Making Open Access Book Funding Work Fairly: The Emergence of Library Membership Funding Models for OA Monographs | National Acquisitions Group

Covid-19 has thrown many aspects of university research culture into acute relief. As the reality of the virus dawned and campuses worldwide went into lockdown, publishers rushed to open their publications by removing paywalls. Physical collections became inaccessible and demand for openly accessible research skyrocketed. Many publishers made topical works and more general material openly available, through their own sites or collective platforms. Researchers, libraries and students worldwide keenly felt the benefits of such open access. However, the challenge now is to cement these open publication practices with sustainable business models.

In late 2020, COPIM, an Arcadia and Research England funded project, announced an innovative model to sustainably fund open access (OA) monographs, Opening the Future. This initiative is an attempt to use the window of opportunity opened by Covid and is designed to be part of a new infrastructure that will facilitate a more open future for scholarly comms.

The model harnesses the power of collective library funding: increasing collections through special access to highly-regarded backlists, and expanding the global shared OA collection while providing a less risky path for smaller publishers to make frontlist monographs OA. We introduced this model at UKSG and RLUK in 2021 but this is no ‘story so far’ conference presentation proposal. Since Opening the Future launched, we’ve seen several other collective library funding models emerge in quick succession, including MIT’s Direct 2 Open, Michigan’s Fund to Mission, and Cambridge University Press’ Flip it Open. In the same year, UKRI’s new policy was announced and it included OA requirements for
monographs. The landscape is changing rapidly – in this presentation we will appraise our model in the context of the changing environment.

The programme has had success since its launch. Within a few months the first publisher to adopt the model, CEU Press, had accrued enough library support to fund their first three OA monographs. Soon thereafter the initiative was recognised by the publishing community and nominated for an ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing. And in June a second well-respected publisher, Liverpool University Press, launched with Opening the Future. COPIM has now begun to turn its focus to the thorny problem of scaling up. But herein lies a tension.

OA monograph publishing needs to be sustainable not just for publishers, but also for libraries. Opening the Future was designed to be low-cost and simple, slotting into acquisitions budgets and existing library purchasing workflows. However, as we bring the programme to more university presses and libraries, how do we ensure we are not just adding to the OA labyrinth that libraries are attempting to navigate? How do we scale without increasing the administrative burden already on collections and scholarly communications teams, who are already picking through a tangle of transformative agreements, pay-to-publish deals, author affiliations, and legacy subscriptions?

In this session, we will engage the audience through these questions, as well as discuss the role of the programme in the wider policy landscape and how it is positioned alongside other emerging OA collective funding initiatives.

Our speaker:

Martin has appeared before the UK House of Commons Select Committee BIS Inquiry into Open Access, and been a steering-group member of the OAPEN-UK project, the Jisc National Monograph Strategy Group, the SCONUL Strategy Group on Academic Content and Communications, and the HEFCE Open Access Monographs Expert Reference Panel (2014), and the Universities UK OA Monographs Working Group (2016-). Martin is also an Executive Board Officer for punctum books, a Plan S Ambassador, and he co-founded the Open Library of Humanities.

@COPIMproject @Martin_Eve

Part of NAG Webinar Week 2021 #NAGWebinarWeek

FREE UKSG webinar – Making Open Access Book Funding Work Fairly: Central European University Press and Opening the Future | UKSG

“Open access monograph publishing needs to be sustainable not just for publishers, but also for libraries. CEU Press’ collective library funding programme ‘Opening the Future’ was designed to be low-cost and simple, slotting into acquisitions budgets and existing library purchasing workflows. Several months into launch, we assess how this has fared and discuss how we can scale without increasing the administrative and decision-making burden already on collections and scholarly communications teams, who are already picking through a tangle of transformative agreements, pay-to-publish deals, author affiliations, and legacy subscriptions. The session will be set in context of the recent UKRI monograph policy announcement.”

Genuine open access to academic books requires collective solutions | Impact of Social Sciences

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: A new funding model for OA monographs | The Scholarly Tales @ KU Leuven’s Faculty of Arts

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.

Collective Funding to Reclaim Scholarly Publishing | Commonplace

by Jefferson Pooley

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.

