WP2: Open Book Collective

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logo for the Open Book Collective

WP2 is founding the Open Book Collective: a UK-registered charity comprised of OA book publishers, librarians and infrastructure providers. The OBC will launch and support the Open Book Collective online platform. This is a modular, scale-able revenue generation and management platform for open access books, available to publishers, libraries and other users. The platform offers a range of flexible subscription models for subscribers to support OA book, and supports publishers in distributing their output, networking, and moving away from dependence on Book Processing Charges. The platform emphasizes open source software, community-owned and led open access, and enables a range of publishers to work together, either as individuals or consortiums, via a networking model we call ‘scaling-small’. Scaling small allows publishers to benefit from mutual support and knowledge sharing without being forced to scale upwards in terms of production. WP2 is creating the technical infrastructures, organizational processes (together with WP4), financial management procedures, and legal standards to enable these new funding channels to be sustainable long term. The revenue platform is designed with flexible modularity, portability, and customizability as its chief features, ensuring that both emerging, smaller-scale and established, larger-scale publishers seeking to transition to open access and in need of durable, flexible business models for doing so, can benefit from it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Open Book Collective?

The Open Book Collective is a group of publishers, publishing service providers, and research libraries. We are working together across the landscape of the Open Knowledge Commons to enable a more sustainable future for open access (OA) book-length and long-form scholarship.

What is the relationship of the OBC to COPIM?

The OBC is an output arising from the COPIM project, but is a separate legal entity in the form of a UK-registered charity. The OBC is intended to be self-sustaining beyond the conclusion of COPIM.

What is the OBC platform?

The OBC platform is the online membership and revenue management platform of the Collective. It offers:

  • a space for OA book publishers and service providers to display their publications and infrastructure services as well as their missions, practices, and activities
  • an integrated and searchable index of OA books published by Collective publishers, which anybody may use
  • a discovery and distribution channel for OA books published by Collective publishers
  • open metadata, including catalog records in a variety of formats, for all of the OA books published by Collective publishers
  • an interface for OA publishers and service providers to present membership investment packages developed by the OBC to libraries and other research institutions for potential funding by those institutions
  • transparent information regarding where library and research institution funding is dedicated and from whom librarians and other users will have the opportunity to compare and contrast the offers from different publishers and collectives before committing to a subscription.
Can my press join the platform?

We are currently in the process of defining the criteria according to which publishers may join the membership platform. Our focus is on small-to-medium sized presses who are interested in networking with and mutually supporting other like-minded publishers, accommodating a range of business models but assisting publishers in moving away from Book Processing Charges. We will naturally expect a commitment to sustainable OA monograph publishing and broad agreement with our values of co-operation, anti-commercialism, anti-competition, transparency and sharing.

When will the platform be launched?

We are aiming to pilot the platform in Spring 2022

How much will subscriptions cost?

The pricing structure for subscriptions is currently being decided, but will operate on a banded system similar to that of JISC.

What is ScholarLed?

ScholarLed is a consortium of scholar-led, not-for-profit, open access book publishers that was formed in 2018. ScholarLed is a founding member of the OBC and all its members are given the option of participating in the ScholarLed membership package on the OBC platform. It is expected that, at launch, the following publishers will be included in the ScholarLed package: Mattering Press, meson press, Open Book Publishers and punctum books. ScholarLed is registered as a not-for-profit foundation in the Netherlands, and are run by a board drawn from the participating presses. For information on joining ScholarLed, see https://blog.scholarled.org/scholarled-open-for-membership-applications/

Who do I contact for more information?

Please contact a member of the Outreach team for WP2: