November 14, 2022

Books are not journals – how we fund OA for books need not (and ought not) follow the same models as have become dominant in journal publishing.

With the introduction of the UKRI mandate for OA books beginning in 2024, OA is slowly becoming more than an ‘add on’: we are on a trajectory where open access is going to become the way that books are published. It’s crucial therefore that they are funded sustainably and systematically. We also need to make sure that smaller publishers are included in the shift towards OA. Book Processing Charges (BPCs) worsen inequality by favouring the most wealthy institutions and authors, in the same way that Transformative Agreements favour larger publishers, so it’s important to consider how the ‘long tail’ of book publishing can shift to OA in a sustainable and equitable way.

This requires a shift from publishers but also from libraries: how does library acquisition adapt to ‘acquiring’ or supporting OA content? In this session we heard from a large research library and a smaller library where both are making fundamental changes to the ways they support OA monograph publishing. We also heard from the Open Book Collective (OBC) at the COPIM Project whose online platform will offer publishers and service providers ‘a one stop shop’ where they can list OA membership packages which libraries can pay to join.

Colleagues heard how other libraries are making the OA shift and learnt about collective approaches that seek to spread the funding of OA monographs so that no single institution bears a disproportionate cost.


Links mentioned during the webinar:


Emma Booth, Metadata Manager for Content Management at The University of Manchester Library. The University of Manchester Library’s Office for Open Research provides academics and researchers with support for sustainable Open Access options. This includes the provision of funding for publishing research monographs as Open Access, financing read and publish deals, and supporting institutional crowdfunding models for Diamond OA.

Jen Bayjoo, Academic Support Manager (Research) at the University of Salford Library.
Salford are embarking on an ambitious new agenda of innovative content services for their University community and are aiming to lead on developments including OA, across the sector.

Judith Fathallah & Livy Onalee Snyder, Open Book Collective
Launching in autumn/fall 2022 the Open Book Collective platform will enable a wide range of users to find a range of OA book publishers and initiatives, and understand what they do and what their missions and values are. It will enable libraries to participate in funding these initiatives via various offers and membership packages.