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CEU Press’ Opening the Future programme hits funding target for 2nd and 3rd books

We are pleased to announce that Opening the Future at Central European University Press has already accrued enough library support to fund two more open access monographs, taking the total funded so far to three. This is hot on the heels of our June announcement on funding our first OA book; the programme is gaining momentum and already making a difference.

Opening the Future at CEU Press is a cost-effective way for libraries to increase their digital collections on the history and culture of Central and Eastern Europe and the former communist countries. Subscribing libraries get unlimited multi-user access to curated packages of books, with perpetual access after three years. The Press uses membership funds to produce new frontlist titles in open access (OA) format. All OA titles will be available via Project MUSE OAPEN, and DOAB. Today’s announcement sees the following two new OA titles funded by those subscriptions and forthcoming in November 2021:

Constructing Identities over Time: “Bad Gypsies” and “Good Roma” in Russia and Hungary, Jekatyerina Dunajeva

Everyday Life under Communism and After: Consumption and Lifestyle in Hungary, 1945–2000, Tibor Valuch

Author Jekatyerina Dunajeva said: 

“It is an honour to have my book published in Open Access. I frequently receive emails from scholars around the world asking if I might share my work, often citing prohibitive prices charged for publications. As a researcher of social inequalities, I believe equal access to knowledge is a necessary first step towards an equitable and democratic system of scholarship. Constructing Identities over Time will be part of a newly-launched book series in Critical Romani Studies at CEU Press and I hope that one day more books in the series might also be published OA.”

Further titles will be announced soon and advance notice will be given to avoid any double-dipping. And we are recording our progress along with our plans for OA books in 2021-2022 on the website at https://ceup.openingthefuture.net/forthcoming/.

If you would like to know more about becoming a member of Opening the Future, you can read more about the programme and benefits on the website, or contact Frances Pinter, CEU Press Executive Chair, on pinterf@press.ceu.edu

Opening the Future welcomes newest library supporter, Portland State University | OtF News

CEU Press and COPIM are pleased to announce that the library at Portland State University (PSU) is the latest subscriber member to Opening the Future (OtF). Founded in 1946, PSU in Oregon grew into a diverse public research university and now has 26,000 students and more than 200 degree programs in subjects ranging from Accounting to World History.

PSU is one of the first libraries to choose an ‘OA Supporter Membership’ with OtF. Some institutions may not wish to sign up to one of our book packages, or may not be able to, but they still want to support the Open Access mission and monographs that CEU Press publishes. For these institutions we created the OA Supporter Membership. With this choice there are no backlist books to incorporate into the library’s catalogue but their membership fee allows CEU Press to make new books open in ways that do not burden authors without research grants to pay book processing charges. 

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Liverpool University Press launches Opening the Future OA membership programme | Liverpool University Press Blog

Liverpool University Press (LUP) is pleased to announce that it is adding to its existing Open Access (OA) publishing programmes this June, by launching an innovative monograph funding initiative. In partnership with COPIM, LUP will be rolling out an Opening the Future programme where they’ll offer libraries subscription/membership access to a choice of two modern language backlist series – and in return the Press will use subscription fees to produce new OA monographs, freely accessible to all.

ALPSP blog: at the heart of scholarly publishing: Spotlight on Opening the Future, CEU Press / COPIM

This year, the judges have selected a shortlist of six for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing. Each finalist will be invited to showcase their innovation to industry peers at the ALPSP Awards session on Wednesday 15 September at the opening of the ALPSP Virtual Conference & Awards 2021. The winners will be announced on the final day of the Conference on Friday 17 September. 

In this series, we learn more about each of the finalists.

 

COPIM is an international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, publishers and infrastructure providers working on bringing about a new OA publishing ecosystem. Their remit is to build a revenue infrastructure, and examine production workflows and metadata, experimental publishing and archiving. The project is working with colleagues across the sector to document existing, and open up new, ways of funding open access monographs.

CEU Press was established in 1993 to reflect the intellectual strengths and values of its parent institution, the Central European University, and is a leading publisher in the history of the region, communism and transitions to democracy. It is widely recognised as the foremost English-language university press dedicated to research on Central and Eastern Europe and the former communist countries. With a new Executive Chair on board in 2020 and a new Director in 2021, CEU Press enthusiastically took up the challenge to work with COPIM to help shape and pilot a new funding model, aiming to convert the Press to a fully open access monograph frontlist publisher over three years.

