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Published onJan 15, 2020

What is COPIM?

COPIM stands for Community-led Open Publishing Infrastructures for Monographs. It’s an international project, building much-needed, community-governed, open systems and infrastructures to develop Open Access book publishing. 

Who are the members of COPIM?

COPIM will be delivered by a consortium of world-class universities (Coventry University; Birkbeck, University of London; Lancaster University; and Trinity College, Cambridge), established OA presses (the ScholarLed consortium, which includes Mattering Press, meson press, Open Humanities Press, Open Book Publishers and punctum books), libraries (UCSB Library and Loughborough University Library) and infrastructure providers (the Directory of Open Access Books and Jisc). 

In addition to the consortium members, COPIM will be working closely with the OPERAS-P project and with institutions such as the British Library and the Digital Preservation Coalition, as well as a broad spectrum of academics, publishers, librarians, software developers, funders and more as part of the working groups, events and projects that COPIM will set up and run. 

Find out about the individuals who are involved in COPIM.

How is COPIM funded?

We are funded by a £2.2 million grant from the Research England Development fund and an £800,000 grant from Arcadia Fund. COPIM partners are contributing a further £576,000.

Find out more about our funders.

What do you plan to do?

We want to transform Open Access (OA) book publishing by delivering major improvements in the infrastructures used by OA book publishers and by those publishers making a transition to OA books. We will focus on 1) integrated capacity-building amongst presses; 2) access to and development of consortial, institutional, and other funding channels; 3) development and piloting of appropriate business models; 4) mutually supportive models to govern the infrastructure we create; 5) the integration of OA books into library, repository, and digital learning environments; 6) the re-use of and experimentation with OA books; 7) the effective and robust archiving of OA content.

Our guiding philosophy is the concept of ‘scaling small’: the idea that publishing Open Access books should be something that a wide range of publishers, of differing sizes and with a variety of business models, can accomplish sustainably and at manageable cost through collaborative effort and effective network-building. We therefore want to develop, collectively, a significantly enriched not-for-profit, open source and community-governed ecosystem for OA book publishing, to support and sustain a diversity of publishing initiatives and models, particularly within the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).

We are mindful that these infrastructures will involve many actors within the scholarly landscape and beyond, including researchers, librarians, scholarly communications experts, funders, infrastructure providers and software developers. We are therefore involving people from all of these areas in COPIM from the outset. Collaboration is key to this project: we want the infrastructure we create to be collectively built and community-governed.

How will you accomplish all this?

COPIM is divided into seven Work Packages (WPs), which will run over three years. These are covered in more detail here, but briefly they are as follows. 

WP 1: This covers the management of the COPIM project internally, but also a commitment to external communication via a website and social media, and to the organisation of stakeholder workshops and public conferences.

WP 2: COPIM will develop and launch a modular, scalable revenue generation and management platform for OA books, to be made available to publishers and libraries.

WP 3: COPIM will facilitate knowledge exchange among publishers, academics, learned societies, & open technology developers, and it will explore alternative business models to enable non-OA presses to transition to OA.

WP 4: COPIM will create durable organisational structures for the coordination, governance and administrative support of the community-owned infrastructure developed by the partnership.

WP 5: COPIM will develop technical protocols and infrastructure to better integrate OA books into institutional library, digital learning and repository systems, to support the wider discovery and dissemination of OA books.

WP 6: COPIM will champion experimental publishing, re-use and impact by exploring how to align existing software, technologies, workflows and infrastructures for experimental publishing with the workflow of OA book publishers and the COPIM infrastructures.

WP 7: COPIM will identify the key challenges associated with archiving Open Access research monographs in all their variation and complexity, and develop new solutions to accomplish their effective preservation.

What happens when COPIM ends?

Part of building a resilient OA book publishing ecosystem will involve planning for its continuation after the three years of the project. WPs 2, 3 and 4 will all examine this issue in different ways, and each WP is being undertaken with longevity in mind.

How can I find out more/get involved?

You can follow our progress on our PubPub site and on Twitter. If you have skills, knowledge or resources you’d like to offer, please contact us via our website.

Header: photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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