Report Open Access

Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM): Annual Report - Year 1 (2019-2020)

Steiner, Tobias; Adema, Janneke

Project member(s)
Barnes, Lucy; Cole, Gareth; Deville, Joe; Grady, Tom; Hall, Gary; Morka, Agata; Rudmann, Dan; Penier, Izabella; Stone, Graham; van Gerven Oei, Vincent W.J.

This report is the first of three annual reports and a major deliverable submitted to Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, by the Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project.

COPIM is committed to exploring possible solutions to some of the most pressing barriers currently preventing small publishers from interfacing with large-scale organisations and processes. As a result, COPIM is developing a significantly enriched not-for-profit and open source ecosystem for OA (open access) book publishing that will support and sustain a diversity of publishing initiatives and models, particularly within Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) publishing.

The adoption of alternative infrastructures, business models, preservation structures, and governance procedures to be scoped and developed through COPIM will enable increased economic resilience and enhanced capacities for open access books at smaller and larger scales. COPIM's approach will offer Higher Education institutions and HSS researchers sustainable publishing models they control, increased publishing options, and new revenue streams and cost reductions to build a more equitable horizontal and co-operative knowledge sharing community. During the first year of the project, COPIM has established a solid foundation in the areas of collaborative research, infrastructure development, project management, and outreach and community building. Successfully adapting its approach to face a set of unforeseen challenges, the project has achieved the majority of its deliverables and milestones across all work packages, in some areas even outperforming the initial goals set.

The list of key output and activities delivered includes:

  • the publication of two major scoping reports
  • the successful organisation and documentation of eleven workshops with more than 120 national and international high-profile stakeholders representing 18 countries
  • the successful switch to an online-only approach due to COVID-19, which now includes the setup and iterative extension of an Outreach and Dissemination network that is combining a variety of channels including social media and open community platforms;
  • and the initial setup and continuous further development of a resource to make open access book metadata available in an open, transparent and participatory way, which will integrate into the larger Open Dissemination System, to be developed in Years 2 and 3.

The project has successfully fostered engagement with the work packages’ variety of stakeholders (i.e. librarians, publishers, authors, technology providers and the general public), bringing together key experts and those interested in learning more about scholar-led not-for-profit OA book publishing. Next to its own event organisation and outreach activities, COPIM has also been invited to participate in a variety of external conferences, events, and networks by organisations and projects such as Invest in Open Infrastructure, OASPA, OPERAS, LIBER, the Next Generation Libraries Project, and the Open Access Book Network, The British Library, OpenAIRE, COAR, and EIFL.

The overall progress made during this first year seems particularly noteworthy as the project not only had to face the challenges of first-year setup, including early minor delays in staff recruitment, onboarding, and the organisation of basic project management and governance structures; COPIM was also faced with a set of unprecedented challenges that permeated all aspects of the delivery process and will potentially impact the remainder of the project going forward. The main challenges include Brexit and its impact on the economy—and corresponding uncertainties—and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with all systemic consequences that this entails.

Building on the foundational research, project management structures and outreach networks that have been successfully established in Year 1, the project is eager to continue on its path to further developing the envisioned infrastructures, pilot cases, governance structures, and outreach programmes it is set to deliver in Years 2 and 3.

Community-led Open Publishing Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) is supported by the Research England Development (RED) Fund, and Arcadia—a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
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