 

COPIM/CEU Press Opening the Future initiative announced as a finalist in ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

COPIM are thrilled to announce that our collective library funding model for open access monographs – Opening the Future – has been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.

Developed by COPIM, and initially piloted by CEU Press, Opening the Future (OtF) gives member libraries subscription access to portions of the press’ highly regarded backlist and uses the membership fees to fund future publications in open access (OA) formats. It supports the transition of smaller independent publishers to sustainable and equitable open access, while at the same time offering a new avenue for libraries to make the most of stretched budgets and to increase their collections.

ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers) is the international trade association which represents not-for-profit scholarly publishing, and those that work with them. They have nearly 300 member organisations across 30 countries. They’re holding their annual conference (online) on 15-17 September where industry experts will discuss accessibility, discoverability, business models, and innovation in publishing. They’ll announce the prize winner on the final day.

Guest Post – Scaffolding a Shift to a Values-driven Open Books Ecosystem – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Pressure from all sides of the ecosystem has propelled growth, experimentation, and commitment to making more scholarship accessible to more people. There is increased awareness, too, that making research open does not resolve all issues of equity and access to knowledge, that more critical engagement with the moral economy of open access is still to come. Living in a pandemic has accelerated the momentum and heightened the sense of urgency, not only in discourse, but in concrete steps being taken and strategies developed by institutions and publishers alike. Libraries, scholars, students, and readers of all kinds have had to move rapidly to adopt and adapt digital resources and tools. Open access books offer increased access to knowledge for the reader, but they also present an opportunity to remake a fragmented ecosystem, and to increase channels of communication about the processes involved in researching, writing, shepherding, financing, publishing, acquiring, and reading research….

Digital books, open or not, require infrastructure. Disintermediating hosting, distribution, and sales helps simplify cost structures. Non-profit presses are developing their own infrastructure to support greater strategic choice. Fulcrum, from Michigan Publishing, and Manifold, from the University of Minnesota Press, are two such developments that expand the new universe of values-aligned platforms. The MIT Press Direct platform launched in 2019 in an effort to disintermediate the relationship between the press and libraries. The platform aligns ebook distribution with the university press mission and opens space for dialogue with libraries. The greater connection with libraries has confirmed a gap in knowledge sharing between librarians, editors, library sales, and authors that, when filled, could make the monograph publication process clearer. Each stakeholder, internal and external to a press, holds valuable information about open access book development, funding, hosting, and discovery. Creating channels to share this information, and doing so through new, collective models, has the potential to benefit the system as a whole….”

Open for business! Opening the Future goes live. · COPIM

“COPIM Work Package 3, in partnership with Central European University (CEU) Press is pleased to announce that our Opening the Future platform is now fully live, and member access to the programme’s curated backlist of books is available from Tuesday 19th January, through Project MUSE.

Opening the Future gives member libraries subscription access to portions of the Press’s highly-regarded backlist and uses the revenue to fund future/new publications in an Open Access (OA) format. We’ve been working hard with our platform partner, Project MUSE, to set up a simple sign-up and payment process, and technical access to the books. We’re pleased to say that this is all ready to go and already accepting memberships….”

cOAlition S endorsing Subscribe to Open is a great start. We need the same thinking about books from the beginning. | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

This week, cOAlition S endorsed the Subscribe to Open (S2O) business model.

This group of international funders is committed to a complete transition to open-access publishing. To date, critics have claimed that the cOAlition has been too wedded to the (inflationary) Article Processing Charge business model, although Plan S is theoretically neutral on this matter. However, coupled with their recent publication on “Diamond” OA, this endorsement marks a milestone for open access without author-side payments.

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Opening the Future: A New Model for Open Access Books

“CEU Press is going Open Access.

CEU Press welcomes members as we aim to convert to a fully OA monograph frontlist. In return, you will receive access to some of the most popular titles from CEUP’s extensive backlist. By purchasing access to the backlist, you can fund CEU Press’s future to be open access….”