COPIM response to new UKRI Open Access Policy | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

COPIM (Community-led Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) welcomes the announcement of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s open access (OA) policy, which will:

include monographs, chapters & edited collections from 1 January 2024;

require the final version of a publication or accepted manuscript to be made open access via a publisher’s website, a platform or a repository, within a maximum of 12 months of publication;

and recommend Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licensing, while other Creative Commons permissions such as Attribution Non-Commercial (BY NC) and Attribution Non-Derivative (BY ND) licences are also permitted.

At COPIM, we believe that a shift to open access for academic books is not only possible, but necessary. We — together with a larger network of projects committed to community-led and not-for-profit approaches to scholarly publishing — are developing infrastructures and business models to support publishers and authors in making their long-form research output openly available without relying on embargoes or author-facing charges (otherwise known as Book Processing Charges or BPCs). These infrastructures are already supporting university and scholar-led presses to publish open access books without these constraints.

We are pleased to note that both UKRI’s summary of the responses to its consultation on the new policy and its explanation of its policy changes emphasised that COPIM is well positioned to support a transition towards open access for long-form academic work, and we look forward to doing so.undefined

The experience of our consortial partners who publish open access books is that there is a wide and deep appetite among readers for open access to long-form academic research. Furthermore, given the importance of the book to the creation and dissemination of Humanities and Social Science research, it is vital that we achieve immediate and equitable open access routes for books. The alternative is a future in which access to Humanities and Social Sciences research is limited and expensive, and these disciplines increasingly marginalised.

In this response, we would like to briefly outline how COPIM and COPIM’s consortial partners are already supporting embargo- and BPC-free open access for books, and in what ways the infrastructures and models built by COPIM will help to support other presses to do so. We would also like to outline how we feel the UKRI open access policy could be extended further, and what we would like to see from any future policies for open access books, based on our initial response to the UKRI open access consultation.

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