Opening the Future hits two milestones just in time for OA week

COPIM funding pilot for OA monographs gathers steam

In celebration of Open Access Week, 25-29 October 2021, the COPIM project announced it hit two well-timed milestones with both of its pilot publishers, the Central European (CEU) Press and Liverpool University Press (LUP).

  • LUP launched their OtF programme in the summer break and this week announced their second ‘early adopter’ member in the shape of the European University Institute (EUI) Library. With just a few more sign-ups LUP will soon be able to allocate the member fees to producing a new frontlist OA monograph, freely available to all. You can read more about this on the LUP OtF website. They are off to a flying start.
  • CEU Press have been running their programme for a little longer and this week announced they’ve now accrued enough funding from membership fees to fund their fourth OA frontlist book, due out before Christmas this year. You can read more about that on the CEU Press OtF site.

Both publishers are working with COPIM to pilot the Opening the Future model. Subscribing libraries get unlimited multi-user access to curated packages of the presses’ backlist books, with perpetual access after three years. The publishers then use membership funds to produce new frontlist titles in open access format. It’s a cost-effective way for libraries to increase their digital collections, while simultaneously supporting OA.

Professor Martin Paul Eve (Birkbeck, UoL), one of the project leads, said “If we can get this scheme to take off, it will represent a seismic shift in how OA books are funded, moving away from the unaffordable BPC model and spreading costs more equitably.”

CEU Press is offering titles on the history of communism, transitions to democracy and Central European history and culture; while LUP’s package offers books on hispanic culture, including literature, cinema, popular culture, theory and history.

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Opening the Future can be freely adopted by any publisher and COPIM is happy to talk to other presses about how it might be implemented. The project is producing a free toolkit which will include free code for the membership sign-up system.