At COPIM, we believe that, for open access publishing initiatives to thrive, we have to develop more robust notions of “open” that go beyond releasing content from behind paywalls. We believe that the infrastructure with which academic work is published must be community-led and open for widespread participation by scholar-led and non-profit publishers.

We are therefore building a significantly enriched, not-for-profit and open source ecosystem for open access book publishing. It will support and sustain a diversity of publishing initiatives and models, particularly within the Humanities and Social Sciences, in the UK and internationally. The project aims to:

  • Remove hurdles preventing new and existing open access book initiatives from adopting open access workflows by

    • building open-source, community-based infrastructures that support the publication of open access books, and
    • establishing and consolidating partnerships between HE institutions and open access book publishers.
  • Develop consortial, institutional, and other funding systems — building upon the partners’ existing network of 240+ libraries internationally — that will

    • serve as an important hybrid community-led revenue model for open access book publishers,
    • support the establishment of more community-owned and governed infrastructures, and
    • promote publisher-librarian partnerships around open access book publishing.
  • Showcase alternative (non-BPC) business models that incorporate infrastructural innovations and/or cost-reductions through streamlined operating processes, production workflows and economic efficiencies — which would benefit publishing initiatives at all scales.

  • Support the creation of, interaction with, and reuse of open access books in all their variety and complexity (including emergent and experimental genres), most importantly by ensuring that these complex digital research publications can be archived effectively.

  • Achieve knowledge transfer to stakeholders through various pilots that will

    • enable COPIM’s technical, organisational, financial and relational innovations to scale both horizontally (to other presses) and vertically (to other partners, including universities, libraries, and funders) and
    • inform and support (future) funder requirements for open access books.

“COPIM is an exciting opportunity to push for open infrastructures, for community-led governance, and for the realignment of relations between not-for-profit institutions in the realm of monograph publishing. It will support the sustainable publication of open access books, delivering major improvements and innovations in the infrastructures, systems, and workflows being used by open access book publishers and by those publishers making a transition to open access books.”

Janneke Adema, Coventry University & Open Humanities Press

“This represents something of a watershed moment for open access book publishing. I and my colleagues have long been arguing that diverse scholarly communities should be at the forefront of developing the practices and infrastructures urgently needed to deliver an inclusive and sustainable future for open access. This grant brings that future much closer by creating new partnerships between the increasing number of academics, like me, who are directly involved in open access publishing, and university libraries, infrastructure providers and membership organisations. Collaborations like this are essential to ensure the research produced in and beyond universities reaches the very widest audiences.”

Joe Deville, Lancaster University & Mattering Press

“This project comes at a crucial time for open access book publishing: there is growing recognition of the need to create open, community-controlled infrastructures to support OA monograph publication internationally. COPIM will enable us to build the systems and structures that allow diverse, small-scale scholarly publishing initiatives to flourish. Collectively the ScholarLed presses have now published over 500 books, and expect to publish over 80 new titles in the coming year. COPIM prepares the ground for more such presses to thrive, increasing the strength and heterogeneity of open access publishing within a robust, inclusive and community-managed publishing ecosystem: Scaling Small.”

Rupert Gatti, Trinity College, Cambridge & Open Book Publishers

Image by Mari Carmen Del Valle Cámara on Unsplash