Copim and SCONUL: exploring practical problems and potential strategies to fund equitable OA book publishing | Copim community

flavoursofopenscience's bookmarks 2024-02-05


  Hopkins, K. (2024). Copim and SCONUL: exploring practical problems and potential strategies to fund equitable OA book publishing. Copim.


This Copim and SCONUL-hosted webinar, held 25th January 2024, brought together UK library leaders to share their perspectives on their library’s role in OA book funding and publishing.  

The discussion, chaired by Andrew Barker (Lancaster University) began with Phil Brabban (Coventry University) who described the drivers, plans and challenges underpinning their current initiative of setting up an OA university press. He outlined the university library’s wish to provide financially sustainable, non-BPC publication routes, and to support their own researchers, including often-neglected PGRs and ECRs. He also described the challenges they were facing, or had overcome, such as gaining institutional buy-in to fund the press and creating credibility for academic authors who were choosing publication venues. Finally, he explained the nascent press’ hope to invest in open textbooks, as a better long-term investment of library funds than paying textbook subscriptions.  

Elaine Sykes (Lancaster University) then outlined Lancaster’s own approach to OA book funding. She explained that careful evaluation had decided the library against setting up its own press. Instead, they had secured institutional funding for a Research Culture and Open Monograph post to increase the library’s OA monograph expertise, advocate for open access to academics, and to create online resources to aid them. She emphasised that new policies and landscape changes, such as OA monographs, are a large administrative and knowledge burden to libraries and that each library’s capability cannot outstrip its available resources.  

Peter Barr (University of Sheffield) then spoke about his well-funded research library’s aim to invest in open access not only to benefit their own collections, but to effect wider change. He explained their two-pronged approach: transactional, i.e. directly into institutional outputs, and transformational, in which they also funded the publishing ecosystem beyond their local collection. He also noted the university’s current, direct involvement with OA monograph publishing through White Rose University Press, which they share with the Universities of Leeds and York. Finally, he referenced the new UKRI OA monograph policy, voicing concerns that it may push publishing towards BPC models, and that it may undermine values-based investment in open publishing and infrastructure of the kind the library undertakes.  

Finally, Dominic Broadhurst (University of Salford) offered a non-Russell Group, new university perspective to OA monograph culture and funding. He explained that their activities, such as setting up an OA monograph working group, were grounded in an ambition to be active rather than reactive in the fast-changing OA landscape and therefore to provide the best support to their researchers. He also emphasised that the aim of his library was to ‘enable not just acquire’ OA content, for which reason they were focussed on enabling universal access to knowledge, via sustainable and equitable funding models rather than BPCs. As at Sheffield, he emphasised a strong desire in the library to use their budget not just to enrich their own collections, but to work with the wider community and to invest in it via funding OA schemes. 



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Tags: oa.publishing oa.sconul oa.funding oa.books oa.copim oa.dei oa.obstacles oa.strategies

Date tagged:

02/05/2024, 10:18

Date published:

02/05/2024, 05:18