Within the COPIM project (Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs), we have been working to address the challenges of funding Open Access (OA) book publishing. Our particular focus is on how to make it easier for academic libraries to support OA publishers and publishing service providers, thinking beyond Book Processing Charges. We are very pleased to announce that one of the main outcomes of this work will soon be launched:
The collective will bring together OA publishers, OA publishing service providers, libraries, and other research institutions to create a new, mutually supportive ecosystem for the thriving of OA book publishing. At the heart of the work of the Open Book Collective (OBC) will be a new platform. This platform will make it far quicker and easier for libraries and others to financially support different OA publishers and service providers via membership offerings.
The Open Book Collective
The Open Book Collective aims to build new relationships between libraries and OA book publishers and providers, as well as to strengthen existing relationships. For too long, in our view, those working to support OA book publishing within academic institutions and those looking to produce and disseminate OA books to a wide, global readership have struggled to engage with each other in more collective, networked ways. Part of the reason for this is that the infrastructures and networks that might enable them to do so either do not exist or are not suited for the kind of equitable, sustainable, small-to-medium scale OA publishing we want to support. The infrastructures that do exist are often commercially owned or have been set up to primarily support closed forms of publishing, with only limited and often compromised opportunities for OA publishers. They may be aimed at models of OA book production dependent on the payment of Book Processing Charges (BPCs). A core aim of the COPIM project is to develop alternatives to BPC-based publishing.
At the heart of the OBC is a commitment to collaboration. Those involved in founding the OBC, together with those we hope will participate in the collective, are and will be committed to working together across the landscape of the open knowledge commons to enable a more sustainable future for OA book-length scholarship.