workouts: Scholars at Work series he hosted for the Open Access Books Network, discussing what we learned and what others might draw from these examples of open scholarship. If you are interested in hosting a series yourself, or if you have ideas about what you’d like to see covered in future events, email

Small university presses and OA books: come and join us! Thursday, Jan 27, 2022, 3pm (GMT) | Open Access Books Network

This year at the OABN, among other topics we want to focus on the challenges that small university presses face when publishing OA books — either in addition to a closed-access list, or as an entirely OA press.

The issues faced by smaller university presses when publishing OA are often different to the big publishers, and more akin to those tackled by small academic-led presses such as those that form the ScholarLed collective. The OABN coordinators (Agata, Lucy and Tom) are interested in finding out whether the OABN could be a useful forum for smaller university presses to gather and share knowledge and best practices, devise solutions to common issues, and ask for information or advice from the broader OABN community on any subject related to OA books. With this in mind, we are holding an Open Cafe on Thursday 27th January at 3pm GMT (details below).

Making new connections: year two of the OABN | Open Access Books Network

 by Lucy Barnes

The OABN was officially launched in September last year, so 2021 marked both our first full calendar year and the beginning of our second twelve months of activities. It’s been a year of spreading our wings, holding increasingly ambitious events and welcoming many more members to the OABN: here we offer a quick rundown of the year’s highlights.



“The Open Access Books Network announces a series of online events organised and hosted by Jeroen Sondervan, in which scholars from different academic fields will present their open access book project. They will give an insight into their project, followed by a conversation about how it came to be an open access book and what challenges and opportunities they’ve encountered. We will also dive into how technologies like new publishing software, innovative workflow processes, book sprinting and open peer review have shaped the project. The audience is invited to join the conversation and share questions, thoughts, ideas and good practices.

For the second event we welcome Professor Lucy Montgomery of Curtin University to talk about her latest project Open Knowledge Institutions….”

Open Access Book Programs: Answering Libraries’ Questions | Open Access Books Network

By Sharla Lair (Senior Strategist of Open Access and Scholarly Communication Initiatives, LYRASIS)

The library community is looking for new ways to use the funds they steward to open more scholarly content. There are fairly established strategies for funding open access (OA) journals, but many librarians have been asking:

What are the opportunities to direct funds to make scholarly books OA? And how do libraries evaluate these programs to determine whether library funds should be used to support them?


OA Book Programs: What are they and where to find them

The following is a fairly comprehensive list of OA book programs that are actively seeking funding from the library community:

Central European University Press Opening the Future
Knowledge Unlatched
Language Science Press
Liverpool University Press Opening the Future
Lever Press
LYRASIS United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund
MIT Press Direct to Open
Open Book Publishers
Punctum Books
Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME)
University of Michigan Press Fund to Mission

Various entities are aggregating lists of these programs so that they are easier for libraries to find:

In the United States, LYRASIS maintains a list of all of the OA programs they support, including books programs.
Jisc also acts as a hub of OA ebook programs for UK institutions.
Libraries can also look to their peers for guidance. Some libraries are listing the programs they support like KU Leuven and the University of Kansas.

Evaluating Open Access Books Programs

Once you know where you can find these programs, you then need to evaluate them to determine whether your library wants to dedicate part of its budget to support any of them. It can be overwhelming to evaluate these programs, especially with decreasing staff and resources. So where is the best place to start? Libraries that do participate in OA book programs usually start by asking a few questions.



OA Books Workouts: Scholars at work | An Open Access Book Network event series


This series, hosted by Jeroen Sondervan, features different scholars talking about publishing Open Access books. Hear more about their projects, why they chose Open Access, and the challenges and triumphs they experienced along the way!

19 October 2021 (2-3PM BST / 3-4PM CEST): Janneke Adema, Living Books. Book your place here (it’s free!)

9 November 2021 (11.30AM-12.30PM GMT / 12.30-1.30PM CET): Lucy Montgomery, Open Knowledge Institutions. Book your place here (it’s free!)

30 November 2021 (2-3PM GMT / 3-4PM CET): Miklos Kiss, Film Studies in Motion. Book your place here (it’s free!)

14 December 2021 (2-3PM GMT / 3-4PM CET): Jeff Pooley, Social Media & The Self: An Open Reader. Book your place here (it’s free!)

11 January 2022 (2-3PM GMT / 3-4PM CET): Whitney Trettien, Cut/Copy/Paste. Book your place here (it’s free!)

OA Books Workouts: Scholars at work. Episode 1 with Janneke Adema. Tue, Oct 19, 2021 @ 3:00 PM (CEST) | Eventbrite

The Open Access Books Network organises a series of online events where scholars from different academic fields will present their open access book project. During the session they will briefly present their project, followed by a conversation about how the project came to be an open access book and what challenges they’ve encountered. During this talk we will also dive into how technologies like new publishing software, workflow processes, book sprinting and open peer review have shaped the project. The audience is invited to join the conversation and share thoughts, ideas and good practices.

