Presentation Open Access

New systems for Open Access books: an innovative platform from COPIM

Fathallah, Judith

The Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs is an international collaborative project bringing together a range of researchers, universities, librarians, open access book publishers and infrastructure providers (www.copim.ac.uk). We are seeking to build and maintain the infrastructures required to promote, sustain and distribute open access academic book publishing. Globally, books lag severely behind monographs in all OA initiatives. The COPIM online platform, tentatively titled Open Book Collective, directly addresses the recommendation to build the capacity of stakeholders to create, access, re-use, adapt and redistribute OER. The Open Book Collective (working title) will be a user-friendly, integrated platform to help stakeholders explore, discover, access and support OA books from a range of leading publishers and infrastructure providers via high-quality integrated metadata and a fully searchable catalogue. We aim to offer a choice of flexible subscription packages, through which patrons can choose to support individual publishers and schemes, or indeed the entire collective. Whilst our major stakeholders will be librarians and publishers, the catalogue and metadata functions will be freely available to everyone. We will also be providing space for OA publishers to display their current and forthcoming books. Our mission is to build and maintain an infrastructure to support the publication, discovery and distribution of OA books via a range of flexible subscription packages, and make it easy for OA books to be delivered to libraries. We have already partnered with the group of publishers that form the ScholarLed collective, with whom we are piloting the platform, but are building with the aim of flexible expansion to include more publishers in time. We have also partnered with JISC and DOAB, who are assisting in the management of revenue, curation, metadata and systems of preservation.

Our previous work with librarians has informed us that whilst most institutional librarians are supportive of open education, they find the systems of OA publishing difficult and time-consuming to navigate. They find integrative metadata lacking, and struggle with the number of initiatives on offer. This in addition to limited library budgets, time, and restricted revenue cycles mean that many OA books which would be invaluable to open education are simply not finding their way into libraries. Our past workshop participants have told us that whilst traditional publishing giants have established systems and workflows for getting their books onto shelves and into catalogues, librarians are often unsure how to engage with open book publishers and where to find user-friendly information on their processes.

In this session, I will introduce a range of stakeholders to the solutions COPIM and the Open Book Collective (working title) are developing in response to these problems, and invite attending librarians and publishers to join us in a program of consultative outreach. Our ultimate aim is to maximise the distribution of OA academic books and streamline the workflows that make them available in libraries, whilst building sustainable publishing models that keep education open for the future. In doing so, we are actively seeking input in developing the platform to best serve the needs of the open education community. We believe in 'scaling small': i.e., supporting small and medium publishers to operate through a diverse range of business models, and in networking, diversification and mutual support over centralization and hierarchization. Our key values are openness, transparency, accountability to stakeholders, and commonality. From this presentation, then, I hope to engage interested librarians and publishers in ongoing mutual assistance to create the infrastructures that will sustain open education in the future.

For further information on the COPIM project and our current partners, please visit https://copim.ac.uk/, and for outputs published to date, see https://copim.pubpub.org/.

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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