Published June 3, 2020 | Version v1
Poster Open

The Open Library of Humanities, a Consortial Funding Model for Gold Open Access in the Humanities Without Publication Fees

  • 1. Open Library of Humanities


The OLH is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing world-leading open access humanities scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges. Launched in 2015, our free-to-read, free-to-publish model was set up to revolutionise the field of open access publishing. Five years on, our sustainable business model has attracted nearly 300 supporting institutions, with further revenue generated through hosting on our in-house open source publishing platform Janeway, enabling us to establish a thriving platform of 28 peer-reviewed open access journals.

The OLH has been internationally recognised as an important development in open access for the humanities and for its innovative business model. The current level of Article Processing Charges makes gold OA publishing unaffordable for the majority of unfunded humanities scholars. The OLH aims instead to implement a collaborative, or collective, funding model for gold open access in the humanities without APCs. The model proposed by the OLH is one where publication costs do not fall on the institution or researchers but, are instead financed collaboratively through an international library consortium, where each member pays an annual fee according to the country and size of the institution. Reducing and distributing the costs of publication across its members, with an economy of scale that improves as more institutions join. Our idea is that research organisations and libraries make a relatively small contribution that covers the costs of running a publication platform on which peer-reviewed scholarly journals can then be published as open access. The platform was initially funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and now, five years after its launch, entirely covers its costs by payments from its international library consortium. Our mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities - for free, for everyone, for ever.


OLH 2020.pdf

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