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The Times They Are A’Changing: How Can We Fund Open Access Books Equitably and Sustainably

An Open Book Futures and Project MUSE webinar

Published onJan 03, 2024
The Times They Are A’Changing: How Can We Fund Open Access Books Equitably and Sustainably

This webinar showcased a variety of participant perspectives on equitable and sustainable open access book funding. It focused on subscription models, and in particular Opening the Future.

Melanie Schaffner (Project MUSE) emphasised the importance of OA book data aggregation to aid discoverability by librarians and increase the findability of books from smaller publishers lacking the resources to boost their work.

Tom Grady (Open Book Futures) outlined the Opening the Future subscription model, focusing on its equitable pricing structure and suitability to smaller publishers, particularly in AHSS fields, who may otherwise struggle to comply with the increasing number of mandates around OA long-form publishing.

Emily Poznanski and Frances Pinter (CEU Press) presented their press as a participant in Opening the Future, explaining the desire for equity and openness that is driving their move towards a fully open frontlist. They also provided details about the pricing and value of their offered packages.

Finally, Miranda Bennett (California Digital Library) provided a library perspective on participating in Opening the Future. She outlined the benefits of supporting OA research and publishing in AHSS fields, while receiving a tangible benefit to the library in the form of the subscription, and noted some current vulnerabilities of subscription models.

The Q&A touched on many of these points in greater depth, particularly the sustainability of subscription models, how librarians can evaluate them as they proliferate, and the multi-faceted, but sometimes complex, nature of the ROI on a library subscription.

The session highlighted that as the OA book funding landscape becomes increasingly complex and crowded, subscription models will need to adapt to address current sustainability queries while continuing to capitalise on their flexibility and tangible ROI, to remain a viable path to equitable, but also sustainable, publishing.

A link to the recording is available:

Opening the Future Webinar: How Can We Fund Open Access Books Equitably and Sustainably
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