Accelerating open access to academic books | Plan S

Accelerating open access to academic books



cOAlition S has just issued its statement on Open Access (OA) for academic books. With this statement, cOAlitition S sets a clear direction for academic books to become OA. It recommends that “All academic books based on original research that was directly supported with funding from cOAlition S organisations should be made available open access on publication”. This is great news!

The OA Books Network (OABN), steered by OAPEN, SPARC Europe, OPERAS, and ScholarLed) salutes this clear support from cOAlition S for OA to books. While OA policies for journal articles have been developing rapidly for years, progress on the OA book side has been rather slow. However, this cOAlition S statement combined with the recently launched UKRI open access policy indicates that there is great potential for things to accelerate for OA books, too.

Recording: boOkmarks session with Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra about a DARIAH bursary for ERCs (23.03.2021) @ YouTube

The OABN’s boOkmArks session with Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra talking about the newly-established DARIAH bursary for OA monographs for Early Career Researchers in Digital Humanities.

Read the blog post:

Voices from the OA Books Community Summary: The Great Polyphony – Open Access Books Network

“At the end of May 2021 the most significant series of events hosted by the Open Access Books Network so far, Voices from the OA Books Community, came to an end. The series, initiated in November 2020 at the OPERAS conference, was devoted to exploring different aspects of policy for OA books, to gather thorough and wide-ranging feedback from the community that could inform the forthcoming Plan S guidance for books. We discussed funding models, policy scope, quality assurance, green OA, discoverability and metadata, rights retention, and licensing.

The OABN was thrilled to see that the series attracted a large number of stakeholders, with voices coming from different backgrounds and economic and geographical circumstances. In all, we gathered around 450 participants — publishers, funders, OA policymakers, researchers, librarians, and infrastructure providers – from Europe to the US to Latin America. This exceptional attendance proved that the research community is engaged and willing to take action when it comes to shaping a Plan S policy for OA books. 

We listened to a great polyphony of voices and recorded them in notes, videos, and automated transcripts. Based on this material, SPARC Europe collated the evidence to produce a document that we think reflects all the diverse voices we heard, whilst organising and summarising the main areas of agreement or contention. In this process, the priority was to record all the voices as truthfully as possible. 

We are happy to present you with the outcomes of these efforts today. Drafts of the summarizing document and an introduction highlighting key takeaways, are available here and will remain open until 12 August 2021. After that time, SPARC Europe will prepare the final version of the document, which will be presented to cOAlition S in early September 2021….”

Let’s experiment: join us for a BooOkmArks event next Tuesday, June 29, 2021 (16:00 CEST/ 15:00 BST/10:00 EDT) | Open Access Books Network

The next event in the ‘BoOkmArks: Open Conversations About OA Books’ series will be held via this Zoom link on June 29th at 16:00 CEST/ 15:00 BST/10:00 EDT, when we will interview Janneke Adema, Marcell Mars, and Tobias Steiner about their report “Books Contain Multitudes: Exploring Experimental Publishing.” As an introduction to the session, we invite you to read their blog post on the report here.

If you have questions for Janneke, Marcell, and Tobias, please add them to the comments section below so they can be included in the conversation on 29th June — and join us at the event if you can!

Investing in the Open Access Book infrastructure: a call for action – Jisc Research

Investing in the Open Access Book infrastructure: a call for action


This is a guest blog post by Pierre Mounier, Jeroen Sondervan, and Graham Stone.

Join Pierre Mounier (EHESS, OpenEdition, OPERAS), Jeroen Sondervan (Knowledge Exchange Open Access Working Group and Utrecht University Library), Graham Stone (Jisc), and key stakeholders in signing a position paper calling for investment in the open access book infrastructure (Zenodo version of record, Google doc version for signatories).

In June 2020, we published a blog Open Access to academic books: Working towards the “tipping point”, which reflected on the work of the Knowledge Exchange (KE) task and finish group’s work around open access books (see “Towards a Roadmap for Open Access Monographs: A Knowledge Exchange Report”. The blogpost led to a number of valuable discussions with stakeholders and key experts in the OA books community regarding the need to develop a joined up approach to the open infrastructure required for a successful transition to open access for books.

In light of forthcoming (and existing) policy on open access for books, the KE task and finish group agreed to extend their work on open access books by facilitating a partner exchange in February 2021. This one-day virtual workshop gathered key stakeholders, including representatives of cOAlition S, SPARC Europe, OASPA, OAPEN, DARIAH-EU, OpenAIRE, national funders, KE partner organizations and many more.

After a brief overview, the day used a workshop approach to develop a common understanding on the need for further attention and support for open access for academic books. Delegates explored the key issues in three parallel sessions (OA Book Watch, OA Book Network, OA Book infrastructure), before a Mentimeter poll was used to prioritise areas for further discussion. At the end of a long day of vibrant and fruitful discussion, we took stock of the contributions and discussed the idea of a position paper on open access books infrastructure. A writing group was formed and we started work on the position paper.