Evaluating New Funding Models for Open Access Books

2021 Virtual Preconference
October 19, 12:00 – 3:00 pm

Description: With the rise of Open Access (OA), academic book publishing and its funding are changing. This session will give librarians a better understanding of a number of emerging OA book funding models that support smaller presses, exploring how libraries can better evaluate their investment in these models.
Demand for OA books is increasing and publishers are responding with funding models such as MIT Press’s Direct2Open, or institutional agreements such as that between Springer Nature and UC Berkeley Library. A range of smaller presses are also critical to the academic book landscape, including those ‘born-OA’ presses that have long blazed a trail for OA books and a ‘long tail’ of smaller, non-OA presses that must adapt to a new OA reality.
Funding models are emerging to support these smaller presses, based not on Book Processing Charges (BPCs) but collective library funding. This session, led by members of the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project, will explore three such models, how they were devised, and what they offer to libraries, together with the issues librarians have raised when considering whether to support them.
It will explore: Opening the Future, a ‘subscribe to open’ model enabling smaller presses to ‘flip’ to OA; the library membership programmes of individual OA presses; and a collective approach with scholar-led presses providing combined affordable offers to libraries, including the underlying infrastructure to facilitate the discovery, dissemination and preservation of their OA books. COPIM’s members have pioneered the development of these models, enabling them to offer a unique look at their inner workings.
This session provides critical insights into the governance structures and operations of these models, and what they offer library communities. Attendees will be given the tools to make more informed decisions about the long-term management of their investment in consortial library funding programs.


  • Lucy Barnes, Editor and Outreach Coordinator, Open Book Publishers
  • Dr. Judith Fathallah, Research and Outreach Associate, Lancaster University
  • Dr. Lidia Uziel, Associate University Librarian for Research Resources and Scholarly Communication, University of California Santa Barbara
  • Prof. Martin Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing and the Strategic Lead for Digital Education at Birkbeck, University of London
  • Dr. Vincent Van Gerven-Oei, Co-Director of punctum books
  • Dr. Rupert Gatti, Fellow in Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge and Director of Open Book Publishers


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